Of Postcards and Washi Tape

What is it with retail therapy? I don’t know why it’s so much fun, at least for me, to go shopping. Even if I don’t have a goal in mind, I still end up buying stuff that I WANT but don’t really NEED. One thing I’ve noticed about my purchasing behavior is that I tend to obsess about other things when I don’t shop for books. I’ve given up on the idea of limiting my book purchases a long time ago. I mean I don’t usually get crazy when it comes to buying books (yeah, right) but I let myself indulge from time to time. It’s such a comfort to have books around even if I feel like I don’t have enough time to read all of them. But since books are so expensive here in Singapore, I’d rather not buy unless I’m ordering online to take advantage of more affordable prices. Or I’d wait and then just buy books the next time I fly home to Manila.

With food, I’ve also given up on feeling guilty whenever I eat something that I want to eat. I believe that food is a necessity and if you can afford to buy food that you’re interested in or eat out when you feel like it, then go ahead and do it. I usually want to eat something good during the weekends, especially when I’m out with friends because that’s my way of unwinding and relaxing. Or there are times when I feel like hanging out somewhere to read instead of just heading back to the flat. Special occasions like birthdays are also good excuses to treat yourself.

So basically I don’t say no to food and books. I also have a hard time saying no to clothes on sale (because clothing is a necessity as well, right?) What I’ve realized about myself is that I tend to compensate in other things now that I don’t get to buy books as often as I’d like. Let’s take my fondness for postcards as an example. I think we can pretty much agree that in today’s digital age, getting a little something in the mail has become a novelty. It’s always nice when you feel like someone was thinking of you and was generous enough to send snail mail. It breaks the monotony of only seeing bills in the mailbox. What’s funny is that I’ve become so engrossed about postcards to the point that I even started my Postcard Love feature here on my blog. To be fair, more than half of my postcard buddies are fellow book bloggers. It’s a reasonable assumption that blogging buddies would enjoy seeing postcard-related posts. Plus, I like postcards with book-themed designs more than anything else. So it’s still somewhat related to book blogging. Singapore also makes it easy to collect postcards because so many stores here sell postcards with cute designs. Even free postcards here usually look nice.

Singapore postcard sets

Postcard sets I’ve collected since moving to Singapore

I just find it funny that whenever I see a postcard set that I like, I’m always tempted to get two sets – one for sending and one for keeping. I keep thinking that some of these postcards will look great when they’re framed, but who knows when I’ll have a place of my own to put up things like that? Anyway, another thing that I’ve been obsessing about recently is washi tape! Some of you may be wondering what washi tape is – basically, it’s masking tape that has prints and patterns that make it ideal for crafts. It originated from Japan, which probably explains why it’s not as cheap as one would expect. I like decorating the postcards that I send out – either by using stamps or stickers. Now, I mostly just use washi tape because I’ve started collecting rolls of it ever since a friend gave me some for Christmas last year.

washi tape collection as of April 2013

My current washi tape collection

Talking about postcards and washi tape is my way of leading up to this question – what do you spend your money on when you’re not buying books? If you have extra cash to spare and you don’t feel like buying any books (or books are super expensive where you are), what do you buy? Or maybe I should be asking what your other hobbies are aside from reading?

postcards with washi

Postcards decorated with washi tape

15 thoughts on “Of Postcards and Washi Tape

  1. What a fun post, Chachic! Reading it – and some other blogs lately – has made me consider writing more about my other hobbies on my blog, and how I would feel if my blog was less of a niche blog and more of an anything goes. Have you ever been to Everyday Reading? I like how Jansen balances books, fashion, cooking, and personal posts in her blog. I worry about losing/alienating your current audience though if you try to branch out. Anyway, I’m getting off on a tangent now.

    Hmm, if I had extra cash to spare (after books) I would definitely spent it on clothes, probably at H&M, Urban Outfitters, and Anthropologie. Or to cover traveling expenses to book and reading conferences of all sorts. (There are so many good ones!) I am going to search out some washi tape next time I can do some retail therapy at the craft store. I hope I can limit myself to a roll or too. 🙂

    • Holly, you should talk about your craft projects from time to time. Or if you can create a more personal blog if that feels like a better option for you. I think worrying about losing your audience is a valid point, it will probably happen if more and more of your posts are not book-related but if it’s just a post from time to time, I don’t think people will mind. In fact, it seems like blogging buddies enjoy seeing some of my posts that are generally about Singapore, the Philippines, traveling or anything else that I can think of. Have you visited Steph’s blog lately? I know she’s been posting about her travels.

      I love H&M! Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie are too pricey for me. I’m not yet willing to spend that much on clothes. 😛 Book conferences seem like so much fun, I wouldn’t mind attending one if I knew that I’d get to meet blogger friends there. Yes, please check out washi tape when you get the chance. I’m sure the ones available there will probably have different designs. 😀 Let’s see how many you end up buying, I hear they go on sale over there.

  2. Fun question. I, too, have had to cut down on the amount I spend on books simply due to accessibility. In return, I have been spending the money on good food (especially when it’s good Western food to be had here in Shanghai) and TRAVEL. I think it’s a pretty decent compensation. 🙂

    • I think we have similar experiences when it comes to living abroad! Expensive books in both Singapore and Shanghai, spending money on good food (but the big difference is there are so many restaurant choices here in Singapore) and I wish I get to travel more. 😛

  3. i hadnt even heard of washi tape until i saw you mention it on instagram!

    i agree that money on good food always feels worth it 🙂 it is so relaxing to eat a good meal.

    i am not much of a shopper. but i do have a thing for stationery. i love journals and pans and cool stuff. most my spending money goes on my kids, haha. but that’s fun, too.

    i also dont buy that many books. i occasionally preorder ones from my must buy authors. but the rest of my reading comes from the library. books are too expensive here…

    • I’ve been influencing people to buy washi tape. I’m kind of embarrassed that I keep posting pictures on Instagram and I hope people don’t mind seeing it. I wonder if washi tape is available in Australia?

      Eating a good meal is always a good thing. It never fails in perking me up.

      Hey, Typo is an Aussie brand, right? Because I think it’s the same company as Cotton On. I LOVE that store. I keep wanting to buy so many things there even if I don’t really need them. Same with this other Aussie store called Kikki.

      Nomes, I’ve realized that books over there have the same prices as books here. They’re just so expensive! It’s frustrating.

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  5. I love this post! First of all, those postcard sets are awesome. I collect postcards (and love getting them in the mail!), and I have a tendency to buy WAY too many whenever I’m on vacation. So, yay for a shared hobby!

    And your rolls of washi tape are ADORABLE. I love them a lot! The colors are so cheerful, and I can imagine that they perk up any postcard and make the recipient’s day much, much brighter 🙂

    If I have extra cash, what I like buying (apart from books) are NOTEBOOKS. I’m a sucker for a pretty notebook of good quality. There’s definitely something about having a pretty, fresh new notebook in my hands that makes me happy!

    • Sorry for the late reply, Alexa. I was in Manila during the weekend and I just got back. I’m so glad you liked this post! I know you also like postcards, I should send you another one soon. 🙂 You should take pictures of your postcard collection and show them off on your blog as well.

      Yep, washi tape make postcards prettier than they already are. That’s why I enjoy using them. When you were younger, did you ever collection stickers and stationery? My friend calls washi tape “stickers for yuppies.” I’m trying to get more book bloggers into washi tape, they’re available in most craft stores. 🙂

      Oooh I like pretty notebooks as well! I have a couple of them here in Singapore but I have more back home in Manila. I don’t even get to write in them! I have a hard enough time updating my planner but I keep reminding myself to do it because I like reading through my old planners, that’s the closest that I have to a diary now.

    • YES to postcards and washi tape! Have you bought any cute ones lately? Would love to see them. 🙂 Hahaha I’m sorry that I’m bankrupting you but if it helps, I’m going bankrupt as well because of books, postcards, washi tape and cupcakes.

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