Knowledge is priceless, as the adage goes. But for all the epiphanies you gain, your wallet can take a mean hit from the purchase of the many books that provide you such lessons.
With the plethora of cheap book-shopping options available in Singapore, you don’t have to be a poor scholar or bookworm subsisting on miserly library loan periods. Use these four tips when procuring books and you will end up having extra cash to purchase more literature to your heart’s content:
1. Go online and in your inbox for further discounts
Some bibliophiles might recoil in horror at the idea of buying a book with a few clicks without the ritual of sniffing and flipping gently through its pages. But if you’re really feeling the pinch in your wallet these days, sites like Book Depository do offer books at a lower price than brick-and-mortar stores. Not to mention, you’ll get Book Depository’s very attractive promise of free shipping and delivery worldwide.
A pro-tip here for broke bookworms is to sign up for an account on Book Depository and add the books you want on your ‘Wishlist’. The site emails you whenever the prices on the books on your ‘wishlist’ are reduced, proving that good things come to those who wait. Coupon codes for book discounts are sometimes sent into your inbox, too!
For even more savings, use the SingPost Platinum Visa Credit Card from Standard Chartered Bank for online book buys and get 7%cashback, and don’t forget to shop through Shopback to get an additional 2.5% cashback.
If you don’t mind secondhand books, get yourself on Carousell to browse what volumes other local users are selling at a low price. In turn, you can sell your own on Carousell for some cash to buy even more books to feed your voracious but wonderful habit.
2. Attend book swap events
Book exchanges are more common than you think, especially when libraries here have such corners in their premises. Beyond the libraries, there are events where you can trade your books with strangers and hopefully, bond with fellow bibliophiles.
For a cute take on book swaps, keep updated on the Facebook page of Togetherly – a mobile retail market. A key feature of the market is the Togetherly Book Exchange, which consists of book owners wrapping up their books and leaving a personalised note for the next owner of their book.
3. Look out for discounts by publishers
While you are on the prowl for tantalising titles in the bookstores, don’t forget to keep an eye on the publishers themselves too! Get on the mailing list of local publishers such as Epigram Books, Select Books, and NUS Press.
Sales are sometimes held by publishers to clear their stock or in line with events and holidays, particularly during the end of the year or at the start of the year. For example, the NUS Press’ year-end stock clearance sale is always something to look forward to with last year’s discounts extending to over-200 titles and up to 80% off. This is especially useful for those in the academic or related fields as research tomes don’t come by cheap.
4. Get in on membership cards that offer more
Membership cards often mean you will have to cough up some money first in exchange for privileges, but it’s a worthy thing to consider signing up for if you find yourself carting a few books home each month.
But membership card of bookstores can promise other savings unrelated to literary consumption, too. If your lazy weekends consist of chilling out at a café and reading, get yourself signed up for a BooksActually Members Card for discounts on the store’s books as well as purchases and services of other brands.
For example, you can use your BooksActually to get discounts off purchases at retail shops and brands such as Cat Socrates, Supermama, Magpie Magazines and Tokyo Bike and at cafes and restaurants such as Chye Seng Huat Hardware, Food for Thought, Maki-san, Red Baron and Artistry – perfect places to thumb through your new tome with a cuppa.
The Maybank Family & Friends Card is a useful piece of plastic to hold on to especially if you have little bookworms at home. The cashback credit card gives you 8% cash rebate at merchants like POPULAR Bookstore and Toys ‘R’ Us.
Alternatively, get a cashback card for general spending like the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card so you don’t have to worry about minimum spend requirements or mind-boggling categories.
Keep reading the BankBazaar blog for more smart ways to save money, and tips to get the most out of your credit cards.