Kinokuniya or Book Depository – which store should I buy books from? Plus, which currency should I use for my Book Depository purchase to maximise savings?
I’m not sure about you, but I’d always drop by Kinokuniya in Ngee Ann City whenever I’m in town. The familiar scent of books and its impressive collection, it’s been my favourite hunt since I was a kid. But when I got older and discovered the wonders of the internet and overseas online shopping, Book Depository became my go-to for books (sorry Kino, I’m a Gemini).
For the uninitiated, Book Depository is an online book store based in the United Kingdom (UK), and its huge inventory of books are extremely affordable. Before we hop into the price comparison, I want to highlight that Book Depository actually charges in a host of different currencies. Which begs the question…
Which Currency Should I Pay On Book Depository?
If you’re going to guess that paying in Great British Pounds (GBP) would be the cheapest, I’ve got news for you: Book Depository is cheapest when you pay in US dollar (USD). I did the calculations, and paying in Singapore dollar (SGD) also costs a little more.
If you need a little more proof, check out the example I’ve given below for Memoirs of a Geisha. I dug out the prices in Australian dollar (AUD), GBP, SGD and USD, as they appeared on Book Depository.
Kinokuniya vs Book Depository: Book Price Comparison
After a few more rounds of checks, I can safely say that USD is indeed the cheapest currency to pay in when you’re shopping on Books Depository. Now for my next magic trick, here’s how Kinokuniya and Book Depository compare with the same book titles:
|Where the Crawdads Sing||S$44.74||US$23.57 |
|The Taking of Annie Thorne||S$26.37||US$12.89 |
|The Time Traveller’s Wife||S$22.42||US$10.78 |
|Memoirs of a Geisha||S$20.95||US$11.35 |
1. Where the Crawdads Sing
A crawdad, for those of you wondering, is slang in the Southern United States for crawfish, a lobster like creature often used in Southern cooking. Where The Crawdads Sing is about a girl who has been abandoned in the marshes of North Carolina, and how her life as wild girl in a civilised world. It’s a story of growth, heart ache, and what it means to be alive. A must read if you’re aching to be carried away from Singapore and into someone else’s (imaginary) life.
If you’re aching to get your hands the novel, you can snag one at Kinokuniya for S$44.74. Or, save your cash and use it for some reading marathon Taiwanese snacks instead by buying it from Book Depository at US$23.57 (~S$32.20).
|Kinokuniya (SGD)||Book Depository||Savings|
2. The Taking of Annie Thorne
A delightfully fresh take on the abduction trope, The Taking Of Annie Thorne presents a conundrum – what happens when your abducted family member returns to you, but is inexplicably different? This book is dark and edgy, the kind of thriller that tempts you to skip ahead to find out what happens. I’d be remiss if I didn’t recommend it, now that we’re suspended in Groundhog Day monotony and need a little thrill in our lives.
3. The Time Traveller’s Wife
Another literary superstar, The Time Travellers Wife takes the sci-fi out of time travelling, telling a human story instead. Compelling, witty, and utterly enchanting, it’s easy to lose time while you’re reading this book. To be honest, I inhaled it more than I read it, finishing it in two days.
4. Memoirs of a Geisha
This book is my all time favourite. I love how Arthur Golden doesn’t over sexualise his subjects, but humanises the struggle of World War II era geisha. A truly fascinating read that is tangibly human, Memoirs Of A Geisha is something I have to recommend it to everyone who loves historical fiction.
5. The Shining
Easily one of Stephen King’s most iconic works, The Shining is exactly the type of story that continues to send shivers down my spine. King’s uncanny ability to build a sense of dread that never lets up kept me paralysed in my bed, and definitely made me sleep with the lights on more than once. If you thought the movie was scary, you’ll need to read the book to really grasp the extent of terror this book imparts.
Reading Should Not Be An Expensive Hobby
There you have it – now you know why Book Depository became my favourite bookstore. The cost savings are too great to pass up!
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*All currency conversion rates are accurate to nearest 10 cents on 14 September 2020 SGT 10:00.