you were an island to discover

For years I’ve had to make do with photocopying Geology textbooks borrowed from UKM’s library or more recently, from my bosses’ libraries. Sometimes when the price was right or if I was staying in the US or Europe longer than a week, I’d fork out and buy a dilapidated copy from eBay or Amazon and have them ship to whatever hovel I was staying at. Most of the time it wasn’t the price of the book that was prohibitive, but the gila babi mahal shipping cost to our part of the world. It didn’t help that textbooks are generally heavy. Then there were those sellers who upon finding out you were Malaysian, would give a polite rejection version of “Malaysia? Oh no…. too many fraudsters.”

Imagine my absolute glee when I found Betterworld Bookstore. Yes, I know I’ve blogged about them before, but I just found some 1st edition out-of-print textbooks on their site and am all too anxious to share my happiness once again. Cheap books and international shipping less than USD3 per book….I am in credit card hell. Oh, and their little carbon offset programme? So good for the soul. I remember my first order of 4 textbooks from them only totalled USD25 and this was plus shipping. The books came about 3 weeks after the initial order and smelled comfortingly the way old books and dusty libraries only can. There were even the original library cards in 2 of the books and it was thrilling to see that the last to-be-returned date was before I was even born. Ahhh… knowledge through the ages.

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