Sad day indeed!

Last night found me and my sister shopping for a birthday present for our dad. Since our dad too is an avid reader like us, it is always a gift option to purchase a book or two as a birthday present. So we trudged on our way through the muddy and congested streets of Male’ towards Asters on Majeedhee Magu, where everyone was driving/walking in all directions possible to get the last minute shopping done for Ramazan.

To my utter delight, I found that Asters had renewed their stock recently. It is always a disappointing factor with Asters that even if you keep going back there for like even four months in a row, you would always find the same books lining the shelves. So imagine me drooling all over the new titles to be found, and then the mother of all shockers, the price tags on the books had been taped over with new prices and believe me books aren’t cheap to come by in Maldives as it is.

I found myself so disappointed because a book that had recently cost Mrf 120/- was now priced at Mrf 140/-. I asked the salesgirl whether the prices had been upped and her reply was yes they had been. I asked for a reason, fully knowing one would never come forth and found myself muttering about the damn recession and its implications. I know, I know, it doesn’t even come close to signifying the full effects that a recession such as the one we are going through could really impact the way of life of Maldivians. But as an adamant book lover who always manages to over spend when it comes to books, I can’t help but feel sad about the price hike.

And to make things worse, I found a response to my order from Barnes & Noble that they had cancelled the order for whatever reasons, that at the moment God and only the respective Barnes & Noble personnel know of. This was a real blow because I had been salivating the last couple of days on getting my hands on those titles and that stoic email just helped to worsen things along!

But on the bright side, I did manage  to place the same order on Amazon, and am keeping my fingers crossed for the moment. And about the price hike, I plan on hitting the Asrafee book shelves soon, to see whether they have got any new titles in AND whether they too have wreaked havoc on the price of the titles!

So till my next review which should be up pretty soon, happy reading everyone! xoxoxo

3 Comments

  1. Sad indeed. I guess with a small market like Maldives, nothing is economically viable 😦

    Perhaps on the bright side you can try reading E-books on computer screen. It was difficult for me at first but now I am used to it. Kind of an acquired taste! 🙂

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  2. Ah. I HATE – hate, and absolutely LOATHE – buying books from the Maldives.

    There’s an absolutely pathetic poor choice of titles available. One can’t hope to lay his hand on a classic, an old copy or any real literature. And the pricing is outrageous. If I weren’t kinder, I’d call it highway robbery.

    I’ve bought all my books from Bangalore, where there are absolute treasure troves of books.

    The used-book stores are the best. They have practically every author and even old collections. The sellers are also avid book-collectors and have Dickens editions from a century ago! Poetry, literature, fiction, science, non-fiction, EVERYTHING. And at an amazing bargain.

    I got a huge volume of the Lord of the Rings for INR 400. (The same edition in Male’ easily costs 4 times that)

    I’m on a boycott of all Maldivian bookstores till they stop ripping us off!

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  3. ** Hilath: I already have an immense collection of ebooks. I think I have around 2000+ titles with me already and it keeps growing day by day. Not that I get to read each & every book that I fancy. But sometimes, the satisfaction that you get from reading a good book is just not that there with an ebook. Like you said, yes its an acquired taste. Nothing seems to be economically viable in Maldives. Its quite sad indeed!

    **Yaamyn: Believe me, I too try to refrain from buying books from Maldivian bookstores. Like you said they maintain poor collections with prices that could make you die on the spot by heart failure. While I was studying I too used to hit the used book sales in Malay. Gosh, I do miss those days so very much! Wish I was living elsewhere most of the time.. 😦

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