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    • I just started reading regularly this year, and so I've been introduced to a couple of places where I now regularly go to find books, mostly for bargain prices as books can be quite expensive in Malaysia. So I just wanted to share my go-to places to find books for bargain prices in Malaysia.

      I've shared this link previously, and since then I've visited this bookstore several times and have bought a few books from here too. BookXcess has a few outlets in Malaysia, but this branch in Cyberjaya is my favourite. It's huge, looks awesome, and has a large collection of books to choose from.

      And just today, I attended my first ever Big Bad Wolf sale where I bought a bunch of books for ridiculously low prices. Just as an example, there's a book I've been wanting to buy but have held off because of the RM80 price I saw online. I found the book at the BBW sale for just RM10!! That's almost a 90% discount! I might be going a second time this weekend, so who knows, I might end up buying a few more books.

      Sometimes though I may not really have time to go look for books, which is where Book Depository comes in. The books here may not be as affordable as the books sold at BookXcess, but they are still relatively affordable, and there's a wider range of books which have interested me. I've actually bought quite a few books from this website as well. What makes it so appealing is that this site doesn't charge for delivery! They ship the books from the UK all the way to Malaysia for no charge. Nice!

      What about you? I'm interested to know where you get your books from. Amazon? Local bookstore? Public library?

    • I am so glad you picked up the reading habit—if not for you I wouldn’t be starting Chapter 8 of Age of Assassins!

      For me, I use amazon for anything where I need to find a book that meets my needs on a particular subject: almost all of my data science books were bought on amazon based on online reviews. I think maybe one out of ten were not worth the expense, so I see no reason to discontinue this habit.

      But for fiction, I need to have the book in front of me before I decide to buy it. I’ll usually take a sample by randomly flipping to a page and start reading for a couple pages. If it grabs me, I’m in. Assassins definitely passed that test. (Without your recommendation I probably never would have found it: my natural habit in a bookstore or library, on the rare occasion I’m on the hunt for fiction, is to head to the sf section.)


      The writer behind the super spy, Ian Fleming, was also an avid bird watcher. On a trip to Jamaica after World War II, he spotted a book, “Birds of the West Indies,” by an ornithologist from Philadelphia, who happened to be named James Bond. “It struck me that this brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name was just what I needed,” Mr. Fleming once wrote in a letter to the ornithologist’s wife.

    • Are you familiar with Project Gutenberg? It is a way in which you can get many books for free over the internet.

      However, there is a problem.

      Gutenberg is set up to comply with the copyright laws of the United States. The copyright laws of Malaysia are not the same. In Malaysia, copyright law lasts till the end of the year which is fifty years after the author's death. Thus in Malaysia, if an author died in 1926 after having published a book (anywhere in the world) in 1925, that book is now in the public domain in Malaysia but would not be in the public domain in the USA if the writer's heirs renewed the copyright.

      But suppose an author wrote a book in 1923 but did not die until 1975. That book might be available on Project Gutenberg because of USA copyright laws but is not public domain in Malaysia until January 1, 2026.

      But if you are able to determine that an author died prior to Jan. 1, 1969 then his or her writings most likely can be downloaded from Project Gutenberg or any other public domain repository.

      There may be some special situations in which a local country has granted an enduring patent which applies only within that country. For example. in most countries the KJV bible is in the public domain but in the UK, it is still a crown possession and is therefore not in the public domain. I don't know whether there are other "commonwealth" countries which reserve this to the crown or not.

    • Fun fact: the photo you included in your post is from The Last Bookstore, which is a fantastic place in Los Angeles. It's a bookstore housed in a converted bank, so some of the old safes are rooms for certain types of fiction.

      It's filled with wonderful nooks and crannies, as well as artistically arranged titles.

      I highly recommend making the time to stop by if you're ever in the Downtown Los Angeles area.

      Bonus: the upper level also houses some art galleries as well!

    • I do all of my reading on a Kindle anymore so I do all of my book shopping on Amazon.

      The reason for the Kindle, despite the fact that I do think reading printed books makes for a more pleasurable reading experience, is that here in Taiwan English books are hard to find (at least in the genre I want, which is fantasy) and whe I do find them, they are quite expensive. The selection of Kindle books is both much better and much cheaper. Also, with carrying a backpack on scooter to get to work, a Kindle is both lighter and easier to take with me.

    • Kindle is a format available for the free books on the Gutenberg.or website. Since Taiwan's copyright law uses the life plus fifty years rule, the same comments I made to Jazli would also apply to your use of the Gutenberg kindle books. If the author died prior to January 1, 1969 you could probably legally download any of his or her writings.

    • I've used for used books or those that might be out of print. The website serves as a clearinghouse for book dealers in the US and UK. Many of the dealers ship for free; others charge more for shipping than the book itself. I also download ebooks and audiobooks from my local library. The print books are available in Kindle format. A good way to check out and/or discover new authors is to subscribe to a list like or Both offer free or low-priced books available for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo.

    • Like many here Amazon and Kindle rank high on my book vendor list.

      One thing I do fairly often on Amazon, is check out if the book I am interested in is available as a 2nd hand boook via one of the many 2nd hand used book vendors on Amazon. These are frequently smaller private bookstores, some are thrift shops and some are selling used library books. If I am just looking for an entertaining fictional story, or maybe a Photoshop book, or another book I may not want to keep forever, then a used book in good condition can be pretty inexpensive. Some will ship for free with PRIME, but most will add the mailing charges for delivery which is usually about $4 bucks. Shipping seems to have gone up a buck recently.

      On Kindle many of the books from the 19th century that are beyond copyrite protection are frequently free, or just a buck or two. I purchased "A Journey in the Back Country" by Frederick Law Olmstead for 99 cents. This book described Olmstead's journey through the southern US in the late 1850's before the Civil War. This was the third volume he wrote about his extensive travels in  Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and the back country of the Carolinas and Virginia. 
      He wrote a separate volume about his travels in Texas. Just imagine travelling alone, on horseback or foot, as a Northern reporter for a New York newspaper, through the slave states and sleeping on used straw beds in taverns at night......

      "Bleak House" by Charles Dickens was free.

      I found "The Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley" by Davis and Squier published in the 1840s for $1.06 It describes an extensive survey by the Smithsonian Museum to study the mound builders forts in the Ohio Valley 1830s shortly after the creation of the NorthWest Territories.

      Many of these older books are not even available at my local libraries...