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Value-for-money: Kinokuniya or Booksdepository

Meet Kinokuniya and Books Depository. 

The former has physical brick-and-mortar and online stores while the latter is solely an online retailer. 

For all the book lovers out there, I am sure these are some of the places we go in order to satisfy our book cravings. Kinokuniya was where I picked up my first book on investing. I summarised some of my thoughts on that book here. Since then, I have bought at least 6 other books on investment and other genres that cost at least $200 in total from Kinokuniya. 

Book lovers should also know that Kinokuniya is not the cheapest for pricing. I came to know Books Depository recently, and boy is there a huge difference in price. 

Let's compare an investment book, say Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings. 

On Books Depository: $18.56, original price: $30.03 

On Kinokuniya: $37.40, member's price: $33.66 

If we are to compare prices only, then we have a clear winner here. Kinokuniya is still more expensive than Books Depository, even with their member's card. Books Depository seem to be always holding discounts when I visited the website. In addition, there is free delivery for Books Depository, though I am not sure how long the delivery takes since I have not tried it. 

But are we missing something here? 

I love the smell of books. I love how you can walk in and be greeted with just books. This is something, well, a physical experience you cannot replicate on an online store. I am sure some will walk into Kinokuniya, then order the book they want to buy from Books Depository. 

To be honest, I have also thought of it. But ever since I've learnt that Books Depository exists, I am still attracted to the physical mortar store. I still go to the mall, wanting to pass time and sometimes go home with a book on hand. The flagship Kinokuniya store at Ngee Ann City is full of people from all walks of life, with parents bringing their kids with hopes of kickstarting a reading habit from young.  

I suppose it's also how I guess when you get out of your house, you tend to meet a new friend, maybe of the opposite sex, who shares the same interest(well, I haven't, haha). 

The higher prices in Kinokuniya are obviously then, due to rent, and labour. I don't think physical bookstores will disappear completely in face of e-commerce. As much as I need to cut spending, I will support whenever I can if it's still within my budget. We can't move everything to e-commerce or e-books, can we? Sometimes, it's the physical experience that really matters.

To the book lovers out there, how do you purchase your books? 

Till next time, 


  1. Kindle is a good option (other than no smell) hahahah you can torrent majority of your books

    1. Thank you for the suggestion. Maybe I will torrent storybooks. For now, I prefer investment books to be in physical form.

  2. Hi K,

    If you do not mind second hand books, you may try out abebooks for super cheap second hand books.


    1. Thank you for the suggestion! Have you sold your books through them?

  3. I go to the library. Good books are worth sharing! No need to buy.

    1. True to that. Somehow, I love plastic wrapped new books.

  4. Books depository takes 3-5 weeks to deliver to spore. Quality is good as the book is wrapped in cardboard.
    if interested in seconds, thriftbooks delivers to spore but its packaging is thin. 3-6 weeks for delivery.

    I like hardcovers but its expensive anywhere so I go for thriftbooks. Just have to wait.
    ebooks are fine. but go for pdf rather than kindle or nook.
    pdf Adobe has structured as almost public domain whereas kindle's owner is Amazon and nook's owner is barnes & noble.

    1. Thank you for the suggestions! I should try BooksDepository someday then.


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