Saturday, January 10, 2009

Slow New book releases in HK stores

Went to Pageone at Times today, because I wanted to get the book "The Twelve Kingdoms - Vol 1 and 2" by Fuyumi Ono. Both volumes are released last year and the third installment is due this march. Singapore's Kinokuniya already stocked it for about SG$16.

Unfortunately, HK bookstores doesnt carry any of the title. Sigh. I kind of expected it because HK is always about 6 months to 1 year behind most developed countries when it come to new English book releases. WHy? I have no idea. Does the publisher not consider Hk as one of the primary market, or the buyer does not make good judgement, eitherway, we readers "lose" out.

I am suffering because being an avid book reader, alot of the English friction that HK carry now, I have mostly already read them at least a year back (I stockpile each trip back from Singapore). Their "new range" are often one year behind Sydney and Singapore. Some books that I have read, its not even in Hk yet. I just saw the Dymock new release pamphlet and some titles only coming end of the year - and its still hard cover edition. Sad huh.

Anycase, I asked Page one if they can order the book in for me.
They could if I want to wait 4-6 weeks.
Vol 1 will cost me HK$90, Vol 2 hardcover will cost me HK$170. The total will still cost lesser than if I order from Amazon which cost me US$45 all inclusive. I am still considering.... if I want to. To think the book only cost US$8+ in the states.

Sigh. I'm in 2 mind to how desperate i want to read the book. This novel is the original source where the 12kingdom anime is adapted from which is never completed. The anime covered only 4 out of the 7 stories, and so I have always wanted to know how the story end. The animation is great, with an addictive fantasy storyboard. While the novel slightly differs based on reviews, I am still keen to follow the book. I just hope Tokyopop translated work doesnt stop!


littlecartnoodles said...

Oh yeah. Possibly the only area where HK ain't so heavenly in the shopper's paradise aspect when compared with SG is the range of English books available at its bookstores.

I'd put the largest English bookstores in HK - Dymocks at IFC Mall comes to mind - in the same league as the Times and MPH stores in SG, and don't we consider them second-tier compared to Borders and Kinokuniya ?

Dymocks and Bookazine are like your typical mid-sized Wellcome or Park N Shop supermarket in a housing estate - they carry the popular items but not anything that's off the mainstream.

HK might have 3 million more inhabitants than SG, but I'm sure the population of English readers here is much smaller. Recently, a senior exec with Dymocks HK, when interviewed about his hopes for 2009, lamented that many writers put SG on their Asian book tours but not HK "even though this place is more fun".

Dude, those writers will probably sell more books and have a wider audience of locals and expats in SG than in HK.

"me-no-mad" said...

I just discover Dymock is more ex than page one. The same book cost page one $90 to ship in but over $100 for DYmock to ship in for about same period. Not to mention page one i can get discount for non fix price book with the citysuper ecard.

I think Dymock is more like MPH but nothing close to Kinokuniya. I dont quite like borders because i find their rack and arrangement very messy. Kinokuniya remind me more of a library:)

Well I would tell the Dymock guy, Dude, Hk is featured/ mentioned more on TV and movie films, dont be so greedy lah. Leave the book space for us at least :P

But i guess u are right about the book orders, its always only the popular items which is why they are half year late. The buyers seem to wait for general verdict, i guess they dont like teh idea of inventory for english books which as no audience....

speaking of which has anyone try HK library? I have never tried it and wonder if its anygood...

littlecartnoodles said...

In a moment of weakness, I paid S$20+ for a Borders Privilege Card during my last trip back to SG. Entitles me to a 10% discount but offers many more privileges. Every 2-3 weeks or so they'd email coupons to me offering 35% off one book.

I'll definitely be spending many hours (and more than a few bucks) at Wheelock Place during my CNY visit back home !

I have not been to the HK libraries but the one in Causeway Bay looks like a nice place to soak oneself in books.