Books

Making Reading ‘Xcessible’ to All

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If you’ve lived in Malaysia long enough, you’ll know that books are not the cheapest items here. For book lovers, it’s a price worth paying, but what about those who aren’t avid book readers? The challenge is made even greater as the habit of reading, thanks to smartphones and iPads, is not as popular among today’s generation compared to the previous ones. Video streaming and gaming are more preferred as pastimes, not only for the youth but even most adult Malaysians.

There are so many benefits to reading – vocabulary expansion, mental stimulation, reduction of stress. So how can we get more people and children to read, without being turned off by retail prices? BookXcess, a homegrown Malaysian company, is tackling this problem by making books accessible and affordable to all.

The books that are available in BookXcess outlets (AmCorp Mall, Fahrenheit 88 Mall,  One Utama, SS15 Courtyard, Centro Mall, and Starling Mall) as well as the online store are significantly cheaper, with discounts of up to 80%! Of course, the first question on my mind when I met up with Assistant E-Commerce Manager Kimmy Lim was, how do they do it?

She explained, “Andrew Yap and his wife Jacqueline Ng, founders of BookXcess, strive to make reading accessible to everyone especially children. They believe reading is a habit that should be instilled at a young age. Thus, taking a large profit from sales is not a primary concern here. They travel all around the world sourcing for overstock and unique books which can be purchased and then sold at a fraction of the price.”

Basically, they sell new books that are “remaindered” or overprinted, at prices ranging from 50% – 80% off the recommended retail price. This is where the word ‘xcess’ comes in – it can mean either ‘access’ for accessible or ‘excess’.  Instead of selling only ‘hot’ books that are sure to sell, they also sell a diverse range of books that cater to all types of interests, to foster a love of learning in everybody.

In a press release, Andrew Yap said, “Almost everyone told us bookstores were on their way out, and that our business venture was doomed when we were just starting out. Major bookstore chains had lost their way and were not offering readers what they wanted, which is great books at affordable prices. Since then, independent bookstores in particular, and reading in general, have become fashionable again.”

According to Yap, the number of independent bookstores sprouting up all over the world is growing and sales of physical books are increasing as publishers continue to invest into making books irresistible, both for the general and discerning book lovers.

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BookXcess is also the company behind the annual ‘Big Bad Wolf Sale’, the popular book fair with an immense number of books and merchandise. It has now expanded into Thailand and Indonesia as well. Raking in bigger numbers of visitors each year, it is a fair not to be missed for book lovers and bargain hunters.

Yap said, “We’ve sold more than 20 million books since we started, and it’s encouraging to see younger people patronizing our outlets and the annual Big Bad Wolf Book Sale. Our mission remains unchanged: to get Malaysians interested in reading, to create a healthy culture of reading, and to propel our knowledge economy to greater heights.”

Book gifting is another approach they encourage to instill a love of learning. The basis of this is, if you give a book to a friend, you are passing on the habit of reading. But how can you ensure your friend will actually read and enjoy this book? The helpful staff at the outlets will help you choose an ideal book for someone based on their interests, with recommendations. Then, they will wrap it up for you in a nice and pretty gift package, free of charge!

Kimmy said, “People have such a wide range of interests, there is a book for everyone. This is why, on our online website, we will create a listing for each and every book that comes in, even if there’s only one copy. We believe someone out there might be looking for a certain book, and if we can help them, that’s great! We have had interested and satisfied customers from all over the globe buying books from the online store. We also take great care in our packaging to ensure the books don’t get damaged during shipping.”

You can also join the Rebel Readers Membership program, for even MORE exclusive discounts! All you need to do is spend RM100 in a single receipt and you get a three-year free membership.

Continuing the company’s principle of passing on the love of learning, BookXcess are offering a special discount for all ExpatGO readers! Details are as follows:

FREE DELIVERY with minimum purchase of RM100 within Malaysia for the first 100 customers using the code: EXPATFREE. Valid from 18 – 30 September 2017. This offer is applicable for BookXcess Online Store only.

Now you have no excuse not to read! Head on over to one of their outlets or visit their online store to pick up a book, or give the gift of reading to a friend or family member.

 

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