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Thread: Dasa Book Shop

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    Senior Member Array Bangkok Phil's Avatar
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    Dasa Book Shop

    I made my twice-a-year pilgrimage to Dasa bookshop yesterday near the Emporium being as they had a 20% off all books sale. As usual I came away with four or five books, at a very decent price, and spent a very pleasant hour browsing the travel section.

    This is about the fourth time I have been in Dasa bookshop and not once has the farang owner taken his eyes off his computer or diverted his gaze from his CD selection and acknowledged me with something as simple as a cheery hello.

    What a lovely life - sitting there amongst thousands of books, in a pleasant air-conditioned environment, fresh coffee on tap, and a steady stream of presumably educated types all willing to exchange a bit of jovial banter about the weather or Ernest Hemingway.

    "Good afternoon sir. 20% off all books upstairs and downstairs. Take all the time in the world. Let me know if there's anything you're specifically looking for. Oh we've some lovely homemade cheesecake and fresh coffee if you fancy a bit of light refreshment"

    I may be coming at this from the wrong angle but isn't that what bookshop owners are supposed to do? Isn't that how you convert casual browsers into 200 baht customers and 500 baht customers into 1000 baht ones?

    To be truthful I don't really care whether he greets me with a cheery good afternoon or not, but I get this uncontrollable urge to want to strangle people when I see them letting business just slip through their fingers at what amounts to no extra cost to them.

    This little non-episode at Dasa got me thinking. Does something happen to people who open bookstores? The guy over at Elite bookshop on Sukhumwit is hardly known for his 'come in me old mate and have a cuppa' bonhomie. The guy who runs that infamous bookshop near the Tha Prae gate in Chiang Mai doesn't have a soul with a good word to say about him. I've got into several heated exchanges with the Khao san Rd booksellers down the years over frankly trivial matters. And when I was in my early 20s, I used to frequent a second-hand bookshop in the suburb of Acocks Green in Birmingham. The shop was almost a crumbling, paint-peeling throwback to the Dickensian era itself. There was the ticking grandmother clock in the corner, the unmistakable whiff of musty paperbacks, and the occassional page-turning from a bespectacled furtive browser. And the owner was a c*nt.
    The worst job in Thailand must be the man who has to sit down with a blue marker pen and mark a number two on the two-baht coins to stop people thinking they are one-baht coins.

  2. #2
    Blah! Blah! Blah! Array kenkannif's Avatar
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    ^ LoL our local second hand bookshop bloke in Reading was an utter wanker (his daughter was sound as though) saw him throw a bloke out once for bringing in what he assumed (and he might have been right) was nicked books....a truly nasty piece of work.

    I always wanted to own a book (comic) or video shop.....I shoot for the sky


    Is this the one Stickers mentioned? They've got everything on computer file or something???


    My mate just told me the bookshop in the Paragon (is that right???) has loads and loads of books (new though) a massive selection, and if they ain't got it they'll order it for you.


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    Senior Member Array Jellybean's Avatar
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    The guy over at Elite bookshop on Sukhumwit is hardly known for his 'come in me old mate and have a cuppa' bonhomie.
    He looks like he is frightened of people.

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    Hangin' Around Array Cyrille's Avatar
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    Know what you mean about the DASA guy. I must have put about 10,000 baht in his till since the place opened, yet still not the slightest nod of recognition. Not a prob though, as long as his stock remains as good as it has been. He seems to know what he's buying as the place isn't packed to the rafters by Clancy and co.

    The guy at Elite seems solely concerned with whether you're going to nick something!

    You're right ken: Kinokuniya at Paragon is top jolly. I always browse there before heading to DASA to see if they have what I want for half the price.

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    Nothingness Array blackjack's Avatar
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    He looks like he is frightened of people.
    Yes I wish you'd stop growling at him JB. It may be amusing for you but it just makes him worse.

    Posted after 3 minutes 33 seconds:

    My mate just told me the bookshop in the Paragon (is that right???) has loads and loads of books (new though) a massive selection, and if they ain't got it they'll order it for you.
    Same deal for the Kino in Emporium mate. The Paragon one may be bigger but I'm not sure the selection is any better.
    Or would you like to swing on a star?

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    Admin Array LDMA's Avatar
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    Out comes the old stereotype of the bookshop owners who just likes hoarding books and doesn't like actually selling them...can't say I've ever been offered cheesecake from any bookshop I've visited.
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    Blah! Blah! Blah! Array kenkannif's Avatar
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    Shame I'm too cheap and yiddish to buy new books

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    Hangin' Around Array Cyrille's Avatar
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    To be fair to the DASA guy, at least his face isn't plastered all over his website in a sad attempt to publicise himself.

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    Senior Member Array Jellybean's Avatar
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    Shame I'm too cheap and yiddish to buy new books

    It isn't so much the cost of the books at the second hand places, (although that is a consideration), it is more that I dont really like much contemporary literature.

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    Blah! Blah! Blah! Array kenkannif's Avatar
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    ^ Sorry I meant in regards to getting new ones from the Paragon (sp?).

    I get mine given to me by my mate who's got like a 1,000 or so (the bloke who wanted me to do that bad thing in the bottle actually).


    I just like good books...be they old, new or inbetween.

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    Senior Member Array Bangkok Phil's Avatar
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    To be fair to the DASA guy, at least his face isn't plastered all over his website in a sad attempt to publicise himself.
    Perhaps that's where he's going wrong?
    Perhaps he should be 'the face of Dasa'. 'the man who you turn to when you're after a particular book', etc, etc
    There's nothing anonymous about success.

    Or he could sit in the corner and read books. It depends what you want from life.

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    If you're into Classic Literature, the Paragon have loads of them for 99Baht. This amazed me as I'd just been to a second-hand bookshop and paid more than that for an old battered copy of the same book.
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    Senior Member Array Matthew's Avatar
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    I never really noticed, but it's true, isn't it? The folks at Dasa don't say or do anything.

    I love the Kinokuniya at Paragon. I'll pay the premium for the experience of browsing

    there, finding something that's gonna make me really happy for the next month, and

    enjoying that brand new book smell and feel. Not every time- now and then, mind you.
    "If you're not interested in changing where you work (and thus the student population, obviously) then a) your success at applying various and sundry teaching techniques is unlikely to have anything to do with how effective they are in general, and b) your sweeping generalizations about Thai students serve no purpose but to fuel your inertia and your feeling of being an 'insider'. Sadly (for you) few who read your sweeping generalizations will perceive it that way, but hey if it makes you feel good, knock yourself out." -zeusdogg

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    Regular User Array Long's Avatar
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    Maybe the Dasa shop is a CIA cover, and the owner is a global contact. That might explain it.

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    Senior Member Array Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    The novels are generally cheap at K books so I don't bother with second hand places. I could spend hours in there.

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