Tag Archives: Secondhand Challenge

So Many Books


To keep with my new vow to buy secondhand, I’ve hit up one of the local secondhand book shops for some new books. Actually, it’s more like my dad hit them up as I was stuck at home after a wisdom tooth extraction (details of which will never, ever be present here. I promise. I’ve been trying to forget it and it’s sort of working). Cue, the list:


  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Innocent by Ian McEwan
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Suite Francaise by Irene Nimrovsky
  • North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh
  • A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh

Add to that, I’ve still got some on my bookshelf that haven’t been touched. What I would give to be able to speed read because I seriously just want to get into all of this. I guess I just have to take it one at a time because if I keep succumbing to my terrible habit of reading more than one each time, I’ll likely never finish. I don’t even want to think about how hard it’ll be to pick which one to read next or how to order all of them, really. One at a time. I’ll worry about it later. For now, I’ll just look as far as finishing Never Let Me Go… halfway finished and loving every page of it.


The Secondhand Challenge

My family’s actually a pretty big fan of charity shop bargains. It was my dad who started it, really. When he first came home with this fantastic coat, I eagerly asked where it was from. When he told me that it was from the Salvation Army, my eyes got larger and I made a face. I know I sound like a horrible person but the face was made because I was scared that whoever owned it had already died. It wasn’t because of snobbery over not buying something new or expensive because I like a good deal, too. After some time, I gave charity shops a shot and I was so pleasantly surprised. The items I ended up getting have become favourites that I’ve been complimented on. Since then, I’ve come to embrace the beauty of charity shops because you can get pretty much anything there: clothes, shoes, books, etc. When I go to charity shops, I usually hit the book shelves first for any classics I’ve been meaning to own or some contemporary novels that I’ve heard good things about. Then, I make my way to the clothing and, more recently, to the shoes. That’s my ritual anyhow. The bottom line is that my family (save for my 13 year-old sister) loves the experience of going through racks of stuff to find some treasures for a bargain.


Over breakfast, my dad reminded me of our impending trip to Hong Kong next year and said that I should save some money for my car and the rest can go to some shopping which, if I did there, I’d save a lot because of the lack of sales tax. Dilemma: this means that I must refrain from shopping for the next half a year or so. Not stop altogether or anything but simply tone it down some notches. The remedy for this is that I shop more from charity shops than, say, Zara and H&M. This is not to say that both stores have price tags the size of Burberry but still… stuff adds up and I can attest to this as I’ve got a bill waiting to be paid. Ergo, the Secondhand challenge has begun. My dad didn’t say for me to stop shopping entirely or to only shop secondhand. He even said that if there’s a good buy at Zara, to go for it but this is a challenge I’m putting upon myself. With the exception of Christmas presents (though I’ll probably try even then because my city’s blessed with some ridiculously good vintage, antique and consignment shops), I’ll be trying to buy clothes, shoes (and books, even) secondhand. Hence, I’ll be spending my time at consignment, charity and antique shops for the next… 6 months?


As an outlet for myself, I’ll be posting my finds here. I suppose some may find it what I get interesting. That and it might even encourage people to give secondhand a chance because it took me quite a while to actually jump on board the secondhand train.


Now, I’m off to watch Turn Back Time: The High Street and take pictures of what I purchased a few days ago from a charity shop.