Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I love to read.

But yesterday I bought my first book in Chile. I have been warned since I got here that books are expensive, and have avoided making purchases here because of that. Even used books at the feria are expensive.

It didn't matter though. I was at the book store and I had to buy this one book. It cost around $22,000 CLP. Thats kinda a lot of money for a book, and I considered not buying it, but I went ahead anyway cuz I had my reasons...

When I got home I checked online just for giggles. How much would it have cost to buy online and ship the book to Chile? $12 US.


(edit: to get books shipped to Chile for free check out though it may take a few weeks and some patience).


  1. Oh well, live and learn. Maybe you can return it for a full refund... hahahahahahahaha!

  2. oh no. gift certificates and the like, i would have got it anyway, i knew it was going to be ridiculously more expensive....but wow, no wonder nobody reads

  3. I paid 11,000 for a novel in English to read on the airplane. I thought that was bad, but over $40? I can understand though. Sometimes, you just need something to read.

  4. Oh that's so expensive! But actually, had you shipped it to Chile would the shipping and the customs bit have equaled what you paid here? I once purchased dog toys in the U.S. bc they were cheaper but after the shipping and the aduana madness, I ended up paying the same amount I would have paid had I just purchased the items here in Chile. Oh well. My lesson was that in the dog toy case, better to purchase here or buy when abroad.
    Curious as to what book was worth that much??

  5. ooooh, I want to know what book too! I spent 20,000 on a book about 13 years ago there--Octavio Paz's book on Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz.

  6. I bought the 7th Harry Potter book here for 25,000 pesos. It makes me laugh to think about. Now I just have my mom buy ebooks with my debit card in the US and send them to me over messenger. But I can totally see why people here rarely read!!

  7. Los libros en Chile son tan ridículamente CAROS. Encuentro una soberana estupidez que sea asi. Creo que aquí hay un arreglín con los importadores y los políticos, porque se ha alegado infinitamente por AÑOS de que quiten el absurdo impuesto a los libros. Creo que está bien que quieran hacer un poco de negocio con los libros importándolos al país pero cuando veo que un libro cuesta 70k CLP aqui y voy a internet y veo que cuesta en REALIDAD 20K CLP, eso me indigna.

    La opción es 1) ir a argentina (Mendoza) y comprar el libro de tu interés (y te sobra dinero para comprar otros) y 2) comprar por internet. Obviamente yo siempre opto por la segunda opción, compro cómodamente desde mi casa y me llega a la misma puerta en unos cuantos días. :D

    Lydia, te recomiendo que, de tener la posibilidad, comprar por internet que sale muchísimo barato y no estarás alimentando estos buitres asquerosos que negocian con el conocimiento.

    Los libros y la lectura es un derecho de todos.

  8. claro, a veces conviene comprar por internet, si no te toca caos con la aduana.... pero como dije tenia que comprar algo en el momento y andaba con una tarjeta prepagada entonces de todas formas iba a comprar alli.

    tengo la suerte de tener acceso a varios lugares donde me prestan libros, pero me encanta que el libro sea mio jeje

  9. The root of this problem is called economies of scale: Spanish editions are printed in far less copies than English editions, so the cost is bigger. For instance, The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo from Stieg Larsson is $6.99 in while Los Hombres Que No Amaban A Las Mujeres (Spanish) is $27.24 in the same website.

    When you travel to Argentina you find cheap books that are really overstocks that you can find also in Chile in an overtsock bookstore that sits in Huérfanos near the Santa Lucía hill. But bestsellers have the same price and you will only save the VAT (19% in Chile).

    So my recommendation is buy books in English but not in Chilean bookstores because as they're not their business they tend to overprice them.

  10. you know, there *is* a decent bookstore, Cummings 1 ( right down in front of Plaza Anibal Pinto. You should try it. If you're lucky, Jim Henkel will be in town at the same time.

    apart from that... you must have come to Valpo just after I left (Urriola/Montt).

  11. Rust, I know the store, and have little intention of continuing to shop in person for books in Chile. its rather small though and not cheap either, but anyway as i said i was at the other place just cuz i had a gift certificate.

    Jim Henkel ...what?

    How do you figure I came when you left?

    Great idea though, thanks