There’s many book shop loyalty programs. They all basically work on the idea that as you buy books, you get “rewards” (points of some sort which can be redeemed at that book store for more books).

A quick scan through my wallet shows the following book-store loyalty cards:
BORDERS: One stamp for every book you buy over $20. When you get to a certain amount (I think it’s 7), you get a free book of a value under $20. It’s pretty rare for Borders to charge under $20 for anything decent, plus this is only valid if you earn those rewards within a three-month time frame. No thanks.
ANGUS & ROBERTSON REWARDS: One point for every dollar you spend. Good deal, no? No. It takes 100 points (that’s $100, kids) to earn your “reward” – a $5 A&R voucher. That’s a lot of money for little payoff. Really.
DYMOCKS BOOKLOVER: I’ve been a member of is for such a long time, and it’s still not such a bad deal. Dymocks give you 5 points for every $1 you spend. Every 100 points equates to $1 credit on your card. As I said, not such a bad deal.
VWC MEMBERSHIP: This is an inappropriate plug for how great it is being a member of the Victorian Writer’s Centre. For those of us on concession cards, it’s only $45 a year, and that pays itself off SO quickly. Not only do you get sent special publications all about the writing industry, and get cheaper tickets to workshops etc AND access to the kick-ass library they’ve got up at the Wheeler Centre, but you also get 10% off at Paperback Books on Bourke Street. The Paperback is one of my favourite book shops in Melbourne, and this 10% off makes it so much better shopping there. Rant Fin.

My favourite rewards card though? Easily
READER’S FEAST PRIVILEGED READER: You know those book guides that Reader’s Feast put out each season? That gets sent to you in the mail. Along with invites to special events, such as discount shopping evenings and writers’ appearances. On top of this, every dollar that you spend at Reader’s Feast gets tracked on your card, and twice a year 10% of the amount you’ve spent gets reimbursed as a Reader’s Feast book voucher. If that amount is under $5, they send you a $5 voucher anyway. Forgot to bring your card? No worries, they’ll look you up on the computer.

So, all that being said, I know my top two choices for Christmas shopping!

Last week in the mail I received the above mentioned seasonal book catalogue. In the same envelope were two invitations. One to a special evening where you partook in “Christmas cheer”, “light refreshments”, shopped, and received a $5 voucher just for coming. Unfortunately, I was working that night and missed it. However, the other invitation was for “End of Year Bonus Time”. Between the 21st of November and the 5th of December, Readers Feast are boosting the Privileged Reader’s rewards to 20% credit, rather than the usual 10%.

Today I headed in. I’ve been eagerly awaiting having enough cash to buy the whole Black Inc. “Best Australian…” box set, containing the collected essays, short stories and poetry. I’ve been unreasonably excited about this – when I received this “20%!” invite, I had to have in. I had the cash, I had the time, I went and got my box set. The box set, worth $70, is now sitting next to me on my couch waiting to be cracked open. Not only do I own this box set, but $14 of the purchase price will soon come back to me in the form of a Reader’s Feast book voucher. $14! That’s SO MUCH!

I’m proud of myself, folks. And I’m giving you a kind heads-up. Things you should take from this post:
– Join Reader’s Feast Privileged Readers reward program. It’s free, and so very awesome.
– Join VWC. They’re so plain awesome that they snuck into this post uninvited!
– Buy the “Best Australian…”  collection. In a box-set this year! It’s so pretty. So very, very pretty.

SO pretty, in fact, that I’m settling down with a coffee to get stuck into them right now. Boss, if you’re reading this, I may not be in to work tonight, I might have “an emergency”…in the form of a bright blue box set.