Monday, November 10, 2014

Stock up books from China

I have heard about purchasing services (代购) from China, but have never really used them. I love reading but I couldn't find cheap options buying Chinese books from France. The purchasing services I found online usually required some fees, and that topping with the hefty shipping costs have stopped me completely.

But a reading worm needs its foods. I bought some from Taiwan for my birthday. And finally, the urge to share my childhood readings with Aelig has prompted me to seek again, especially I heard many Malaysians are buying from TaoBao (淘宝), a website that hosts many sellers from China for a wide range of products. My effort didn't bear any fruit as some didn't ship overseas and some didn't accept international payment. I thought it wouldn't be possible without a Chinese banking account, but recently I found a solution. My friends recommended a purchaser, who specializes in buying books for overseas customers. I just sent him the websites (淘宝 or others), he calculated the shipping costs, we both agreed on the total (books + shipping), then I did a wire transfer to his French account. Once he received my transfer, he went to order the books, sent me a photo when the books arrived, then shipped them to me. He didn't charge any fees, but accumulated points from those websites and got some discount from the shipping company he used.

And voilà, two months after, the package has finally arrived!

And what did I order? 45 Doraemon comics! It is a shame that Doraemon is not famous in France, despite the fact that French are very familiar with Japanese mangas. Doraemon was my childhood hero, and the fact that Aelig has shown interested in comics, I thought it was time to introduce it to her. I think she will love this robotic cat who is afraid of mouse but who helps his master in many ventures that kids can only dream of.

I also ordered a set of Chinese story books. It features 366 legends related to traditional festivals, ancient believes, tales and myths. I looked online on books that are suitable to Aelig's age, and I always wonder why those famous parenting bloggers recommended classic western fairy tales or story books from USA (all translated into Chinese), instead of stories written by Chinese authors. In today's world every kid seems to read and watch Disney's cartoons, know by heart fairy tales like "The Ugly Duckling", "The Little Red Hat". What is it so wonderful to teach our kid about a wolf eating a little girl? Anyway, this set of books are arranged by month. We started with January so we touched about the story of Nian (why Chinese celebrate New Year with fire crackers), the Chinese Zodiac (she was intrigued). Some stories are not for her age but she still remembered some part of it so I think she will get there eventually. And, I have to say that by reading these it helps refresh my memories on certain legends or learning something new.

I read to her the first book of Doraemon. She was curious, she placed all of them beside her bed, but she decided that those are books that she would read alone without me. Ok, I don't want to force her. Anyway, I can't help but take one to read for myself. Maybe deep down I bought these for myself!

The Chinese legend series are arranged by color on the floor in her room.

Ok, I have to reveal that this is one of the saddest moments being a parent. Aelig is myopic so she has to wear glasses when she is in school or when she is watching TV. I felt guilty as I was myopic too so she probably got it from me. I hope all these books that I bought her would not increase her myopia though.


  1. Anonymous3:37 AM

    I bought Mark a few Chinese books when we were there, it's a great way for him to learn and remember basic vocabulary. He also has books in French my mum sent him.

    TaoBao is so popular in China! I had never heard of it, discovered it in Beijing.

  2. It is good to grow up with books. I grew up with both Western classic fairy tales and Chinese folklore and historical novels like 3 kingdoms and monkey god.