Beating the NBA: Tales From a Frugal Fan

Posted by Mark

“Beating the NBA: Tales From a Frugal Fan” is a book by Kuwaiti author Motez Bishara. I thought the subject was very interesting since I purchase most of my concert tickets from “secondary markets” so I emailed Motez and asked him to tell me more about himself and how he came up with the book and this is what he had to say:

I am a Kuwaiti who grew up between New York and Kuwait, before going to university in Boston and grad school in New Orleans. I now reside in London (so I’m kind of all over the shop).

I have been a big fan of the NBA since I was a kid at ASK, where I played high school basketball. Going to Boston University during the end of the Larry Bird era, I had to find ways to buy tickets to see the Celtics on a low budget. From there, I developed a set of guidelines that ordinarily allowed me to gain entry to live events of every nature (theater, rock concerts, etc.) for less than the price printed on the ticket.

About eight years ago websites like StubHub and Craigslist allowed fans to find ‘secondary market’ tickets much easier. Buying off of scalpers on the street was now just one option, instead of the only option, aside from the box office. Conversely, sports teams kept raising their prices to the point where they were not in line with demand. As more and more season ticket holders in the United States started using the likes of StubHub and eBay to sell unwanted tickets, I would often find deals for a fraction of what teams were charging.


[Radio Interview]

As a fan, and conscientious consumer, I was insulted that sports teams — NBA teams in particular — were still clinging to their antiquated model, while it was obvious that their ticket prices were not reflective of the actual market value of those seats. A point I drive home in the book is that fans (and consumers of all goods) should pay no more than the market value of what they are purchasing. And if they can get away with paying less, then all the better. I show people how to do just that.

Beating the NBA: Tales from a Frugal Fan is a collection of stories from my trips around the United States, Canada and London which document how I, along with other fans I met, go about getting good deals. It is sprinkled with anecdotes and interviews from my travels to 31 games.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book its Available on Amazon as paperback [Here]
The Kindle version will be available any day now as well.


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Q8books Closing Down

Posted by Mark

After being in operation for around a decade now, Q8books, the small used bookstore in Kuwait City is sadly closing down. They started with just 50 books but now have over 10,000. They’ll be closing by the end of June so if you’ve never been to the store before or you’re interested in getting some used books at bargain prices then you should pass by before it’s too late.

The store is located on the mezzanine floor of the shopping center behind Johnny Rockets Salhiya. For store opening hours and to check out their collection of books you can visit their website www.q8books.com


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An Art Library in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

Art Kuwait recently posted about Boushahri’s Art Library in Salmiya. The library is filled with both Arabic and English art and design books and you don’t need to be a member to access the books. You just pass by, sign in and read whatever books you want.

The library is located in the Boushahri building on Baghdad Street in Salmiya and it’s open from 9AM to 1PM and then again from 5PM to 9PM. Their phone number is 25621215 ext 110. For more information click [Here]

Note: Art Kuwait mention that it’s the first art library in Kuwait but I believe CAP (Contemporary Art Platform) have had a similar library in their space for some time now. Photo below.


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WHSmith opening soon at the airport

Posted by Mark

The popular British bookstore chain WHSmith is opening up their first location in Kuwait at the Kuwait Airport. The signage caught me by surprise since I don’t remember ever reading WHSmith was coming to Kuwait. I wonder if the That AL Salasil branch at The Avenues will also be converted to WHSmith?


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Kuwaiti writer wins International Prize for Arabic Fiction

Posted by Mark

Kuwaiti author Saud Alsanousi won the 2013 International Prize for Arabic Fiction to become the youngest writer to win the prize. Saud won the prize for his story “The Bamboo Stalk” which is about a character called Issa who is a son of a Kuwaiti father and a Filipino mother.

On returning to his father’s homeland as an adult, Issa finds himself in a difficult position. Rather than the mythical country his mother has described to him, he discovers he is caught between the natural, biological ties he shares with his father’s family and the prejudices of a traditional society, which views a child of Kuwaiti-Filipino heritage as socially unacceptable. Skilfully constructed, The Bamboo Stalk is a story of great strength and depth which questions identity in modern society.

You can find out more about Saud and the prize by following this [Link]


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The Kuwait Urbanization

Posted by Mark

One of the rooms inside the House of Mirrors was a private library filled with old books dating back to the early 60s. Amongst the vintage Tell Me Why’s, one book grabbed my attention called The Kuwait Urbanization. It’s an old book published back in 1964 and it was filled with old sketches and photos of Kuwait. Near the end of the book I even spotted artists sketches from the competition to design the Kuwait waterfront (Gulf Road).

I checked online to see if I could buy the book but I couldn’t find it anywhere but luckily a follower of mine on Instagram had a PDF version which she was nice enough to email me. I’ve also decided it’s worth sharing this book with everyone so if you’re also interested in old Kuwait you can download the 166MB PDF file from [Here]


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Download the 2013 Bazaar Dining Guide

Posted by Mark

Bazaar released their 2013 Dining guide this month and for the first time ever they’re making it available as a digital download so you can read it on your iPad, computer or any other device that’s capable of reading PDFs. It’s 500 pages big and if you want to download it just follow this [Link]

Note: You need to create an account or login using your Facebook account to download the PDF.


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Tattoo Censorship

Posted by Mark

I spotted the magazine above with tattoos marked over with a black marker. Don’t think I’ve ever seen tattoo’s censored before, boobs and ankles yes but not tattoos.


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Multiple Exposure

Posted by Mark

Long time photo blogger BuYousef (real name Mohammad Abdullah) has taken his favorite blog posts about Kuwait and put them all in a photo book format. The posts range in subject like gardening, home life, local events, walks, photography and more. According to BuYousef it really is about nothing and everything with a theme of photography. Best of all it’s free so if you’re interested in checking it out you can download it from the Apple Store [Here]


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No More Magazines

Posted by Mark

I love magazines ever since I can remember. As a kid in the 80s I had a huge ass collection of Smash Hits and I currently have a huge ass collection of WIRED (dating back to 1994 I think). When I first signed up to Shop & Ship back in 2001 I think I signed up to at least 20 magazines.

Slowly slowly though I stopped renewing a lot of them once the iPad got released. I just downloaded and subscribed to all the magazines using Zinio and just left one physical magazine subscription and that was WIRED. But, I’ve just canceled that as well.

With the Kindle and Zinio App on the iPad it really doesn’t make sense to buy print versions of the magazines anymore. Other than the cost of magazines in Kuwait being a lot more than the US and since the cost of shipping magazines from the States has increased over time I finally decided to go completely digital. I’ve always wanted a large bookstore to open here in Kuwait but I think I’ve finally realized now it’s just too late.

If you don’t know what Zinio is check out my previous post on it [Here]


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