Megabooks – a new ‘virtual’ bookstore
Richard Murray (centre) Chairman of RAM Holdings
flanked by guests of honour Surat Osathanugrah, president of the Royal
Photographic Society of Thailand (left) and Ponsatorn Ketsamlee (right) from
the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Richard Murray presents a gift to Surat
Osathanaugrah in appreciation
of his profound support of Megabooks.
Richard Murray announces the launch of
Dr Iain (left) presents a copy of his book to
A few of the 55 celebrated photographers who
contributed to the making of ‘Nine Days in the Kingdom’ were in attendance
and made a presentation of their best selling coffee table book.
Last week I went to visit a new bookstore which has just opened in Thailand.
This was Megabooks, a store where reading material does not need to cost
megabucks. For the avid readers, this held much interest, and I took the
time off to make the Bangkok pilgrimage to find out what this was all about.
Most people with an interest in books understand the concept behind the US
virtual bookshop, Amazon dot com. Search for the book, find it and order on
line, and in a few days (or weeks some times) your selection arrives. This
has been a boon for those looking for rare titles, or for those with no good
bookstore in their locality, or those confined to the house. That concept
has now been introduced into Thailand.
The driving force behind Megabooks is Richard A Murray, a Canadian with an
interest in books, magazines and retailing for many years. In the late
1980’s he relocated to Thailand and formed a distribution company called
Distri-Thai. This was very successful and he launched a retail outlet for
his books and magazines and newspapers, called Bookazine. Bookazine stores
are well represented in Thailand with more than a dozen outlets, and cover
Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Hua Hin (the fastest growing retirement
town in Thailand, said Richard). This business was sold in 2001 and
recently, Asia Books took over the management of Bookazine as well as its
However, Richard Murray, through his holding company RAM Holdings was not
through with book, magazine and newspaper retailing. At the end of 2007 he
launched Megabooks as a virtual store, plus two real stores, one in Hua Hin
and the other in Bangkok. However, for the readers of this newspaper, the
virtual store is of more interest.
For the same reasons that people went to Amazon dot com, they can now go to
a local outlet, and Richard Murray stated that their goal at Megabooks was
an overnight delivery. That alone might have been enough to secure the
future of the virtual store, but Richard Murray had another ace up his
virtual sleeve, and that was substantial savings.
In his address to the media at the launch in Bangkok, he said that with the
strengthening of the Thai baht, prices should have come down, but they have
not. Megabooks took note of this and prices its books much lower with the
currency gains. This has allowed substantial savings to be passed on to the
Richard Murray also said that they will keep considerable ranges and
quantities in stock, so if you find it on their virtual bookshelves, it is
physically in stock, ready for delivery.
You can peruse the ‘bookshelves’ of Megabooks by going to www.megabooks
thailand.com and you will find that there are indeed many bargains to be
found, such as an ‘extra book’ offer on Stephen Leather’s new book ‘Dead
Men’, all the way through to B. 195 bargains on a whole range of paperbacks.
E-payment is through the Siam Commercial Bank and Megabooks accepts Visa,
Mastercard and JCB using the secure portal through SCB.
To find out more about Megabooks, visit