Books from Kreludor! A Guide to Booktastic Books
I'm pretty sure I could speak for many Neopians when I say there is a lot of enthusiasm out there when it comes to achieving fancy badges and trophies for your Neopet's lookup, such as those from the Gourmet Club, Neopian Book Award and the Booktastic Book Award. They distinguish your Neopets from others, and have prestige attached to them. Booktastic Books is one of these, and because there are only 133 Booktastic Books in existence, it is considered one of the easier awards to earn.
Recently, one of my Neopets, Lausifer, became a proud recipient of the Booktastic Book Award's honorary badge. She's been reading and reading all these wonderful tales of Grundos, Virtupets Space Station, and the evil doings of Dr. Sloth for millions of Neopoints to get rewarded with a washed out, colorless badge. Today, as Lausifer's owner, I'm going to help you get started on your quest for the Booktastic Books badge (of any color, but beware! Getting to the top of Bernard's Booktastic Club takes a lot of persistence and Neopoints)!
One of the first things you might want to do is check for deflation so you don't end up spending more Neopoints than you need to. Certain Booktastic Books have recently gone down in price due to the Battledome giving them out as prizes! These books were once expensive, and I remember paying a pretty Neopoint for some of them, but now they are much cheaper to help your pet become an ultimate genius that loves to read! For starters, you could read about the interesting trends in "Space Fashions", physics in "Light Speed Made Easy", and the history of Neopia's most popular soft drink in the one and only "Neocola Book". All of those timeless classics could be earned randomly in the Neocola Centre Arena of the Battledome when your pet emerges victorious, but if you aren't the strongest of brutes, you could always find these books cheaper than the Booktastic Book Shop on the Shop Wizard. The same goes for the few Booktastic Books that come from the Cosmic Dome (premium users only).
Once you cover the best of the bargains, it's time to meet Bernard! Sit back, relax, and enjoy your journey to Kreludor! There are lots of orange Grundos here, and the Booktastic Book shop is no exception. Bernard is the owner of the Booktastic Books shop on Kreludor, and his store is always stocked with tomes your Neopet is eagerly waiting to peruse. He's a friendly fellow who is willing to negotiate with those who take an interest in his goods, and would be more than happy to educate you further on his species, the orange Grundo. If you're on a tight budget, you could always wait for Half Price Day on the third day of each Neopian month, but you might have lots of competition waiting to snipe those books you've been waiting to read! A lot of times the books in the shop are cheaper than you could find them on the Shop Wizard, so there are lots of deals to be found in the Booktastic Books shop! You should you know lots about physics, mathematics, and Orange Grundos based on the amount of Booktastic Books you've stocked up on from his shop!
There is also the rare opportunity that Bernard's shop stocks more uncommon Booktastic books. When books stock for higher prices than usual and only stock in low numbers such as one, two or three of a kind, they are most likely more rare! Sometimes, you'll even find an unbuyable Booktastic Book in Bernard's shop. Unbuyables are items that can't be found on the Shop Wizard (usually) and are worth more than 99,999 NP. If you happen to come across and successfully haggle for an unbuyable Booktastic Book, congratulations! You could either read it right away so you don't have to read it later on, or if you're still beginning your quest for the badge, you could always sell it or use the Neopoints to buy more books that you still need!
Once you finish off the buyable Booktastic Books (I bet that cost a lot!), you have a few options for tackling the unbuyables. Some of the cheaper unbuyables bounce back and forth between being buyable and unbuyable. If you have Premium, I highly recommend performing a few Super Shop Wizard searches for those as well as "low-end" unbuyables (the ones that are between 100k-120k sometimes show up in user shops for 99,999 NP). You could probably knock out several books with this method, but if you don't have Premium, this might not be an option. You could perform Shop Wizard searches regularly, but you might be doing a lot of refreshing and a lot of searching to no avail. There is also the Neopian Auction House, but Booktastic Books frequently are up for auction in my experience unless they are rarities worth over one million Neopoints, such as "Kreludan Architecture" and "Kreludan Cookie Cookbook".
The most popular option for obtaining these expensive unbuyable books is the Trading Post. I recommend starting at the "bottom", with the cheapest unbuyable Booktastics you know of. The Trading Post method is slower than the Shop Wizard methods above, but it is probably the most effective. My personal strategy for Neomailing the Neopians looking for Neopoints for their books are to stay friendly, positive, and mention you are reading the books. A lot of sellers prefer to get their asking price or trading post price for their items, but many sellers are willing to discount for collectors. Booktastic Books in most cases, unless it is an uncommon one for the Trading Post, tend to be classified as hard to sell, so getting a discount is definitely doable. If you are too shy to Neomail others, just offer about 10% below asking price in pure Neopoints – that means, no items! Usually 10% is a safe bet since not many Neopians want to reject your offer just to make an extra 10,000 Neopoints in most cases. If you are buying multiple Booktastic Books from the same person, definitely Neomail them and see if you could get a "bulk deal" for taking multiple books off their paws! Of course, sellers are not in Neopia every moment of every day, so you must be patient as you anxiously await a response so your Neopet could continue climbing the ranks of the Booktastic Book list!
The most frustrating aspect of the unbuyables is the collection of Booktastic Books with a rarity index of 100. These are rarely up for trade, and if they are, they go for many, many millions. The only way I know of that these could be obtained is from the Wheel of Extravagance, and I don't personally take my chances with spinning it, so hold out on these last books unless you absolutely need them to get that badge!
Once you get most of your unbuyables under control, it's time to check the Top 200 list for Booktastic Books! If your Neopet is on that list, congratulations on your new Honorary Booktastic Books badge! Your patience, knowledge, and spending habits have been properly rewarded! I hope this guide helped you on your quest to be one of Kreludor's finest scholars!