How to Educate Your Neopet on a Budget
Increasing your neopet's intelligence does not have to cost a lot. If you have as little as 100 neopoints, you can be off to a good start in giving your pet a well-deserved education. While there are several methods of raising your pet's IQ, I will be focusing on the age-old tradition of reading books.
Why should you bother with home schooling, you ask? Well, there are several benefits. The best known of these is probably the book awards. There are currently two book awards given out in the greater Neopian area. These would be the Neopian Book Award which rewards neopets with reading the most books on Neopia and the Booktastic Book Award which likewise rewards neopets with reading the most books this time on Neopia's moon, Kreludor. What neopet wouldn't be proud to own a shiny trophy?
For all you Battledomers out there, there is another incentive for reading books. A select few weapons actually require your pet's intelligence to be at a certain level in order to use them.
The third reason is the most personal. You should educate your pets simply for their well-being. How would you feel if your Bori or your Blumaroo came home in tears because the they were teased for being a dummy (some neopets like bullying others) or if they could not complete simple everyday tasks like bargaining at shops because they didn't know the value of a neopoint? A little bit of reading can help increase not only your neopet's knowledge but also their self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities. All of these are fine motives to read books to your pets but somehow I think it would also be nice to have an avatar for reading them. We can only hope that someday TNT will make such an avatar available, and if they do you will be ahead of the game already.
By now you are probably wondering how you are going to be able to afford a good education for your neopet. After all, there is no such thing as a public school system in Neopia (makes you wonder what the Tax Beast does with all those neopoints). A stack of books can cost a small fortune, and if you have more than one pet you'll have to multiply that by two, three, four or more! Well, let me ease your mind. I have compiled two lists of must-read, economical books. The first list is for "starters" - those neopets who have little to no education at all. This list identifies 10 books that can be found for 100 neopoints and under on the Shop Wizard. The second list is for those neopets who already have some education and have most likely already read the books on the first list. It focuses on 10 books that can be purchased for approximately 1000 neopoints.
10 Books for 100 Neopoints
1. Counting Babaas (1 - 10 NP) - Learning numbers is easy with cute little babaas.
2. Lenny Crosswords (1 - 10 NP) - Your neopets will build up their vocabulary in no time with these fun crosswords.
3. Waterlogged Book (1 - 10 NP) - You will be amazed at how much knowledge your neopet can soak up from an empty book.
4. Petpet Park (1 - 10 NP) - Learning about other "cultures" fosters tolerance.
5. Neopian Times Issue 3 (1 - 10 NP) - What better way to learn some history than with an old newspaper?
6. More Than Carrot Cake (1 - 10 NP) - Pets will know how to make nutritious meals after learning these recipes.
7. Ogrin Survivor (1 - 10 NP) - Learn to survive.
8. Island Cybunny Guide (1 - 10 NP) - Learn to survive on Mystery Island.
9. Meepit vs Feepit Game Guide (1 - 10 NP) - Higher scores means more neopoints. Plus, your pets might learn a move or two they can use if they ever come across a real meepit.
10. Day in the Life of King Roo (1 - 10 NP) - The life of a royal may be harder than it seems. Your neopets will come to appreciate their own lives after reading this book.
10 Books for 1000 Neopoints
1. Geraptiku Recipes (100 - 200 NP) - Already learned the ways of a modern, healthy diet? Now learn some lost and forgotten (but newly rediscovered) recipes.
2. The Life of a Double Crosser (100 NP) - Your neopets will never be fooled by another once they learn how double crossers think and act.
3. Fishing for Zafaras (100 NP) - Not just for Zafaras, any neopet can acquire the necessary skills to catch more than boots.
4. Book of Origami Paper (50 - 100 NP) - Origami paper is not ordinary paper. Now your pet will know the difference.
5. The Big Blue Blumaroo Book (90 NP) - Teach your pet the meaning of alliteration. (This book can be found at the General Store.)
6. Attack on Kreludor (25 - 100 NP) - Your neopets will learn to be technically-savvy with this high-tech book.
7. Keeping the Peace (100 - 200 NP) - It's said King Hagan wouldn't be without this book. If it's good enough for him, it should be good enough for your pet too.
8. Mystery Island Monthly (50 - 100 NP) - Learn about economics and maybe pick up a Trading Post bargaining tip or two.
9. Scroll of Serpents (150 - 200 NP) - Neopets will learn crawly thing prevention by reading about why they are found in Qasala in the first place.
10. Nimmo - Now and Zen (50 - 100 NP) - If your neopets think they have become enlightened with all their learning thus far, wait until you read them this book.
*Please be aware that the economy fluctuates and these prices are accurate as of the time of writing.
So you've gone through both lists and now realize that you've turned your neopets into lean, mean learning machines. Now what? Luckily, there are many places in Neopia where you can find free or inexpensive books. Here's the low-down:
Money Tree (location: Neopia Central) - If you've got fast fingers, you can snatch a book or two here.
Underwater Fishing (location: Maraquan Ruins) - You can reel in 4 different books from the watery depths of Neopia. If your neopet has never gone fishing before, it might take a little practice to get the hang of it. Once your neopet is more skilled, they'll have a better chance at a good catch.
Weltrude's Toy Chest (location: here or there) - To commemorate the opening of Petpet Park, Weltrude hands out a whole slew of books and other prizes.
Apple Bobbing (location: Neovia) - While you may bob up an apple, book or some other nifty prize, it is also possible to come down with a disease or suddenly be missing some neopoints. Beware.
Key Quest (location: Games drop-down list, not Games Room) - This is the best way to get free books! You get to have fun, earn some neopoints, and you might receive some of the more expensive books for free. Plus the prizes are rotated seasonally. So in a few months you'll be winning all new books and items.
Turmaculus (location: Meridell) - Take a petpet with you when you go visit Turmy. One you don't like (I didn't say that). Get your petpet to try to wake up Turmy. You don't want to try to do this yourself because sometimes when Turmy wakes up he's so hungry he'll eat the first thing he sees. Naturally you don't want it to be you or your neopet. That's why you use a petpet (I didn't say that). If he does wake up and isn't hungry, there is a chance he'll give you one of three special books.
Tarla (location: It's a mystery.) - Okay, okay, she has a shop at the top of Terror Mountain, but you want to try to catch her somewhere other than her shop. To do this you must either download the Neopets Toolbar or hang around the Help board. If someone spots her, they'll let others know with a message entitled "TARLA". She occasionally gives out books among various other items. Having said that, there is one book that can only be found in her shop. However, it can be on the expensive side and should best be left for later when neopets pursue a higher education.
Igloo Garage Sale (location: Terror Mountain) - Also at the summit of Terror Mountain, there are two kind Chias who run a garage sale 24/7/365. This is a great place to find good books that are dirt-cheap.
Wheel of Knowledge (location: Brightvale) - Of course! If knowledge is what you are trying to attain, it only stands to reason that this wheel will help you in that quest. If your spin stops in the right slot, you will be awarded a random book.
Wise Old King (location: Brightvale Castle) - While you are in the land of wisdom, you might want to stop by the castle for a visit with good, old King Hagan himself. If you are able to impress him with what you have learned so far, he might just hand you another book to learn from.
Council Chamber (location: Altador, Hall of Heroes, door on the right) - You might be surprised to learn that King Hagan isn't the only Neopian king who is a promoter of learning. King Altador also donates a couple of books for free to Neopians who helped Altador during their plight (i.e. completed the Altador plot).
Qasalan Expellibox (location: Games Room. Aha! You thought it was the Lost Desert, didn't you?) - There are several books and scrolls to be had for free here.
General Store (location: Neopia Central) - You can pick up any of five inexpensive books here without worrying that they'll run out of stock.
Armed with the above information, even Grundos will find it easy to attain the intelligence level of Ultimate Genius. This is the highest and most prestigious, distinguished and ever so esteemed and illustrious rank of intelligence that can ever be bestowed upon a neopet for their accomplishment in the learning arts! You and your pet may, however, decide to keep reading books either for enjoyment or for a coveted book award. For that I have just one final piece of advice. Take advantage of half-off day in shops every third of the month, and good luck!