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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Friday, July 21, 2006

entry arrow7:53 PM | An Avalanche of Books -- Kind Of

You would think that having a five-thousand peso gift certificate to splurge on books would be any bibliophile's dream of heaven. It was, in theory. In practice, it can be the very equivalent of hell. And if the gift certificate happens to come from National Bookstore, it can be doubly so. Because what books can you ever buy in the National?

"Go to Cubao," a friend advised. "To the Superstore. They have a secondhand book section to die for in the fourth floor."

Which was a good idea, if you want to maximize all that five thousand. Because how many books, really, can five thousand pesos buy? Just a tiny turn around Fully Booked or PowerBooks would consume all that with just five books in your shopping cart. Maybe eight.

So Mark and Eric and I went straight to Cubao last Sunday afternoon, but not before I warned them it was going to be a long afternoon. "I have my list of books to get," I told them, "but I doubt National Bookstore would have any of these. The thing to do, really, is to go through every shelf, and just hope for the best titles to come out to you." Like looking for needles in a haystack. The poor guys thought it was going to be a breeze. By the time the afternoon ended, both were exhausted beyond imagination -- one of them even sporting a tiny tantrum enough to cancel our plans to watch Superman Returns on IMAX that night.

At the end of the long afternoon with dust caking on our fingertips, this is what I finally got -- not exactly the ones on my list, but a good selection nonetheless, given the limited time, and the taxing collection we call the National Bookstore...

And the next day, over great lunch at Mannang's in Megamall and then coffee at the nearby Starbucks, Dean gave me this...

Back in Dumaguete, my bookshelves are overflowing, and the piles on my bedside table grow even taller, obscuring the sight of the television from the comfort of my bed. But I'm not complaining.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich