curse those undergrad days when i should have spent more time in the library. after college, i realized that not only the good books are hard to find in the metro but the few ones which are actually worth reading are too expensive.
dr. nemenzo was right when he said back in 1998 that there are only two bookshops in the country: popular and solidaridad. popular is located along tomas morato avenue in QC and they offer books by lenin, marx, mao and freire for only less than twenty pesos.
the opening of powerbooks and books for less is a welcome development. but lately, powerbooks have allotted too much space for religious, inspirational and self-help books.
at the end of the year, pamper yourself with history/philosophy books from “a different kind of bookstore” in glorietta. this is how i justify shelling out more than one thousand pesos for two books: for twelve months, i spent money for prepaid cards, fries, coke and i diligently paid for greedy companies like meralco and pldt, so why deny myself a chance to buy something i really want just for once.
let us not forget the reliable booksale shops which have been sprouting everywhere. they may be overloaded with too much american crap but some gems can be found too, if you are a persevering one. jpaul manzanilla is recommending booksale robinson’s place ermita. don’t bother going to their branch in UP shopping center. the good ones are already devoured.
From time to time, bookshops err in the pricing of books. national bookstore sm las pinas once sold an edward said book for P35. powerbooks megamall sold a kafka collection for only P200 before correcting it to P700+.
friends often boast of buying great works of literature at national bookstore cubao top floor. when i was a freshman, i was able to buy a rare teodoro agoncillo book at the college textbook shelf of national bookstore quezon avenue. i think they still offer agoncillo’s filipino nationalism.
patronize megamall’s book fair. two or three stalls offer affordable books. visit the university press of ateneo and UP.
last semester, i convinced my wife who is in her senior year at UP Manila to borrow books for me in their library. why haven’t i thought of this before? i advise that you also ask friends to borrow books for you. they will not be in school forever, and we may ran out of friends who know how to spot a good read.