Posts tagged reading
Can you believe that the 1st Filipino Readers Conference is just four days away? Apologies for the cliche, but it really feels like it was just yesterday when I received the information about this. :) I can’t believe that it’s almost, finally here!
This week, Chris and Celina posted about being a book-lover outside of NCR and tips on bargain book hunting. Today we’ll veer a little bit from buying books and focus on something that involves a little less spending and more socializing. :)
Bookish Social Butterflies: On Social Media and Bookishness by Tina Matanguihan
fairly talkative person whether online or in real life, but when it comes to interacting with people online, I have a tendency to lurk. Sometimes, it’s just the lack of having things to say, and another is just plain laziness in leaving comments or joining conversations even if I know I can contribute something to it.
People often think that reading is a solitary hobby. Readers are often portrayed as those people with glasses, always holed up in their rooms or sitting alone in the park/coffee shop/what-have-you, reading a book while everyone else is out and socializing. In a way, it is, because you can’t really share a book with a friend and read it with him at the exact same time, right? But it doesn’t mean that loving books and reading means getting cut-off from the social world. In fact, just last year, I learned that loving books and reading can give you a lot of new friends, especially with all the social media networks available to us.
Ever since I decided to be active in book-related social networks and discussions, I found that it’s able to contribute further to my love of the printed word. Here are some of the ways that I supplement my bookishness with social media:
- Social cataloging websites (Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, etc) - If you’re like me who wants to keep track of all the books you read, then social cataloging websites are for you. The good thing about these websites is that it doesn’t only give you a way to track your books and your reading, but the existence of friends you can add and groups you can join where you can find people who like the same books and discuss them with others. Some of them even meet in person, and trust me: when the opportunity to meet them comes, join! It’s fun discussing books and reading face to face. Book lovers are a friendly bunch, and I can say that some of my closest friends now come from Goodreads. :)
- Facebook - Facebook comes with so many bells and whistles now that it gets overwhelming sometimes. I don’t have a Facebook for my blog (yet), nor do I really talk so much about books on my profile. But I like that Facebook allows me to connect to some authors and online-turned-real-life bookish friends. Plus it’s so easy to create and use Facebook groups now to bring people of like minds (or genres, series, love for characters) together.
- Blogs and blogging events - You don’t have to have a blog if you’re a book lover, and you don’t have to be a book lover to blog. But the fun thing about blogging about books is it’s an effective outlet to share the love. Also, there are so many exciting events that people set-up for book bloggers, such as giveaways, book tours, memes (such as Filipino Friday) and all kinds of online discussions. Some even set-up huge events such as Armchair BEA (an event for all bloggers who can’t go to the actual Book Expo America) and Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW), and these fosters so much interaction that it’s impossible for one not to have new friends or discover new books to acquire and read.
Blogs also open you up to face-to-face events, such as meet-ups (I always look forward to Filipino Book Bloggers meet-ups) and the upcoming 1st Filipino Readers Conference. There is nothing more fun and satisfying than spending an entire afternoon and/or night talking about books. :)
- Twitter - Of all the things I mentioned here, Twitter is my favorite. I love that Twitter makes it so easy to talk books to people all over the world, including (and most especially) authors. In these times, if the author doesn’t have a Facebook profile, chances are they would have Twitter (except if you’re a super-popular author, like J.K. Rowling or Stephen King). I find that having a chance to talk to the authors via Twitter makes them, well, more human and not just a word-generating machine. Plus there’s nothing more thrilling than seeing an author reply to your tweet. :) (Speaking of which, have you followed @PinoyReaderCon yet? Follow now if you haven’t yet!)
I used to complain that I hardly know people who read. Okay, sure, I have friends who do read, but we don’t really share the same passion I have with books. Now with all these social networks, I realized that it’s not so hard to find people who feel the same way as me about books. All it takes is a few clicks and a few strikes on your keyboard — a hi and an emoticon goes a long way — and you’ll realize that reading does not have to be a party of one. :)
Only six more days until the ReaderCon! Have you all marked your calendars already? If you need more details on this event, please check out the pages linked in the sidebar.
Yesterday, Chris shared her experiences and some book buying tips for those who are outside the National Capital Region. She briefly mentioned secondhand bookstores, which is what we will be talking about today.
The Thrill of Secondhand Bookhunting by Celina Bacani
“My husband claims I have an unhealthy obsession with secondhand bookshops. That I spend too much time daydreaming altogether. But either you intrinsically understand the attraction of searching for hidden treasure amongst rows of dusty shelves or you don’t; it’s a passion, bordering on a spiritual illness, which cannot be explained to the unaffected.”
— Kathleen Tessaro (Elegance)
One of the things I love doing the most is going secondhand bookhunting. There’s a certain thrill to finding a bargain priced book that beats getting a brand new book any day.
Going bookhunting is always an adventure because you never know what gem you will find among the shelves of used bookstores. It’s not an easy task though, and requires some effort, patience and a little bit of luck.:)
Now, I’m no expert at finding great secondhand or bargain books, but here are some things I’ve learned:
- Have a system. Going through shelves of books that aren’t organized can be a daunting task, so try to come up with a system that works for you. When you have extra time on your hands, try going through the shelves more than once – chances are, you might spot a great book that you didn’t notice on your first scan.
- Know when to buy. Most Book Sale branches have a set schedule for their deliveries, so ask the salespeople for their schedule of new arrivals. Branches that are located at malls usually stock more books during mall sales, so if you’re willing to brave the crowds, watch out for those sale schedules too.
- Familiarize yourself with book prices. Book Sale prices usually start at P115 for Trade Paperbacks and P125 for Hardcovers (though prices go down after a few weeks). There are also some books that cost a little more – this includes the books of J.R.R. Tolkien, Dan Brown, Stephen King, and Chicken Soup for the Soul, to name a few. So try to do a little bit of price research for those books to get the best deal.
- Make a list. List down some titles or authors you are looking for. If you are a regular at a particular store, talk to the salespeople there and ask them if they would be willing to set aside books from your list if they ever get them in stock.
- Take advantage of discounts. At Book Sale, purchases of at least P1000 will give you a 5% discount, while buying at least P2000 worth of books will give you a 10% discount. If you are with a friend, you might want to consolidate your purchases to take advantage of those discounts.
- Know where to buy. Book Sale, Chapters and Pages, Pick-a-Book and Books for Less are probably the most popular secondhand bookstores, but you might also want to check out some indie bookstores such as Bookay-Ukay (Diliman), Libreria (Cubao X) and La Belle Aurore (Cebu). Watch out also for book fairs and the annual book sales of major bookstores for great deals on brand new books and library withdrawn books (from the US).
For those of you who don’t have the time to rummage through bookshelves or do not have access to used bookstores, online bookhunting can be just as enjoyable. Check out eBay, Multiply, Sulit and Facebook for some great finds. Prices may be slightly higher than local used bookstores, but it’s easier to search for particular books and there are more recent titles being offered.
If you have more tips or want to share your favorite bookhunting places and your best bargain finds, please feel free to share.:D
The ReaderCon is just a week away! Are you excited? We hope you are! If you want to know more about the event, feel free to browse through the website’s pages, linked in the sidebar.
Let’s now welcome Filipino book blogger Chris of Ficsation with a post about her experiences as a book lover outside of the National Capital Region.
Notes from a Non-NCR Book Lover by Chris Mariano
It isn’t difficult to be a Filipino reader these days especially with the proliferation of stores (both mortar-and-stone and online), but there are still times when it can be challenging. It’s doubly challenging for someone like me who isn’t based in Manila. Though I was born and raised there, I currently live in Aklan, my parents’ province, which technically doesn’t have a single city in all its seventeen municipalities. But since I’ve been coming here for a good portion of my thirtysomething years, I think I can adequately share with you what it’s like to search for and purchase books far from the metro.
I’ve spent all my summers here and though I enjoyed playing and running around, I also devoted my time to reading. When I was younger, I had to content myself with my paternal grandfather’s extensive Reader’s Digest collection (most were from the sixties) and my maternal grandfather’s Holy Bible. I discovered my cousin’s Enid Blyton books. I wasn’t aware that I could buy anything from the local stores. If I had wanted to something else to read, like the latest Sweet Valley Twins or Nancy Drew title, I had learned to buy it in Manila.
I think I was in seventh grade or freshman year when I discovered that the local bookstores (there were two here that were owned by the same family) had begun to stock secondhand books. At first there were just a few shelves that later stretched to half a floor when one of the stores expanded. The selections were pretty run-of-the-mill, but I did buy my first books by Catherine Coulter, Belva Plain, Maeve Binchy, and Iris Dart there.
Another book source was a small stall in Boracay. It used to be located at the D’Mall area in the mid-nineties, which was when I first started dreaming of having my own bookstore by the beach. But at that time the road to Boracay wasn’t the smoother highway it is now, so it was far from being a convenient place to get a book. My favorite find there was a pre-loved copy of Douglas Adams’ The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long after that the store closed (or maybe the owners just decided that sticking to souvenirs and knickknacks was a more profitable enterprise).
Until now, buying new books has been hard to do in Aklan. It was only last year when Book Sale opened its first branch at the Gaisano Mall, and while most of the books are in relatively good condition, it still isn’t the best place to pick up a copy of George R.R. Martin or even the more common Harry Potter titles. It’s a great place for bargains though!
So what are my best bets?
- Online shopping. I’ve bought books from Book Depository and Conlan Press that have all safely made their way to our home. Delivery fees are manageable to nonexistent so these are still viable options for someone like me. The books often arrive within a month.
- Buying in bulk in Manila. I try to visit Manila for a couple of days every two months, so I usually spend a huge chunk of my money on the latest titles. The staff of Bibliarch Glorietta is used to my reading/spending habits!
- Iloilo. Iloilo’s a four-hour bus ride away, should I get really desperate (fortunately, I haven’t). But when we do make the trip, I often get a bunch of books, like what I would do in Manila.
- E-books. I’ve bought a number of indie titles from Smashwords and I’m waiting to get my Kindle so I can purchase more via Amazon. There are a number of free e-books and extra chapters online: I got a few PG Wodehouse titles from Book Depository, while I found Patrick Ness’ short prequel to Chaos Walking via a friend’s blog.
- Celina’s Books and Magazines. Not only is Cel one of my oldest friends, but she also offers great book deals. I pick up some titles from her online shelves.
So if you’re a book lover outside NCR, arm yourself with a little patience. Keep your eyes open for great deals, whether they come as secondhand books in a bargain store or in an online shop. Borrow (responsibly!) from friends and relatives. Try every available option. Be open to exploring new ways of getting your books, especially if buying online is a bit foreign to you. They always say love should know no boundaries — I suppose that’s true for loving books as well.