These are practically the places we usually visit in a mall. I’m glad that more people are reading books that’s why the book shops have expanded. Some titles are not readily available in all branches, but on some occasions, we could visit Fully Booked at Boni High Street. It’s a five-storey bookstore with areas for holding events (called The Forum and Topshelf). There are branches that seem to be scarce of business books and other non-fiction books. I’ve gone through the shelves, browsing through each title, only to find out that what I’m looking for is not there. That’s why it’s always nice to visit the bigger branches, the choices are wider and you can find the titles you are looking for. Still, we are reluctant to buy some titles like business books and history books which are priced quite expensively; especially if you could find some other versions or smaller prints that are cheaper in price of the same title. Sometimes you just have to wait. And that’s okay when we still have a long to-read list. They also offer some bargain books during sales where one can find some really nice titles. Powerbooks Greenbelt and Trinoma branch are good places to search for books. For FullyBooked, the Promenade branch is one of our favourite shop to visit.
(NBS) There are branches that are nice for browsing books and selecting good titles. I like NBS Trinoma and Glorietta 5 where they have a clear separation of book section and school supplies. Some branches are filled with people, so it’s really difficult to move around or find a quiet time to review the books. Especially during the opening of school when the parents are busy gathering the supplies needed for their kids. The prices of the books here are sometimes cheaper and you can also use a Laking National Card to earn points for every purchase. The points then can be used as cash.
I remember buying about two books for just about 10-20 pesos. These are second or third hand books but still in good condition. But on my next visits there, I could no longer find the same amount for the authors that I want. Usually, if the book is written by a best-selling author, the chances are it would be priced above a hundred. If you are looking for hardbound books for a cheaper price, you could catch them at NBS for just P99. But Booksale offers many categories.
We visited this store many times and they offer good titles. Later on, the branch we visit closed down. But during the fair we were able to browse their collection. They offer books that are food for the soul.
I haven’t visited their outlet yet, but every time there’s a book fair, we would definitely drop by their stall. We managed to select some pretty good titles at a discounted rate.
Kinokuniya (Takashimaya), Orchard Road, Singapore
For us book lovers, Takashimaya equals Kinokuniya, that’s practically the number one store we visit there. You could actually get lost in there especially on your first visit. It’s a maze of books and it’s a nice feeling to be lost in the midst of bookshelves. But it is quick to identify which category is found where. We would proceed to the Chinese section to choose some titles. Sometimes we would linger in the Economy/Business section and World History and Philosophy section. There would be good titles that we can find but are reluctant to buy, just hoping within ourselves that we have those titles back home. Some English books are much expensive so if we are going to buy, we choose the ones that we think we don’t have back home. Our cousin informed us that we just missed a huge sale, but the good thing is whenever we visit, the store would have some titles on 10% discount (even the new arrivals).
BORDERS, Wheelock Place
We drop by this store when we drop by Singapore. They offer English books, which we don’t buy much abroad, but when they have sale items, we could choose some titles. They have marked down prices during sale periods. I think the times we went here, there were many people in the bookstore. Some just hang out in the different section with family or friends, while some were out there to buy books. The store is filled with people on our visits.
誠品書店Cheng Pin (Eslite Bookstore, Taipei)
When I visited Taiwan, my aunt took me to Cheng Pin, a bookstore open 24-hours, located along Xin Guang San Ye (shopping centre) at DunHua South Road, Da An District, Taipei . What is amazing is that Cheng Pin is a building. My cousin was telling me about it, that I’ll definitely love it there. I was left there for just about an hour or so by my two aunts while they go shopping just across it at Xin Guang San Ye. And it was not enough. There were too many books that my eyes captured. I simply don’t know where to look first, it was overwhelming. I did start with the shelves which displayed the featured books, as well as in the tables. I remember going up the levels using an escalator, trying my best to look at all the books they offer. They have wide variety of subjects, definitely the best place for book shopping. I love the Chinese titles they offer because we don’t have it in our local bookstores. I noticed the many translations they did from different languages, we don’t have many foreign books in our bookstores as well; the ones that get in our market are those best-selling authors or novel prize winners. But they have translations of Japanese novels, French, Spanish, German, and other languages to Chinese. It’s amazing because when I look for a book, I would try to find different authors from different countries to get to know about their culture through their writings. On our visits, we usually pick out the Chinese books that we don’t have in our country. It’s a really nice bookstore that you’d want to stay and flip through the titles they offer. They have seats for book lovers to rest your feet. It’s like a library that is filled with surprises as you step in another section, you’ll be able to be shipped to another dimension. Or maybe it’s just me, I just feel at ease amidst the numerous books.
Page One (葉壹堂)
They used to cater only English books, but later on they also carry Chinese titles. I also visited Page One in Taipei 101, but just for a little while. I haven’t figured out yet what I wanted then, but I was pretty sure that it had to be a Chinese book, even a translation would do. We also dropped by the Page One branches in Singapore and Hong Kong.
I like the Prologue at Ion Orchard, Singapore. There’s also a café inside where we had the chance to sit and drink a really good cup of coffee. It’s called Jam. They also have a Chinese book collection. It’s a good place to find good titles. I’m grateful for my cousin for letting us use her discount card. On the mezzanine, there’s a collection of school supplies that you can choose from.
One of our dreams is to work in a bookstore or own a bookstore with a café in it. We just love the smell of books, the sight of books put on a series of shelves. The aroma of the coffee mixed with the scent og the pages of thousands of books.
Right now, whenever I drop by a bookstore, I would browse through the titles real quick, and take a mental note on some titles that I would buy in the future. The long list does hold us up from buying some more. Also, there are titled in hardbound that we are waiting for a smaller version or mass print. I suddenly remember how my sister used to tell the books to shrink faster because we won’t be able to buy until then. It’s okay to wait actually, especially when we’re not going to read them yet and when it’s sure to produce a pocket book version after six months or so. My recent purchase is Leonard Mlodinow’s The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives. I flipped through the pages and it seemed like an interesting read. I’m currently at the seventh chapter of the book.
Just finished Watchmen and Philosophy from the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series, Paulo Coelho’s The Fifth Mountain, and started Michael Scott’s The Alchemyst. Also, still reading The Definitive Book of Body Language (which our cousin lent us and I hope I could return it soon), plus a mystery book by a Japanese author translated in Chinese. I have other pending lists which I will look into once I finished with these titles.