Used books

We all have our reasons, I guess, for frequenting used books bookstores. Mine has a strong element of serendipity: Would I have even known about Alec Wilkinson’s affectionate if not entirely sympathetic memoir of the great editor and fictionist William Maxwell, if I had not bumped into “My Mentor” while combing through the bins in Baguio last December? But it isn’t all discovery either. I am also looking for particular books: books I’ve read before and would like to read again, books like Reflections without Mirrors, by Louis Nizer or Picked Up Pieces, by John Updike (I used to have a copy, but I can’t find it anymore).

If you see any of them, give me a shout out.



Filed under Notes on Readings, Spiral Notebook

3 responses to “Used books

  1. Hi John!

    I’m another used-book bookstore fan. My favorite place is Books For Less. I’ve lost count of all the good stuff I’ve found there. My most recent find: an anthology of essays from the NY Review of Books 1963-1993, with pieces by Hannah Arendt, Gore Vidal, Bruce Chatwin, Joan Didion, and others. Price: 180 pesos.

    Thanks for mentioning me in “Blogs to read,” though I don’t think I deserved to be mentioned with those other folks.

    Oh, and your copy of Picked Up Pieces is with me. You lent it to me a while ago, which you seem to have forgotten. And I seem to have forgotten to return it to you. 🙂

  2. There you go! Good thing I hadn’t stumbled on a copy of Picked Up Pieces yet. By any chance (haha!), did I lend you Updike’s Hugging the Shore too? I thought both books got lost in the process of moving house (thrice endured in the last 10 years).

    I highly recommend Powerbooks’ used books bookstore (I forget the name right now, but it’ll come back to me), on the third floor of the Waltermart building on Pasay Road. Good stuff, and some go for as low as P99.

    Maybe we should put together a directory of used books bookstores in the Philippines 🙂

  3. You lent me only the one Updike, so I don’t have the other one. Sorry.

    Thanks for the tip! I’ll check out that store one of these days. The top floor of the National superbranch in Cubao isn’t what it used to be, by the way, so I’m looking for a replacement.

    That directory sounds like a good idea. 🙂

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