More about used books

As it turns out, my copy of Picked-Up Pieces is with good friend Exie Abola. That means one less excuse, I mean book, to scour the used books bins for. For a good scouring, I would recommend Buy the Book, a bookstore in Walter Mart Pasay Road where Powerbooks sells assorted used books. Last month, to give a for instance, I bought seven books: The Meaning of Recognition by Clive James (hardback), The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty (in one of those big fat paperback formats I like very much), an immaculate Monte D’Urban by the unfortunately neglected J. F. Powers, A Serious Way of Wondering by Reynolds Price, State of Denial (the third volume, hardback, of Bush at War) by Bob Woodward, The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin (still in its shrink-wrapping) by the eminent Gordon Wood, and — not least, at least as an experiment — A Case of Two Cities, a gritty crime thriller (hardback) set in Shanghai, by Qiu Xiaolong. Total damage: About P1,100 (a third of it for the latest James collection). The week before I had seen a copy of The Meaning of Recognition in Powerbooks Greenbelt, retailing for something like P1,800. So, yes, I felt good. Then I started to read Welty, and realized I had seriously underpaid.

The first story I read was “A Piece of News,” which includes the scene of a young, slow-witted woman encountering her name in a newspaper for the first time. Damn thing blew me away.

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2 Comments

Filed under Notes on Readings, Spiral Notebook

2 responses to “More about used books

  1. Gej

    Serendipity indeed. A couple of years ago, for example, I found a worn out book , 99 pesos only, that turned to be a landmark book in the late seventies in the organic revolution in the U.S. , that became my inspiration for my shift to my new line of business in organic food.

    Plus a number of other serendipitous finds I continue to unearth.

    Had a great used-book opportunity a few weeks ago – from the book collection of our old friends Martin and Lalaine Baclig, who are migrating – among the books (and CDs ) they sold – around 30 pesos each, plus another final discount – were Strange OPilgrims by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Art of the Long View by Peter Schwartz, The Ignatian Workout, a Kahlil Gibran collection, the Book of Five Rings, plus some great literature appreciation books for the kids.What are friends are for.

    Next stop: Buy a Book, Waltermart Pasay!

  2. Arvin

    It’s always good to hear stories on bargain or used book hunting. Buy the Book sounds like a garden of earthly delights.

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