Disclaimer: The following post is purely conjecture on my end. But at this point, it is very hard to see it any other way.
Back in the late 90’s, Powerbooks pulled out all the stops when they opened their first branch along Pasay Road in Makati. Housed in a two-story building[i], Powerbooks offered local and foreign book lovers a wide assortment of specialized books, food and beverages from their deli on the ground floor, and more than ample space to just sit down and read.
It was a magical place and my family and I would make it a point to frequent it as much as we could. Back then, I was a big Batman: The Animated Series fan[ii] and I managed to find a copy of Paul Dini and Chip Kidd’s Batman Animated (1998) in one of their second floor shelves.
Batman Animated (1998) was the definitive book on the animated series and incredibly hard to find–even by today’s standards.
But Powerbooks had it.
Expansion, Downsizing, and Rebranding
As time marched on, Powerbooks left their Pasay Road addressed and branched out to a number of malls and things seemed to balance out.
But with the growing sophistication of the internet and its ability to afford consumers more on-demand choices coupled with other realities like higher rent, a small in-store product selection, and likely a loss of interest in reading on the part of the masses–the need for large specialised bookstores had to be revisited.
I felt very sad when Powerbooks Greenbelt slowly got smaller and smaller until they finally closed their doors to eventually give way to other businesses. I had the same feeling whenever I pass by their original SM Megamall location which is now a supermarket. Recently, Powerbooks in Alabang Town Center also closed in late 2018 and rebranded itself as an art supply store called Art Bar.
Clearance Sale (Get up to 80% off)
Looking through Facebook and Instagram this evening, I came across a number of post detailing the many deals that one could possibly get in this latest Powerbooks sale. In the graphic novel section alone, titles that were once over P1000 were now listed at P300. Other books, even for less.
80% off! I just couldn’t bring myself to think of it as a deal or steal, rather as Powerbooks’ attempt to shred inventory before….well…the end.
[i] Complete with a modest (yet free!) basement parking.
[ii] Still am to this day.