But when I happened to pass by National Bookstore (NBS) in Greenbelt 1 last Monday and saw all of the Book Blowout for as low as P100, P200, P300 signs, my heart simply sank. Bookstores–especially National Bookstore–has always been a part of my life. They were the primary source of my school supplies and books before specialty stores like PowerBooks and FullyBooked emerged to give them a run for their money.
In the ensuing years–and likely as a means to remain viable–National Bookstore (along with their competitors) have either downsized or simply shifted a majority of their inventory to art supplies as well as other types of merchandise.
As we looked through the modest selection of books at the rear of Art Bar, one of the sales ladies came over and said to me, “It’s a good thing that you came today. There is still a lot to choose from.”
I’ll be honest. At that moment, I didn’t know if I should be grateful or somewhat sad for reasons I already discussed in yesterday’s post.
Nevertheless, my family and I did our due diligence and went through their small selection. Unlike Powerbooks Trinoma[i], Art Bar was not stocked with graphic novels but it did have a number of Chuck Palahniuk books that I was interested in: Survivor (1999) and Make Something Up (2015)[ii].
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.