If you love books as much as I do, you will understand the intense excitement I felt when I first heard about the Anvil Book Sale from my good friend MC a few days ago.
First through Twitter, then through her blog, Poised for Flight, MC recounted how she spent three hours in book heaven, perusing through stacks and stacks of inventory at the Anvil warehouse in Pasig. Since then I would catch myself feeling giddy, restless even, as there was nothing I could think of except for Saturday to come. After all, the only thing better than shopping for books, is shopping for books on discount.
Anyway, I am writing this blog post on a Sunday — the morning after — still reeling with delight from the fabulous time I had at Anvil. So fabulous, in fact, that I may even escape for a second visit before lunchtime, once I am done writing this post. The sale will run all weekends in July, and I plan to take full advantage of that. Let’s put it this way, while other people go gaga over bags and belts, I’m the same way with books. They’re officially my Birkin.
By the way, this blog post is lovingly dedicated to MC — You can follow her on Twitter (@emceemartin) — and also to all my fellow bibliophiles who, in this age of Kindles and digital editions, still appreciate the value of a good old-fashioned, dusty and dogeared book. Cheers!
Given that the warehouse opens at 10 am sharp, is it any surprise that I was already waiting to enter by 9:50 am?
As rows and rows of delicious books lay before me, I inhaled deeply to savor the distinct aroma of the printed page.
Books everywhere! As soon as my eyes fell upon this table, I instantly got so giddy I thought I was going to shriek.
Let the shopping frenzy begin! The first pick of the day was this book of one-liners by comedian Gary Lising, which was a steal at one peso!
This sign got me started on a heated hunt for anything with a yellow price tag. Now here's an insider tip — Also watch out for the pink tags because those books get 80% off too.
I was happy to rediscover Gary Lising, who was my dad's classmate in Grade School and was also a mainstay in Champoy, one of my favorite local TV shows as a child.
Funny how, for me, the proper swing involves Donna Summer's Last Dance and some snazzy dancing shoes. Any song by VST works too. Lol!
Hallelujah! This book, which originally sold for P240, is now just P48!
Stars and stilettos make this a definite BUY! Hahaha! Here, acclaimed author and poet Jose Lacaba turns a critical eye on Philippine Showbiz.
Zsazsa Zaturna will always be special because this is the first Tagalog movie that Anthony sat through in its entirety and actually enjoyed.
In her fifth installment in the Twisted series, Jessica Zafra pays homage to one of my favorite childhood cartoons, Mazinger Z, which I remember used to air in the afternoons right before Candy-Candy (who was constantly searching the world for some multi-colored flower) and Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko.
I parked myself in a corner and discreetly flipped through the erotic poems of Danton Remoto in his book, Pulotgata, which is Tagalog for "honeymoon."
I have always wanted to get this book, and was thrilled to find it here, also 80% off!
These stark nudes by Arturo Luz accompanied Loreta Medina's poem, What Her Body Parts Do.
As a people photographer, I have come to appreciate profile pieces, such as this compilation by Lorna Kalaw-Tirol, which are the written word counterparts of photographic portraits.
Took a moment to celebrate the memory of beauty queen-turned-activist Maita Gomez, who passed away in her sleep last Thursday at the young age of 64. I had the privilege of meeting her when we were both working with the Save Palawan Movement last year.
I am suddenly interested to read more about our country's National Artists, having had an amazing chance encounter with BenCab in Baguio last weekend. Blog post coming very soon!
I was tempted to get this anthology of short stories that had won the Palanca Award, one of the most prestigious literary awards in the country, but ended up putting it back down. THIS is why I plan to go back to the sale later today. Lol!
Now here is where things get really exciting… The One Peso Pile!
No judgment, but I got this book, not only to read about the profiles of the different animals in the Chinese horoscope (a steal at one peso), but also because Maritess Allen and I happen to go to the same hair stylist. Hahaha!
"For adults only. With the consent of children." LOL!
I feel I already got my money's worth with Gary Lising's one-liner about a doughnut.
It can get a pretty hot in the Anvil warehouse, so make sure to dress comfortably.
I found this electric fan and stood in front of it for a few minutes, reviewing my purchases so far.
Here is my basket at half-time. I decided to add the Hannah Montana and N'Sync sticker sets just before I took the picture to scandalize you guys a bit. I didn't get them, of course! (Defensive? LOL!)
I had gotten twelve books so far, which I thought was already plenty. Little did I know that by the time I was done, I would be adding five more, for a total of seventeen. Hahaha!
Struck up an interesting conversation with Domie, who had a very intimate knowledge of Philippine authors. If you plan to go, make sure to ask for him.
Upon Domie's recommendation, I ended up getting Gilda Cordero-Fernando's latest book, written for children about the fascinating world of Philippine folklore. By the way, the illustrations by Gilbert Daroy are exquisite.
Amidst the chaos of book covers, guess who I found…? Larry Alcala!
I spent many hours as a child staring at Larry Alcala's illustrations, hoping to find his facial profile which he wittily hides somewhere in the page — This is our very own homegrown version of Where's Waldo.
I am a little crazier, and my vision a little blurrier, because of hours looking for Waldo in his trademark red-and-white striped sweater. (By the way, did you spot him here? I did.)
Best book cover goes to spirit quester and ESP lecturer, Jaime Licauco! (Though I'm sure he already knew that. Lol!)
Ah, the power of books to provoke… Now how would YOU answer this question?
This award-winning collection of stories by Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo went straight into my basket.
I couldn't help giggling after reading this cheeky excerpt from one of Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo's stories, where one of the characters wrote about a certain Purita and how she was the "bitter pill in (her) sweetened calamansi juice." Lol!
Speaking of calamansi (Philippine lemon), they have a book about that too. This one's written by Tilman Baumgartel, a film professor and gourmand from Germant who is currently living in the Philippines.
You can't go wrong with Nick Joaquin, one of our National Artists for Literature.
Anvil has a wide selection books for the young and the, ahem, young-at-heart.
That morning, I somewhat could relate with Pedrong Walang Takot (or Fearless Peter), for the simple reason that he was in a red shirt too. Hahaha!
Is it embarrassing that it took two staff members to check out all my books?
While I nervously waited for my grand total, I took the liberty of positioning myself right by the "coolest" spot in the house.
Watching in silence, I felt like I was facing some kind of grand tribunal, as this woman verified the totals submitted by her two colleagues.
Turns out I am not as smart a shopper as MC, who spent a mere P337 for two tall stacks of books — Let's just say my total was a couple of multiples of hers. Oh well… LOL!
I took one last look and whispered, in heroic MacArthur fashion… "I shall return."
Make sure you plan on going around the book sale more than once, coz you always end up discovering something new. Now don't you love my new "Birkin?" LOL!
The Anvil Warehouse is located at 107 West Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo Pasig. You can visit their Facebook page here.
As I close this blog post and prepare to return to the book sale (I wasn’t kidding), let me leave you with something to “swing” to. Shopping time!