What do you think the appeal of Booksale is?
Archie comics was a big part of my childhood; Betty & Veronica was my favorite spin-off. I spent countless after-school afternoons reading bubble after bubble and getting lost in the world of (the original) Riverdale. But I digested those stories rather quickly and I couldn’t get enough; my mother was stuck buying stack after stack to keep me updated—and we only kept up in large part because of Booksale.
At the time, the appeal of Booksale was simply that it allowed me to get my hands on more paperbacks; I’ve since learned to appreciate it more.
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The tagline of Booksale is, aptly, “We make reading affordable.” Fortunately for us, they stick to this promise. Trust me, you won’t leave the branch feeling guilty with a bagful of books.
Most bookstores cover a variety of topics: educational, politics, romance, fiction, non-fiction, self-help, comics, cookbooks—whatever have you. In this regard, Booksale isn’t unique. In fact, it might even be lacking.
What it does have above most other stores is that it carries out-of-print material. Sure, they may be second hand, but where else are you going to get a Lord Of The Rings movie cover edition?
I can’t say that there are branches everywhere, but they’re pretty out there. There are 91 stores nationwide, so you just have to look around.
This is an ~arguable~ point, but unlike the big names of Fully Booked and Powerbooks, Booksale is still, in large part, about the books. The corners (well, except the Makati Cinema Square branch and a few others) aren’t filled with stationaries and stickers, pins and planners or notepads and notebooks. Yes, I know you’ll still find the empty papers for purchase, but the store just isn’t about that.
Here’s the real appeal of Booksale: the experience it gives.
I’m sure there is some sort of system that goes into the stacks and shelves, but sometimes it just feels like the system is one that’s free-for-all. You might be looking at travel books and then be surprised with a murder-mystery fiction novel. You could be looking through Archie comics and suddenly come across fashion books and magazine.
To quote Forrest Gump, “You never know what you’re going to get.”
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Booksale is one of those stores that will always make me smile when I see it in a mall (no matter how rundown that mall is). I love that the appeal of Booksale has endured the test of time, of changing generations, of different preferences, of the digital age. Maybe one day my kids will be picking up their own stacks of novels or magazines or comics—with me right beside them, holding one of my own.
Art Alexandra Lara