It takes a certain kind of bookworm to resist a good bargain—alas, I am not that bookworm.
Because when it comes to book sales, my wallet may be weak but both my spirit and flesh are more than willing.
When Super editor Pam Pastor assigned me to cover National Book Store’s Book Binge Bazaar in SM Megamall’s Megatrade Hall last week, I said yes (yes, please!)—immediately.
The first of its kind, the three-day Book Binge Bazaar was a haven for book nerds. Children’s storybooks and activity books ranged from P75-P175, teen novels for P175, general fiction and nonfiction for P275, and a wide range of local titles for as low as P50.
I remember being shocked at the prices and asking NBS’ PR and social media officer JB Roperos, “Seriously, P175 for a hardcover book?”
“I know!” he answered me, excitement evident in his voice. Wild, I thought. That was around 70-75 percent in discount! I knew I couldn’t miss it.
Here are my top picks from the Book Binge Bazaar:
Written by Colin Meloy and illustrated by Carson Ellis, “Wildwood” is the first of a fantasy trilogy series. It tells the story of Prue, a young girl who travels to a magical world to save her kidnapped little brother.
The cover hooked me from the get-go, but the “New York Times Bestseller” tag sealed the deal in the end. The sequel, “Under Wildwood,” was also on sale!
‘A Study in Charlotte’
A young-adult twist to the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson? Yes, please! “A Study in Charlotte” by Brittany Cavallaro is about the teen descendants of Holmes and Watson, Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson, who are framed for murder and must join forces to solve it to clear their names.
‘The Best Days Are Dog Days’
As a certified Tita of Manila, I just couldn’t resist buying my 3-year-old niece a couple of storybooks. Amid the hundreds at the sale, Aaron Meshon’s “The Best Days Are Dog Days” was one of my picks because of its gorgeous artwork and sweet tale about a little girl and her best friend, a French bulldog.
(That the puppy looks like Super’s mascot, Morty the Monster, is pure coincidence, I promise!)
‘Animetrics’ and ‘Color Quest’
Activity books were some of the must-buys at the sale. These two may look like they were targeted for kids but I’m pretty sure adults will enjoy them, too. “Animetrics” is a color puzzle book that uses sticker tiles to form an artwork, while “Color Quest” is an extreme color-by-numbers activity book.
‘Tales of the Peculiar’
“Tales of the Peculiar” is a companion book to Ransom Riggs’ popular “Miss Peregrine” series. Fans of Riggs’ weird and wonderful books will love this collection of fairy tales from the magical universe that the peculiar children inhabit.
Book Binge Bazaar also had a good selection of nonfiction books. “On Bowie” caught my eye because its author, Rob Sheffield, is one of my favorite pop culture critics and his memoir, “Love is a Mix Tape,” was so poignant. “On Bowie” is his love letter to the late great David Bowie who died in 2016.
I’ve been reading a lot of good things about Libba Bray’s satirical young-adult novel, “Beauty Queens.” It’s about teen beauty pageant contestants who must survive on a mysterious island after their plane crashed.
Now that we are starting to reevaluate and interrogate the problematic gender dynamics in our society, especially in the way we treat women and the kinds of pressures we put on young girls, I think Bray’s “Beauty Queens” is one book we shouldn’t miss.