Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Baguio Book Lovers, Read This If You May

Baguio City is not exactly a haven for book lovers. I say this because of the not-that-many-to-be-considered-enough number of book shops in the city. As an admirer of the written word, I always find myself engulfed in self-pity when a particular title I've been raring to get my hoarder hands on can't be found on either of the two branches of National Bookstore here. Worse, whenever I pick up a book to read, I'm always hounded by the one that continues to elude me. The torture, it's real.

But thanks to lesser-known book shops like Booksale and Bookends who usually offer second-hand books, there is hope. You never know the magnitude of surprises that await you in these shops. For instance, I've already given up on on ever finding Michael Shermer books on National Bookstore. Or Richard Dawkins books. Or Lawrence Krauss books. It seems like the chain doesn't carry these kinds of stuff. But I've found some of them (rather unintentionally) on the shelves of Booksale and Bookends. This is the beauty of entering the doors of second-hand book shops. You don't find the books, rather, the books find you.

I'm quite sure you are already aware of Booksale as it's located in a prominent mall here. As with Bookends, chances are you haven't heard of it yet as it's off the beaten path, so to speak. When I first went there, a got a bit lost looking for the shop although the directions given by a friend were concise and clear. The shop is just a short walk away from the main vein of Session Road. It's located at the basement of the UCPB building. Nearby institutions include the Baguio Patriotic High School, Jollibee Harrison, and Skyworld (the dry goods shopping center). If you're within the vicinity of these places, you are very near Bookends. Just look for the UCPB building and head to the basement area.

The last time I've been to Bookends, which was a couple of weeks ago, I got four good books for (if I remember it correctly) for Php140. Indeed, a great deal. They are as follows:

Penned by an agnostic, this is a book that takes a close look into the so-called attributes of god, the origins of the old and new testaments, freewill, morality, and more. For folks who are starting to question or have doubts about their religious faiths, this is a book you will be mightily interested in.

I've heard of this book countless of times in the past but my interest in it soared when Christopher Hitchens (a favorite writer of mine) referenced the novel in several instances. Indeed, it's a brutal and grim story penned perfectly by Sinclair. After reading this, you'll never look at processed (or non-processed) meat products the same way again. This book is notorious for turning people into vegetarians. Meat and vegetarianism aside, The Jungle is an excellent commentary on capitalism and socialism.

Every holiday season in North America, liberals and conservatives endlessly argue about Christmas. The exchange of words and vitriol last year was particularly entertaining. Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, was among those in the front lines of the liberal side. I'm on the side of the liberals. So it's interesting to know what Gibson (a conservative) has to say.

This is a book intended for college students. I grabbed it because it contains dozens of essays and excerpts from books written by well-known authors such as George Orwell, Truman Capote, Isaac Asimov, and Jessica Mitford. It's also a good way to introduce yourself to authors you've never heard of before.