A 'one for the books' curious mayhem involving (in part) multi-color pens.

It's a must to know what you really want. What you really love. Yeah, I know. Ive just been there. In the context of a book store and an unforgettable literary conquest.

There's this Fully Booked gift certificate worth php 1000 which I had received for my birthday. It was from my mother's bestfriend (back in her college days in UPD). We occasionally hang out together and we almost always go to Glorietta and head to Greenbelt's Powerbooks. She knew that my sisters and I love books.

I have the certificate but don't know what book/s to buy.

I've spent months figuring out. It's not everyday that I get to pick whichever book I like for free! So many books out there. So many good books. So many great books.

The only Fully Booked store i know is in Rockwell. I remember buying a book there for a friend's debut after watching Superman Returns with my family. It was only months ago when I acquired that FYI experience about a Fully Booked in MOA. I was quite surprised and practically relieved to know that I didn't have to go to Makati just to make use of that certificate.

After my org meeting earlier this day, earl and I met at the Mall of Asia. I brought my gift certificate with me. I already had books in mind, i told him. After lunch, we headed to the book shop (which I'm pretty sure I would've found only after an hour or so of scurrying around the huge mall If I were alone :p). Upon entering the shop, I immediately grabbed Coelho's new novel The Witch of Portobello. It cost roughly Php 600. I still had Php 400. I had another book in mind.

There were too many books. Reminded me of Beast's library in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. I felt like Belle, delighted to see a huge collection of the world's best literature (although undeniably smaller than the Powerbooks in the same mall). I approached the lady at the counter who gave me an affable smile and asked 'Yes ma'am, how may I help you?'. I asked her if they have Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. She made me repeat the title and so I did. Then she must have entered the book's title or the author's name in her computer, I didnt know. By the look on her face, I was beginning to guess that they didn't have the book. Then she made me repeat the title and so I did. I would have spelled "moveable" for her but I figured I might come or sound as huffily demanding. Then she asked me the author's name instead and so I told her again 'Hemingway'. Turned out, they didnt have the book. And by the way the girl at the counter said it, she sounded like she felt sorry. I just can't figure out if she felt sorry for me or for the store or for herself. I found that kinda funny. A little funny. Real funny.

That said, I needed to look around for a book I would like, which would cost php 400 or less. I spent most of the time walking around, looking around and thinking hard. That remaining php 400 seemed like a very important decision. (well it was :p). Twas a mind-boggling conundrum that suited my fancy. I wasn't just going to engage in random picking and pointing, no way!

Earl was checking out books and reading while i moved around giddily. I was secretly laughing at myself for spending almost half an hour or so just looking for a book. I was determined I wasn't going to leave the store and just save this 'pursuit' for some other day. I skimmed through the shelves, met so many authors, so many characters. I looked particularly for Dickinson, Sparks, Garcia-Marquez, Neruda, Keats, Steinbeck, Gaiman, Sionil Jose, other contemporary authors I know only by the title of their books, histories, cook books and graphic novels among others but none of them was php 400 or less (I knew they were going to be expensive but I checked anyway and pointlessly crossed my fingers). I walked from here to there, kneeled, stooped, sat on the floor, reached out for books..well, you get the picture.

There were only me, earl and no more than two customers in the store (who I swear didn't last as long as earl and I did). :p

The music/album of Michael Learns To Rock was playing. "...she looks so happy in her wedding dress but she's crying while she was saying this...". I heard the girl at the counter singing. I was humming along.

I stumbled upon Shakespeare. I already have his complete works in a single, thick book (my mum got for me in her US trip) along with the Bronte Sisters'. However, there was this book that interested me. The book wasn't Shakespeare's plays. It was ABOUT Shakespeare and his plays. An epiphany hit me. There's so many books ABOUT Shakespeare but I haven't purchased a single one of them (i just borrow and read in our campus library); I haven't actually OWNED one. The book cost php 254, by an author named Michael LoMonico. It's pretty good. :)

Then we left. Maybe I'd get that A Moveable Feast somewhere else. Someday.

I'm sure I have a lot of books I would want to check out. It's funny I couldn't recall these books when I'm actually IN a book store. Anywhere else, there's always a book I'd like to buy. It's like I have this strange curse that whenever I enter a book store, unless I know what to buy prior to entering it, my mind turns into a blur and just becomes so engrossed with the countless books I see. And I end up confused and not knowing very well what to buy. Strange.

We must really know what we want. What we're looking for. Why else do you think mothers or grandmothers or whoever does your groceries list items to be bought first before heading to the grocery?

If you're wondering what i bought for the remaining Php 147, I bought a set of multi-color pens worth php 144. I just know it would be of good use some time. That three pesos unclaimed change might well be worth it.


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