Fun fact: The great guys over at National Book Store actually invited me to check out the Warehouse Sale (#NBSWarehouseSale) before it opened to the public last Thursday. I haven’t been to one before, and I really wanted to go, but I had to cover the National Book Development Board’s Read Lit Festival.
And while I had tons of fun at the Read Lit Festival, I want me some cheap books. I couldn’t find the time to go to it for the past three days, so when I finally had the free time yesterday I woke up really early so I could get ahead of everybody else also planning to go there on a Sunday.
As the photo above shows, everybody else and their uncle probably had the same idea.
I spent about 10 minutes just looking in disbelief at the whole mass of people that was there at the Warehouse Sale so early in the morning. Who are these people and what did they do the night before? Did they camp out in front of Crossings or something?
When I finally composed myself enough to start shouldering through the crowds, I knew I had already committed several fatal mistakes. First: I SHOULD HAVE ACCEPTED THE INVITATION TO VISIT THE SALE BEFORE IT OPENED TO THE PUBLIC.
Second: I shouldn’t have stood there gawking at the crowd like an idiot, because that just gave everybody else the opportunity to get the books that should have been in my greedy, greedy hands. Every minute counts in situations like these, trust me.
Yes, everybody else who had come in the first three days had the pick of the litter, so to speak. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t get some prize finds!
Hillary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall” was easy to spot. It was just lounging there, on top of a pile of dictionaries, with nobody even giving it a second look. For fuck’s sake, it won the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award!
David Mitchell’s “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet” took a little more work to find since it was on a shelf underneath a table that was practically teeming with shoppers. I had to bide my time and wait for the crowd to thin out before I could duck underneath and get a copy. Once again, I was surprised I didn’t have to fight anyone for it, considering it was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
While getting those two books with no competition at all was great, the best part about these two purchases is that I got them at incredibly cheap prices.
As you can see, I got “Wolf Hall” for P100, from its usual P1245 price tag. In case you don’t math good like I do, that’s P1,145 worth of savings! P1,145! You could eat a full meal at some fancy shmancy restaurant with that kind of money!
I got “The Thousand Summers of Jacob de Zoet” also for P100, down from its usual P699 price tag. I saved P599! I could watch a movie on IMAX with that kind of moolah!
There were also a lot of great books that were going for incredibly cheap that I didn’t buy, mainly because I already had copies of them. But I do hope some lucky person managed to find them and bought them because they’re real deals!