The romance with books is not just about the actual reading experience. It also involves the fun (at least for us) of hunting and buying them. Imagine, walking into a store and sniffing the pungent scent of books old and new. The thrill of looking for a book you want so badly and actually finding it among the shelves. The spontaneous moment of love at first (paragraph) sight after reading the summary at the back cover. All these (and more) make visits to bookstores truly worthwhile. It’s a unique experience book lovers cherish and treasure.
In case you’re interested in how to make your love affair with books more fruitful, here are four book hunting tips that you might find useful.
Get an idea of what you want before going out for the hunt
Before going to any bookstore ask yourself what type or genre you’re craving for. Is it sci-fi, high fantasy, self-help, or a young adult book? By narrowing it down to topic and genre you get a general idea of what you want and which particular type of bookstore to visit. Book store chains are the safest choice, so you can simply proceed to the customer service desk and ask about the book you need to find. Second-hand bookstores and warehouse sales are good choices too as there more rare finds for cheap in their shelves. If you want to make everything easier, buy online. (But we’d suggest you skip this one, it defeats the fun of the hunt) Expect to do lots of hard work but don’t worry, your efforts will surely be worth it.
Get your research on
Did you know that you can buy decent books on sidewalks sold by book lovers around Metro Manila? Widen your horizons. Why settle for the usual establishments you frequent (especially the ones in malls) when there are other local bookstores you can explore? Ask fellow book lovers where they got their latest finds. You may also read articles about books to gain more information. For sure you will be surprised as you learn about bookshops in places you never imagined. I myself have discovered lots of great bookstores and independent booksellers by simply doing some research.
Survey each bookstore
Surveys aren’t just for your theses, you can use it for your book hunting days too! It’s easy to be overwhelmed whenever you are surrounded with lots of books. The hack: once you arrive at your chosen bookstore ask the owner or customer service about their collection. This is necessary because even bookstore chains have varying selections in their branches. You have to find out which branch sells more titles under the genre you are into, so you can make the most of every visit. Ask how often do they replenish their shelves? Talk to the people overseeing the store to get more information. This will give you an idea where their books come from and when they are usually delivered. You may also find out if there are ways to reserve titles and great book recommendations. Their answers to these questions can help you with your strategy in the future.
Follow your favorite bookstores or booksellers on social media
Lots of businesses have Facebook and Twitter pages, including bookstores and booksellers. In fact, some local booksellers use their Facebook pages to showcase their new arrivals and allow patrons to reserve books!
Book hunting, indeed, is one of the most exciting parts about collecting books. While it is something that’s truly enjoyable for every book lover, it is still better to be wise and to make the most out of every visit to a bookshop or a meeting with a bookseller. Hence, the use of strategies like these are something worth taking note of.
Do you have any other book huntings tip in mind? Feel free to share them on the comment section below. Happy book hunting!
Words by Mina Deocareza
Edited by Tin Advincula