Okay, random confession time: I have a tendency to sniff.
And when I say “sniff”, I mean “look up from whatever the hell I’m doing, scrunch my nose up, and sniff in short, audible bursts until my crazy antics allow me to discern the general direction of the smell in question’s origin.”
Yes, I’m a dog.
Well, a bibliophilic dog. As we went inside the SMX Convention Center for the 33rd Manila International Book Fair, this conversation took place:
Me: <sniff maneuver>
The Mom: <what are you doing look>
Me: Smell that?
The Mom: Smell what?
Me: It’s the smell of books.
And I said that last bit like Beethoven was playing on the speakers.
Anyway, after a few minutes of shuffling about, we got in this enormous hall with quite a lot of people, milling about looking at what seemed like a hundred thousand books. Publishers and bookstores had their own little booths (or big booths, really, depending on your status as a publisher/bookstore – National Book Store practically transplanted one of its shops onto the convention floor), and a million signs were screaming SALE in our faces (there was one publishing house that actually did scream SALE in our faces, in the form of two dudes, two microphones, and a speaker).
Honestly, I went in there looking for a deal. As you probably know, medical school is expensive as hell, and that is partially because medical books cost quite a pretty penny. I was looking for a discount on some books I would need in my future endeavors, and, well, I came up short.
Not that I didn’t find great deals, but I guess I grew out of the habit of buying things I probably would never need. A lot of books were slashed to 10% of their original prices, but as I looked them over, I never could see myself reading any of them. Others promised four medical books at the incredibly low price of 100 pesos, but as I examined the copyright, the tomes were published around a decade-and-a-half ago – I might seriously harm somebody if I didn’t crosscheck with a more current source, and that was more trouble than it was worth.
After two hours of walking and examining and exercising good judgment, I was about to sigh and be sad that I was about to leave the whole thing empty-handed. Of course, as it is A Law of the Universe, it is when you almost give up that you find the thing you are looking for.
Hallelujah to your 20% off on all books, Fully Booked. Hallelujah.
And so I brought the whole Song of Ice and Fire (at a reduced price) into my life.
And, for a while at least, I shall stop writing for a bit, and start reading.