The road to Reading Rampage (Part I)

Several weeks’ worth of hard work paid off for us in the organizing committee, as last Saturday, Flips  Flipping Pages celebrated its fourth annual Christmas party, entitled “Reading Rampage: A Bookish Ball,” which we celebrated at Powerbooks Greenbelt.

The Christmas party is the biggest event for the Flippers in the calendar year, and I can’t believe it’s our 4th Christmas together already, and our 5th year as a book club. It seems like it was only yesterday when a bunch of us, with some trepidation, agreed to meet at a secondhand bookstore not knowing what sort of sunlight-deprived oddballs we’d run into.

Instead, we all found home. We found people who shared our compulsion to buy a book — any book… (or five… or a dozen!) — whenever we set foot inside a bookstore. People who didn’t mind you reading during a meal, understood why you need more than one copy of the same book (reading copy, lending copy, and one to look pretty on your shelf), and could talk about books with you until dawn… and then some more after you finally get some shut-eye.

These are  people who’d fight you tooth and nail for a coveted book in the monthly book swap, and yet keep you in mind when browsing through a bookstore and buy a book they’d think you’d like, just because. People who’d spend the day trawling bookstore bargain bins across the metro or storm bookstore warehouses with you, and then join you for a post-book-shopping caucus, to compare new book acquisitions. People who’d rather go without new clothes or food (nah, we love to eat!) but cannot get through a week without new books for their shelves!

So anyway, we’ve all been feeding each other’s book obsessions for years now, and for the last three years, we’ve had a Christmas party theme. So far, we’ve done a murder mystery (book of the month: The Sign of Four) and a bloody prom (book of the month: Carrie), and we’ve always wanted to do a masquerade, hence this year’s Bookish Ball (book of the month: The Little Prince).

We (the organizing committee) had a LOT on our hands. We had to plan the program, secure a venue, find a caterer, and prepare prizes and loot bags, not to mention working on our own costumes! And it was a lot of hard work. For most of November, we were tied up in late night conversations, endless emails, and Divisoria runs. And it would have been more work for us, too, if not for the support of various entities that deserve mention: our co-presenter Powerbooks, which graciously provided their event space for our use (thank you, Sir Miguel Ramos, Chad Dee and James Abuan of National Book Store – Head Office and Ms. Jenny of Powerbooks-Greenbelt!), and our prize sponsors, Tie Me Up Buttercup: Ribbons and More (Greenbelt 5); Scholastic (thank you, Ms. Joyce Bautista and Ms. Roselle Masirag); Anvil Publishing (thank you, Ms. Gwenn Galvez); Hachette Book Group (thank you, Ms. Isa Garcia-Jacinto); and Tahanan Books (thank you, Frances Ong!).

And so, the stage was set:

But let’s backtrack a little, as we all had our costumes to prepare. I originally planned to go as Lisbeth Salander, but I found out Iya was going as Lisbeth as well, and I knew she could rock it more than I did. So I needed a plan B — I must have listed down two dozen character options, because I didn’t know what I’d find at the thrift stores (read: Ukay-ukay). After many hours of pawing through racks in a dozen shops (and various allergy breakouts later), plus a hair extension from Divisoria, I had my costume.

The peg:

How it turned out? You’ll have to wait for my next post!

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