All packed! (and a new giveaway!)


By the time you read this, I’ll probably be waiting to board my flight to Hong Kong.

As you can see, I’m all packed already. Aside from my the Hong Kong guidebook in my handcarry, I’ve severely limited myself to Newton (my Nook) and one other book. It’s so hard to transition into the fact that I already have an e-reader, because I’m so used to traveling with a small stack of books, regardless of the fact that I’m sure to buy another stack to take back home (erm, yes, on my last trip out of the country, I shelled out $100 for excess baggage, which were purely books — loot from the Popular book fair and Bras Basah Complex!)!


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I love book-related miscellany, so my friends and family are constantly on the lookout for bookish odds and ends for me. One day my siblings were out shopping and found me this nifty item from a clearance sale at Living Well (by Gourdo’s): Protect-a-Book, for only P35 (less than $1) each. I nearly forgot about it as I had buried the two packs underneath my bookfair loot, but I was clearing away some stuff tonight and tore into them with glee.

You ought to know (if you don’t already know) that I can’t read a “naked” book; I always compulsively cover a book in plastic before I can read it because I’m paranoid about spills and dents and that sort of thing. I also don’t dog-ear pages, so I’m forever running out of bookmarks as I tend to leave themĀ  (or receipts, or tickets, or clothing labels, or anything that can fit flat) inside books. This compulsion makes this book thingy perfect for me: Protect-a-Book is a slip-on, clear plastic book cover that’s actually three products in one: book protector, bookmark, and magnifier.

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Paper book covers

In an attempt not to stray into any Mockingjay spoilers online, I’m composing this post to distract me, and to keep me from opening a certain file that is, erm, burning a hole in my hard drive, so to speak… I can’t wait to get my copy of Mockingjay tomorrow, but in the meantime, here’s something I discovered over the weekend: paper book covers!

There was a sale at a one-price Japanese store and my sibs and I wanted to go because we were expecting to take home a huge haul. The sale turned out to be bitterly disappointing, but I hated going all the way out there for nothing! There were a bunch of sorry looking bargain bins which contained weird odds and ends — miniature bundt tins, plastic flowers, fleecy headbands, and other remnants — and I was halfheartedly rooting in one of the bins when I found some packs of paper book covers for only P25 (about $0.50) each, so I went from bin to bin and came up with four packs.

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Judging a book by the cover

I have a confession to make: I judge books by the cover.

I can’t help myself — I trawl through dozens of bargain books several times a week, and I browse through book covers to “separate the wheat from the chaff,” so to speak, especially if I don’t recognize the book title or the author. And then when the cover captures my fancy, that’s the only time I’ll scan through the rest of the data: title, author, and the blurb.

It saves a lot of time, and the method has worked for me so far.

Another confession, and this is freakier: when I’m in a big hurry, I even judge books by the spine! I can actually spot the spines of certain book series I collect off the bat, I’ve practiced the cursory scan enough times to pick out the books I like!

And another confession — when I really like a book, I collect different covers that I like, which is how I came to amass a collection of over a hundred Harry Potter books in different languages!

Because I’m totally engrossed in reading book 3 of the Millennium trilogy, I’ll leave you with an article I wrote for Manila Bulletin Students and Campuses section this weekend. Feel free to add your thoughts on the subject in the comments section!

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