Odds and Ends


I love books and everything to do with them — bookmarks, book plates, reading implements, book-related toys and accessories and other bookish ephemera.

I’ve amassed a veritable loot over the holidays, thanks to some very thoughtful people.

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Bookish Bonifacio

November 30 is Bonifacio Day, a day that commemorates the birth of Andres Bonifacio, Father of the Philippine Revolution. I’d been saving a book for this very occasion: Supremo by Sylvia Mendez Ventura, with drawings by Egai Fernandez, which I got at this year’s Manila International Book Fair.

While I’m predisposed towards being partial to Jose Rizal (I can’t help it — the educational system leans heavily on the national hero, but I also went to a school that counts Rizal among its alumni, and oh yes, I love Rizal’s geekiness), I’ve had a soft spot for Bonifacio when my high school Filipino teacher revealed he was a bookworm.

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Counting down to Christmas

I first read about advent calendars in Jostein Gaarder’s book The Christmas Mystery. In that novel, a boy named Joachim finds an advent calendar, and a bit of the story unfolds every day he opens a new window.

I remember I had to google what an advent calendar actually was, because they aren’t as popular here as they are in Europe. An advent calendar is a countdown to Christmas, usually a cardboard calendar with windows. As each day inches closer to Christmas (beginning December 1), each window opens to reveal a little surprise, such as a picture, a part of a story, a small gift, or a piece of chocolate.

I write about this because I found out my friend Iya (you may recognize her as she frequently comments here!) has some advent calendars at her store, Tie Me Up Buttercup! at Greenbelt 5 (and they have a Christmas kiosk at Greenbelt 3, too). I think they’re the only store here in the Philippines that sells advent calendars!

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You Are What You Read!

Scholastic is celebrating its 90th anniversary with the campaign “Read Everyday, Lead a Better Life,” which underscores the importance of reading as a pathway to success. Big names have gotten in on the action already — Sarah Jessica Parker, Whoopi Goldberg, and Taylor Swift are all part of the campaign!

Part of this campaign is the new social networking site for book lovers, You Are What You Read, and I’ve been meaning to try it out all week, but everything’s been such a flurry this week that I only had time to do it tonight. I must say, I’ve been enjoying it for over an hour already, and I haven’t even explored all of the site yet!

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Those pesky price stickers


Some people like to keep the price tags on their books to remind them of the book’s provenance. I’m  not one of them.

Aside from being  a compulsive plastic coverer (I can’t read a book that has not been covered in protective plastic), I’m a price sticker remover, and whenever I buy a new book my nails automatically itch to scrape off the price sticker. It just drives me crazy.

The problem is most price stickers are awfully sticky, and peeling them off takes forever, especially when the adhesive is so sticky that you can’t peel the sticker off as a whole (bookstores, please, do something about this!) and ten minutes later you’re left with a smudgy, sticky mess. It’s also annoying when the price sticker eats into the cover, leaving you with an ugly squarish patch (which is a regular occurence at my favorite bargain bookstore), or lifts some of the gloss from a brand new book.

Because I keep my nails short, they don’t offer much leverage when picking at price stickers, especially the really stubborn ones that refused to budge. So eventually I had to resort to other removal procedures.

Here are are two methods I use to remove price stickers.

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