A bookworm in Hong Kong, Part 2

As promised, here’s the post about my marathon trawling of secondhand bookstores in the Central District of Hong Kong.

On the itinerary my sisters planned, I had the Central expedition moved from Sunday to Tuesday, because I knew the stores weren’t open on Sundays. The downside of it was that we’d come from Disneyland and I was lugging half my luggage and a big bag of Disneyland souvenirs with me. I left the sibs at IFC mall and armed with the street maps in the appendix of my trusty guidebook (and my cousin Dianne’s instructions).

My older sisters told me I only had a couple of hours, and I knew that wasn’t ample time to browse, especially because I had to locate the spots first, but I really wanted to scope the stores out so I could blog about them, at the very least. I was right in that, as I spent most of my time surveying the streets, ended up scanning the shelves at each stop, and then went back to meet my siblings empty-handed. But I have notes for future visits (hopefully with people who understand my passion for books!), and I hope you’ll find them useful, too, if you ever find yourself book hunting in Hong Kong.

Continue reading “A bookworm in Hong Kong, Part 2”

A bookworm in Hong Kong, Part 1

I was clearing space on my laptop tonight, and I realized I haven’t properly blogged about my vacation in Hong Kong a few months back, other than that Winnie the Pooh ride and the Little Prince ceramic cup I got from the airport.

The months have flown by in a blur — I can’t believe August is ending! But because I’d give anything to get away right now (I need this upcoming long weekend to recharge), here’s a photoblog of my trip.

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Read, Write, and Travel with Moleskine®!

The new Moleskine collections are here. Stop me from going on a rampage!

After being unveiled at Salon Internazionale del Mobile in Milan in April, Moleskine’s new Writing, Travelling, and Reading collections are finally coming to the Philippines, via National Book Store.

The new collections are designed by Italian designer Giulio Iacchetti, and are specially created to be perfectly compatible with each other, and with the Moleskine notebooks and planners through special clips and holders. All the new items bear Moleskine’s signature aesthetic: mostly black, elastic band, smoothly rounded corners, and the “in case of loss” label.

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The weird wonders of the wanderer’s world

At the height of stress, I often choose trivia books over novels, because I’m not in the proper frame of mind to concentrate on plot, and I really can’t afford to read more than a few snippets at a time. Last week was pure madness (in my world), but one book got me through it: The Traveller’s Companion.

Whenever I could find time to just sit down and catch my breath, I’d open it and read a page or two, and it was quite a relaxing exercise, and by the end of the week, I had finished the book!

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Doggone it!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not a fan of talking animals.

I love animals (I have a pure white shorthair cat named Missy, and a shih tzu- maltese mix named Macky), but in books, they’re usually one of three things: a) sickeningly cutesy, b) wise and all-knowing, or c) sarcastic and wisecracking.

The persona in Peter Mayle’s A Dog’s Life (book #72 for 2009) belongs to that third category, unfortunately.

Now I’m a big fan of Peter Mayle, but this is probably my least favorite book of his, not that it isn’t well written (he’s one of the best contemporary writers I’ve read), but because I just couldn’t get myself to buy the fact that it was a dog talking to me.

A Dog’s Life is about Boy, the Mayles’ dog, and how he goes from unwanted puppy to abused servant to thieving stray, and finally as a member of the Mayles’ Provencal household. In all fairness, the idea of a dog narrator is quite original, and Boy is very eloquent (with an astoundingly sophisticated vocabulary!), but I got the feeling that he talked too much.

Boy was going on and on and on about well, dog stuff — going after the mailman, getting a girlfriend, jumping on the bed, knocking down a glass of wine, chasing cats, chewing shoes, and all other things dogs do — and some of it is amusing, but it gets tiring after awhile. I mean, just how long can a person stand reading about the excruciating details of a dog’s life?
I love dogs, but this book still fails to sustain the interest for me.

My copy: trade paperback, local mooch

My rating: 2/5 stars


By the way, this was the only book I finished during the trip I took up to the mountains (Sagada, Mountain Province and Bontoc, Mountain Province) with some book club friends.

Caught reading on the bus

I brought along four other books but between the long hours of travel (mostly on zigzagging roads), the seven-hour spelunking and the various other treks we made, I didn’t even make a dent in them. But it was a great trip, and my reading ratio can afford to slack off a bit. Here are some photos, just so you know what I’ve been up to:

Squeezing through
in front of a mushroom-shaped rock

on top of a frog-shaped rock

by the waterfalls

what locals refer to as taplod (top load)
giant bamboo

the rice terraces

More photos here:

I’m off on an islandhopping trip next week, hopefully I can get some reading done then.

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