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August 16, 2007
posted by Nk. at 10:15 PM

i broke my heart at the bookstore today. there was a big sale at the national bookstore and there i was drooling at all the books i wanted to buy (remember i lost ALL my books to reming?), -- arundhati roy's the god of small things, fyodor dostoyevsky's crime and punishment, yao ming & ric bucher's yao: a life in two worlds, cormac mcCarthy's the road, mark haddon's the curious incident of the dog in the night-time. but every time i picked out two or three of these precious things a voice in my head that sounded very much like my mother's, chanted, electricity bills, water bills, internet bills.

after prolonged aimless wandering in the bookstore's aisles i left with just one book, ha jin's the crazed (how appropriate), which i got at 50% off. here's what the back of the book says:

ha jin's powerful new novel is an unblinking look into the bell jar of communist chinese society and a portrait of the eternal compromises and deceptions of the human state. professor yang, a teacher of literature at a provincial university, has had a stroke, and his student jian wan -- who is also his prospective son-in-law -- is assigned to care for him. soon the devoted jian finds himself listening, in bafflement and increasing horror, to the professor's ravings.

are these just the outpourings of a broken mind or is yang speaking the truth about his family, his colleagues, and a system in which an intellectual is "just a piece of meat on a cutting board?" and will merely listening cost jian his future? for in china shaken by the tremors of tiananmen square, nothing is more dangerous than the truth.

i haven't torn up the plastic wrap yet (which i enjoy doing) so i've still yet to see if i'm going to like what's actually inside, but i'm pretty excited. also, emir is coming over tomorrow to give me a signed copy (!) of dean alfar's palanca-winning book, salamanca.


so, as them guys at chickenmafia would say, today's still a "yay!"

 
6 Comments:


At August 17, 2007 at 1:44 AM, Blogger the philosphical bastard

This post brought back memories when I used to hang out at the National Bookstore in Robinson's Galleria reading books after school. One time an employee told me "nandito ka nanaman? binbili yang mga librong yan!"

and i answered her "bakit ka galit? ikaw ba sumulat niyan?"

wala lang.. sharing lang. :P Yay!

 

At August 17, 2007 at 3:32 AM, Blogger joyfulchicken

I should share my National Bookstore story too. When I was a kid, I liked to go in there and turn as many books as I could upside down. I never got caught. Yay!

 

At August 17, 2007 at 9:12 AM, Blogger niki

yay! sharing!

@ the philosophical bastard - haha! gusto ko yung hirit mo ah! haha!

@ joyfulchicken - showing signs early on huh? =P

 

At August 17, 2007 at 11:10 AM, Blogger skulgirltrx

Hi, Niki. sarap ng wala klase nakakapag-blog-hop ang lola mo! ;)fave hang-out ko din ang bookstores, long before powerbooks and a dfferent bookstore came into life. if i have a fortune, i would really spend it sa books. ;) have a nice loooong weekend!

 

At August 17, 2007 at 1:26 PM, Blogger Jake The Miserable

Hehe rakenrol. 'Yung recent blog entry e kwentong bookstore din pero sa simula lang 'yun.

Mas naging batang Powerbooks ako. Pwede halos private reading. They even have sofas for that (Megamall).

 

At August 21, 2007 at 3:20 AM, Anonymous Helga

National Bookstore over at Gateway. Perpetual sale.