Yesterday, I checked out the hardcover bargain bins at National Bookstore. While it was a bit overwhelming to see so many books on sale for 50 pesos (about a dollar), it was definitely more interesting to observe people who were perusing. I decided to hang out for a while to listen in to their conversations:
Boy (rocker type) with his girlfriend Boy finds a biography of Kurt Cobain. Girl: Balak mo ba talagang basahin yan? (Are you really planning to read that?) Boy: (grunts) Girl: Ang kapal! Kaya mo ba yan? (It's so thick! Do you have the stamina for it?) Boy: (grunts some more) Girl: Tara na nga. Iwan mo na yan. (We have to go. Just leave the book.) My thoughts: Boy eventually marries girl. Girl castrates boy.
A group of girls Girl 1: Eto pa, oh, romance. (Here's another romance novel.) Girl 2: Ay, ang chaka ng cover! Ayoko. (Nah, the cover sucks.) Girl 3: Etong Nora Roberts -- maganda ba to? (Is this Nora Roberts novel any good?) Girl 2: Malay. (I wouldn't know.) Girl 3: (picks up The Plot Against America) Sino ba 'tong Philip Roth? Ay, ang tanda na nya! (Who is this Philip Roth? Oh my! He's, like, old!) Girl 1: 'to na lang. Manipis. Madaling basahin. (Why not this one? It's a thin book so it's an easy read.) Girl 3: (loudly reads the synopsis in the book jacket) Sige na nga, eto na lang. (All right, I'll buy this one.) My thoughts: I was quite happy with this one. Girl 3 was actually willing to experiment.
A mother and daughter (I think) Mother: Ay! Sale! (OMG! Sale!) Daughter: 50 pesos lang?! Mother and daughter scan the bins for about 5 minutes. Daughter: (reads a text message from her mobile) Andyan na daw sina daddy. (Daddy's on his way.) Mother: Ah, ok. Tara. (Oh, all right. We'd better be going.) My thoughts: This was very, very disappointing. I can't help but feel that I was mislead into thinking that these two women are readers.
Anyway, you might be wondering why I'm not browsing through the books on sale. Well, I'm still in my no-book-buying phase, which will end on Easter Sunday. So far, I haven't bought a book in three weeks. Also, looking at the people provides the much-needed distraction from the sight of the hardbacks that seem to be calling my name.