Monday, September 17, 2012

Book hunting in Bangkok

Last week, I found myself in Bangkok for the 2nd time this year for work-related stuff, and I thought the trip would be a good opportunity for me to finally get a copy of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. Hey, if I can't get a copy in Manila, I might as well try somewhere else, right? So off I go.

During my 2nd day, I had some free time off in the early evening, so I decided to head to the nearest mall, which is the humongous Central World. I checked out two bookstores. The first, Asia Books, seem to carry only new fiction titles.

The Kinokuniya bookstore looked promising, but it didn't have the Mitchell. They did have lots of erotica, apparently riding on the Fifty Shades bandwagon. Kinokuniya is one of my favorite book haunts. I can spend an entire day in a Kinokuniya.

Erotic fiction at the Kinokuniya Central World branch 

On my 3rd day, I checked out another Kinokuniya branch in Siam Paragon. Again, no luck. Good thing I asked the customer service department to find out if they do have Mitchell in other branches. Just my luck, they have it in Prom Phong, which is 6 train stations away from Siam Paragon. They'll hold the book for me for 3 days. I did buy two books: Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, George Eliot's Middlemarch, and E. M. Foster's Howard's End. They came in Penguin editions. I couldn't resist.

When I get back at the hotel, I received an email from the Fully Booked bookstore in Manila, telling me that they finally have it in stock. Great! I figured I can it cheaper back home. And they told me that they also have it in their book fair booth, which was until Sunday. Perfect! I'll be back in Manila by Sunday, just in time to finally get my hands on a copy.

On my 4th day, I hopped on the train and went to Prom Phong, just to check out their Kinokuniya branch. They did have it in stock, and it's in the cover that I want! Thinking, thinking. Should I get it? It costs almost double the price. Nah, I'll just get the book in Manila, I said to myself. I did get 4 more books: John Wyndham's The Kraken Wakes, Diana Wynne Jones's Castle in the Air, Paul Buckley's Penguin 75, and a book about useless Japanese inventions.

 The Kinokuniya Prom Phong branch

My flight on my 5th and final day in Bangkok was at 11.35 pm, and the last order of business ended at noon. Yay! Free time! And where else will I kill free time? Why, at a bookstore of course! But it dawned on me that I have no reading material while waiting for boarding later! You see, all my stuff have been packed. Packing for me is a science, requiring proper positioning of the items to maximize space. I don't want to bother anymore unpacking just to get a book to read for later. So I bought Jo Nesbo's The Leopard, which was my last book purchase in this city (or so I hope).

So yesterday, I dropped by the Manila International Book Fair to help out with manning our booth. (I work for a book publishing house.) Then I went to the Fully Booked booth to get a copy of Cloud Atlas. But they ran out! Can you effing believe it?! Oh well, I've always wanted a copy of Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, so I just bought that to console myself.

My book loot last week
Heavy on the classics, no?

I emailed my contact at Fully Booked about what happened and she told me that they probably have some stocks left and they'll reserve one for me. Thank goodness!


Teacher Pogi said...

heavy nga on classic. haha. ang sosyal ng book hunt.

Peter S. said...

Paminsan-minsan. Hehehehehe.

Jack Tyler said...

All my life, I have heard that the Chinese use the same word for "disaster" and "opportunity." Perfect example of why!

Enjoy your new addition to Mount TBR!

- Jack

Peter S. said...

Thanks, Jack! I will!

Anonymous said...

Cloud Atlas is selling like pancakes! I found 5-6 copies at the NBS shelves on Day 1 (or 2?), and all were sold by Day 5. I was tempted to buy that edition (cover is 6 photos of clouds), but it is ridiculously priced at 750something. FB has it for around 600.

Peter S. said...

I want that edition with the clouds!

Monique said...

I was going to ask which cover you preferred, but Angus beat me to it. I want to have that edition as well, but like he said, NBS sold it at the MIBF for a skyrocketing amount! Di bale na. :)

I miss Bangkok. My husband and I spent our honeymoon there but I didn't get to visit any bookstores. I love Siam Paragon! Very classy place, though.

Looking forward to our Cloud Atlas discussion! :)

Peter S. said...

Hi, Monique! I love that mall too! Regarding the book, I just want to read it before the movie comes out here in Manila.

Gem said...

I really want to go in a Kinokuniya. Sayang nga lang walang ganun sa Pinas. :(

Peter S. said...

Hello, Gem! Thanks for dropping by! Actually, yung Fully Booked stores dito, parang Kinokuniya na rin.