"Hi, I'm Belle, and I'm a bookaholic." Everyone else (in monotone) "Hi Belle."
That is what I always hear in my head everytime I go into a bookstore. I rarely leave without buying anything, and ever since I've been able to hold on to money, bookstores became on top of my favorite places list.
I'm a semi-shopaholic, meaning I do enjoy shopping but I'm not driven by a compulsion to buy everything I like. I can pick up a dress, try it on, and return it back to the rack (even if the dress is really flattering) as soon as I see that the price is out of my budget range. I prefer buying clothes on sale; sometimes going to secondhand shops known here as ukay-ukays. I don't mind hand-me-downs from my aunts and cousins, and since I have a small frame, I get a lot of those, too.
Books, however, are a different matter. No matter how expensive they are, I just have to have it. I've been an avid shopper at National Bookstore since my elementary days more than a decade ago. It used to frustrate me, because the only time I get to splurge on books is during summer, when I go to Manila for month-long vacations. And then I'd blew my pocket money away in one swoop.
I remember going to the mall, armed with reasons why my cousin (or whoever I'm with) should leave me at NBS. They'd go grocery shopping, or watch a movie, while I'll be contented spending the whole day inside the bookstore. I used leave my money at home because I know I won't be able to resist buying. There was a time when I was there less than two hours, but I've gathered almost a dozen books, costing me to more than 8,000 pesos.
That was indeed a wake up call. Imagine spending 8k for books, in a single receipt purchase, at my age that time. I think I was only 14 years old. My Dad got mad at me (he found out because I didn't have enough money and he had to pay for the rest), and he got even madder when he had to pay for excess baggage at the airport (books are heavy, you know?).
I had to lie low for a while, but the need (yes, NEED) to read is making me crazy, and I cave. Then I discovered Fully Booked. I mean, it's no different from NBS, they carry mostly the same titles, but I do love how they arrange their books alphabetically, making it easier for me to find books under my favorite authors.
Of course, in the past few years, I've been content to get secondhand books from Booksale, occassionally shopping at Fully Booked or NBS for the titles I want to add to my brand-new collection.
And since technology is ever-evolving, Mom got me an Amazon Kindle last 2011, when she traveled to Singapore. It saved me A LOT of money, since I just download eBooks for free off the internet. And what I couldn't find, I buy from a seller on Facebook. She sells eBooks in all aformats for just 10 pesos apiece. My Kindle, however, died late last year (from overuse, according to Mom), and I've upgraded to an iPad Mini. Different gadgets, different formats, but the end result is the same: I can still read on my device.
And it suits me just fine.