Monday, April 07, 2003

Work Work (in Peon tone of voice)

You guessed it, my time working on this Flash project is consuming bulk of my time. Of course I have a set deadline of this Thursday, so hopefully I'll be free by next week. In the meantime, you'll have to content yourself with this not-so-updated blog.

The Bookstore

Of course just because I'm working doesn't mean I don't get out. Since my meeting was in Rockwell, what better opportunity than to drop by the Powerplant Mall (the layout of which I should be familiar by now). As usual, there's only one store in my opinion worth visiting in that place and it's Fully Booked (formerly known as Page One).

Their book prices are still way out of my budget, although there are books being sold up to 90% off (then again, these are the books that suck). They also have a wide selection of DC and Marvel comics.

Of course perhaps Fully Booked (whose supplier is Bibliarch and that other bookstore in G3) is best known for its artbooks, which you probably won't be able to obtain anywhere else. But they're still expensive, and they used to have these magazines on layouting and typesetting (which have tutorials for the latest programs like Flash and Photoshop) but alas, I couldn't find them.

Since I was with Elbert, we dropped by Megamall to meet his coworker and friend Jansen. Since they were being buddy-buddy, I stole Jansen's date, errr, friend and we talked. Of course it was my mistake that when she said that she studied in St. Scho high school, she was referring to the one in Metro Manila.

Moving on, since we were in Megamall, we dropped by Powerbooks. Well, they're now selling Beyblade VCDs at Music One/Tower Records...

That aside, it seems there's a new stock of Good Omens available. And Coraline is finally at the right section: the children's section, although it's still not enough copies.

And even until now, Elbert doesn't beleive me that when I say once you've seen one National Bookstore/Powerbooks, you've seen them all. So when we dropped by the Podium to see the "National Bookstore Bestsellers", well, it's the same selection without the discount card of Powerbooks.

I forgot to add that Fully Booked has an interesting sign: "you open it, you pay for it". Which in direct comparison to the likes of Powerbooks is where people get the store copy and read it in a comfortable chair.

Elbert's jaw dropped when I brought him to Ink and Stone. Different selection, like hard-to-find books at not-so-expensive prices (sure, it's not as cheap as National Bookstore, but not as expensive as Fully Booked). And the Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is well worth it. For P700+, it's six books compiled in one hardbound book.

Better yet, it seems that my 10% discount card for "Charles Donald Tan" which originally applies to A Different Bookstore also applies at Ink and Stone. Heck, I bought myself a copy of Savage Species (that's one book less to ask Carlos to buy when he goes off to the US) since I was already tired at this point to go all the way to Glorietta to avail of the 10% discount. Which is a good thing since I discovered this neat fact.

I probably would have gone to Books4Less opposite UA&P but by this point, my legs were killing me. Books4Less, I might add, has affordable prices, but availability of particular books is unpredictable, which is the nature of used-books shops. Of course I wish I've visited Books4Less more often, but the fact of the matter is, I've only been there once. So any judgements I make isn't so reliable.

Speaking of Judgements

It dawned on me that the worst thing than an unreliable source is an unpredictable one. I mean if you know a source is reliable, then you can count on his information. If he's proven himself to be unreliable, you also know that you don't need to act on that particular information. But what happens if he's not consistent? He's sometimes reliable, and sometimes he isn't. What happens then? You're torn between whether to beleive your source, or not. In the end, you do more work since you double or even triple check to make sure his info is correct, or to verify that a particular rumor is true. More so if a lot of people tell you it's not true because you have to dig extra deep to learn if something really isn't possible (and just a false rumor) or if it's just not well-known.

The Bane of Compiled Books

For readers of SF&F, you'll notice that some books get compiled into hardbound and trade paperbacks and come out cheaper than the individual books. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings paperback edition, for example. Or Douglas Adam's The Ultimate Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Even R.A. Salvatore's Dark Elf series or David Edding's The Belgariad part 1. Of course lately, there are banes to such releases. I am talking about the "children's version" of these books, which do the complete opposite. You're essentially paying more for the same product. A book like Sword of Shanarra gets divided into three books, each costing less than the original novel but when added up, is more than the novel is worth. Sure, it might open the genre up to younger readers (then again, you might be underestimating these "young readers") but for someone who has a limited budget, this isn't exactly the way to go to promote a book.


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