Let’s talk about anything bookish!
Do you remember the very first time you went on a book buying binge? I actually do! Looking back now, I can’t believe how much I went CRAZY buying books.
But before I start, I want to give you a little background of where I grew up. I grew up in a small city in the Philippines: Dumaguete City. Growing up, we DID NOT have a bookstore that sells fiction! The HORROR, I know, but I’m not kidding.
We had a couple of department stores that sold books, but they were mostly Sweet Valley, Archie, Marvel, & DC Comics, and a small variety of adult best sellers. Also, they weren’t affordable at all. Mind you, this was in the 90s. Basically, the only time I could buy books was when I would go to Cebu City, one of the biggest metro areas in the Philippines (this is the next island over).
So yeah, that was my hometown in a nutshell.
This all changed when in the late 90s, a second-hand bookstore opened! It was called The Old San Francisco Bookstore but my friends and I called it Books! Books! Books! Because of the huge Books sign painted on the wall. In fact, it took us a few months to find out the real name of the store!
This bookstore really changed my life. This was where I discovered Harlequin Historical Romance and OMG I was hooked! I basically bought between 6-10 books every time I went, which was basically every week. Because it was a secondhand bookstore, I read older romances. Yep, some of them were the bodice rippers. Oh, and did I mention that I was thirteen? Ahem.
Some of the books I read (that I remember) are Betrothed by Elizabeth Elliot, Prisoner of My Desire by Johanna Lindsey, The Heiress by Jude Deveraux, Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens, and Blue Heaven, Black Night.
There are more books that I read, but these are the ones I can remember off the bat, plus I wanted to showcase just one book per author. It is also not a lie that there were a LOT of Johanna Lindsey books. I think I have read most of her older Mallory books. Once a Princess, anyone?
Surprisingly, I didn’t see a lot of Kathleen Woodiwiss or Loretta Chase in the bunch but I did see a LOT of Harlequin, Topaz and Zebra books. I mean, I was an expert in spotting the book covers from a mile away!
The Old San Francisco Bookstore has long since closed and thankfully, there is now a National Bookstore in my city. When I went home to visit last April, I actually visited the bookstore and even though I was disappointed with their stock (there was like a whole shelf of Harry Potter books and another shelf for other authors and half a shelf for romance), I was happy that there is representation from the genre that I read.
Looking back, I remember my happiness when we finally had a bookstore. I have probably spent most of my allowance on books. I have also managed to bring a few copies of my favorite books back here in California with me. I also managed to buy copies of my favorite books on Amazon.
Do you remember your very first book buying experience?
Share your stories below!