My First Book Buying Experience

Posted July 3, 2017 by Zeee in Discussions10 Comments

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 ValleyArchie, 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!

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10 responses to “My First Book Buying Experience

    • Unfortunately. 🙁 I mean, I had the usual fairy tales and a lot of Archie comics, Sweet Valley, too but not as much as I would have wanted. I actually had to go to another island to buy good books. hahahaha

  1. This part: “Yep, some of them were the bodice rippers. Oh, and did I mention that I was thirteen? Ahem.” made me laugh so much! When I was younger, one of my friend’s moms would buy bodice rippers and leave them around the house. So my friend would “borrow” them and we’d take turns reading them. And yeah, we were, like 12 and 13 years old. So bad! haha 😀

    • hahahaha my dad didn’t know what I was reading.. ehemm… 😀 and I have to be honest with you, I didn’t get poisoned by reading those books, in fact, it made me more aware and careful! 😀

  2. I don’t remember my first book-buying experience! Probably in Borders, honestly. Oh yeah, remember Borders? I actually miss Borders. O_O There was also an indie bookstore a few blocks from my house, but they went out of business after about five years. :/ Le sigh!

    What I really want to do is go on a book-buying binge in one of the nearby thrift stores – they have SOOOOOOOOOOO many adult romance novels (especially HR novels). I see a lot of Kleypas and Dare and James and I’m always like, dang, I’m in HR heaven! LOL.

    Anyway. Great post, Zeee! Have a fabulous week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!
    Alyssa Susanna (The Eater of Books!) recently posted…Review: Because You Love to Hate Me, edited by AmeriieMy Profile

    • hahaha you are so right, Alyssa! I see A LOT of HR! I absolutely LOVE it!

      And I do remember Borders. So sad what happened 🙁

  3. So, I don’t remember the first time I went crazy in a bookstore, but I DO have bookstore memories! When I was young, I was obsessed with The Baby-Sitters Club, and so every month my mom would take me to the Walden Books in the mall, which was the only bookstore within about 100 miles. And this was pre-Amazon, so it was rough! And they’d (luckily!) always have the newest book in the series around the 4th or 5th day of the month, so I’d go buy it the second it came out. The best was months where a regular book, a mystery, AND a Super Special came out and it felt like Christmas 😉 When I was in high school, one summer I went and bought a TON of Lurlene McDaniel books, and binge read them! So maybe that was my first buying binge- but still using my mom’s money, still at the Walden Books in the mall hahah. I am sure my first adult book buying binge was courtesy of Amazon though!
    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted…Reviews in a Minute: Some Summer BooksMy Profile

    • Oh! I remember the time when I had to scour the department store that we had for Sweet Valley Kids, Twins and High! I do remember the time prior to Amazon and it was horrible! hahaha 🙂

  4. Sam

    I am going to go way back. I remember the school book fairs. I thought they were the best. I remember ordering from Scholastic too. We got those flyers every month, and I would circle almost every book, but my mother would not buy me every book.
    Sam recently posted…Review: Lucky in Love – Kasie WestMy Profile

    • I know what you mean! Since my mom was in the US at the time and I was in the Philippines, I always had to tell her on the phone (or snail mail) my book requests which would usually get to me in about 3 months. That is tooo long to wait for a book, though! hahaha