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A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.
– Chinese Proverb

Bookshopaholic is back! You can say it’s a continual confession of sorts, with all that semi-obsessive-compulsive ordeal whenever I get near bookshops, book sales, book fairs and just books in general. Do you ever get the feeling of shortness of breath, a sort of dimming of eyesight, a bit of dizziness and weakness that is NOT exactly related to falling in love or a terrible hangover from the night before? The more apt term is ‘hyperventilating’. I get something like that whenever I go near bookstores. It is good not to let myself loiter near that stuff, or in a couple of minutes I will have something in my hand. Both hands.

But as I have confessed before (Confessions of a Bookshopaholic and More Confessions), I have found a good – albeit temporary – remedy for my kind of OCD. I had – exactly a year ago – imposed upon myself a moratorium from book-buying, from January to April 30 (broken by a birthday celebration of 7? 8 titles? One-time deal?). I was successful for that period of time, but I tell you, it was not at all easy. There were times then that I would still find myself in bookshops, contemplating on whether buying books for my eldest daughter would technically violate the moratorium. Ha ha ha. Imagine that, arguing against myself, justifying my violative actions.

I’m thinking of imposing the same moratorium now, although I have a feeling the internet will make it unbearably difficult. Case in point: one time late last year I was browsing Facebook and came across a page/ account that sells e-books online. It was a page adorned with title after title, book art after book art of thousands of e-books available in all e-book formats. It was around the time my sis Thea sent me an IPod Touch that can load e-books with apps like IBooks and Stanza. I held my breath, browsing through the covers, and hyperventilated – literally, hyperventilated – with face flushed and all. Browsing through the link (www.ebookna.multiply.com), I could not even taste the cheeseburger I was eating that time. You read that right: there was a bite of that langhap sarap goodness on my mouth and all I could taste were e-books! I found my e-heaven right there. Leesa (now practically my e-BFF unbeknownst to her) sells e-books for P10 per, with discounted prices for bulk orders. She made it to the top 10 of my most favorite people for 2010. Seriously! If you are a bookaholic or a bookshopaholic (same diff…) and would want that orgasmic hyperventilating bookshop online experience browse that site NOW. Needless to say, on my first transaction I got a total of P16 e-books for a hundred bucks. And I still do hyperventilate whenever I browse her Multiply site.

I know, printed books are still incomparable – the scent, the ‘brown-ish’ pages, the dust and mildew, leafing through the pages and shedding tears on them (huh? Sometimes…) – but I likewise feel comfortable knowing that if I get stranded somewhere I have with me (now 40+?) e-books (read some titles and drool: The Confession by John Grisham, Room by Emma Donahue, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender, among so many others).

Now where were we? What moratorium? (serendipity.couch@gmail.com)

sun*star.baguio.28jan2011.

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