02 Jul2007


We just got back from the new five storey Fully Booked Store at the Bonifacio High Street “Mall.” It is fantastic! The best bookstore by far in the Metro at this point. I have always liked Fully Booked, before it was called Page One, and when it full4was just starting out as Bibliarch on Pasong Tamo over a decade ago. I realize it is the owner that is the common thread, rather than the corporate entity, but this has always been MY KIND of bookstore. Over the years, at least 25% of my cookbooks (running close to 400 at the moment) have come from Fully Booked. I gave up on National Bookstore years ago. If I needed consigned ballpens with prices individually taped to the plastic body of my pen, making it infuriatingly difficult to remove without sticky residue, I go to NBSI, otherwise I can be found at Fully Booked. Today, my haul included three cookbooks, “The Essence of Chocolate” by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg, “Moroccan Modern” by Hassan M’Souli and Mustards Grill by Cindy Pawlcyn.

I hear through the grapevine that Fully Booked may soon close at Rockwell, transferring its flagship location to The Fort. That is too bad for Rockwell, the bookstore was one of the MAIN reasons I frequented that mall. Now I can just drive up to the new shop, park full2behind it, and pay a PHP25 parking fee, harummmph!, and hang out at this huge shop in full airconditioned splendor until I have a hankering for an old-fashioned doughnut at Krispy Kreme that is about 100 meters away. We spent just about an hour at the new store this afternoon and I found three cookbooks I could put back on the shelves. The cookbook selection is very good. While the Rockwell store was on 20% sale over the weekend, I didn’t find any books I just HAD to have there. But at this new location, they are chock-full of new selections. It was like Marketman at 12 years of age in a candy store.

The new store is modern, with dark brown shelves in a more linear and anal retentive layout. It is starkly appealing (for a retail store which must have had a budget) and it allows the colors of the individual book jackets to full3jump off the shelves. I couldn’t stand the design of the old Fully Booked at Rockwell with strange angles and non-linear aisles…it was awful; but the books were always the draw. Here there is ample space between aisles and on a sunny day like today, it was bright and airy feeling. A central atrium with a skylight up top also makes the place feel light and airy. There are seats here and there (too few I suspect) where you can sit and browse as long as you like. The only thing that bothers me about the nice glass banisters? instead of more solid banisters is that a fat kid running and smacking into the glass could conceivably fall several floors below. The Kid, who was with me and thrilled with their Garfield selection, rolled her eyes when I said this, me the one uncomfortable with heights, but I sat down beside the glass and moved it with my hand and it swayed a good inch or two at the central seam… I would check the strength of that if I were them. A Starbucks Coffee is opening in-house as soon as construction is completed.

Overall, I am thrilled these guys have opened such a nice shop and stocked with so many goodies. It can only get better in the months ahead. Today they were full5still stocking shelves and staff are clearly wet behind the ears but that didn’t stop us spending more than we should have. I have had a Fully Booked discount card for years and it came in handy today… The new store is located near the Serendra apartments in a corner building. There is parking right behind it. I am not related to the owners and I wasn’t asked to put this post up. If you love books, you’ll love this store. Check it out this weekend before I get back there and wipe out the cookbooks…



  1. Raneli says:

    Leave me in a good bookstore for hours and that makes my day. I sooo glad we finally got something like it here. Back in my early days of travel, I would score the bookshops of Borders,Barnes and Nobel,Kunikoniya,Strand,Rizzoli’s,etc just to get my literary high and always without fail, buy me a book or two. Thanks for the wonderful announcement!

    Jul 2, 2007 | 5:33 pm


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  3. L says:

    I know exactly how you feel, Marketman. I was there the first week they opened and didn’t come out after a couple of hours! I was walking around and I kind of thought they had a different selection than that of Rockwell’s. Or maybe I didn’t properly see all the books at Rockwell because of the weird layout. Too bad for Rockwell. Fully Booked was the only reason that led me there.

    Like you, I spent more than I should have but it was well worth it. I gave up on NBS (and Powerbooks) a long time ago, too.

    I love Scharffenberger’s ‘The Essence of Chocolate’! Drool-worthy. Oh, they have almost all of Donna Hay’s cookbooks, too. Who would have thought…?

    Jul 2, 2007 | 5:47 pm

  4. elaine says:

    Hello MM…I love books and I’m a “regular” customer to both big bookstores: Powerbooks and Bibliarch to Page One to Fully Booked. I get my lifestyle, craft, and fiction books at Fully Booked, and most cookbooks at Powerbooks. I also do online, like Powell’s. But I believe that FB is more updated, though. And I’m beginning to like their selection of cookbooks. Thanks for this little update…we truly enjoy books (so many books, so little time!)and maybe some cookbook picks from you would be nice.:)

    Jul 2, 2007 | 6:27 pm

  5. TOPING says:

    Fully Booked rocks! I couldn’t help but download some of the photos from your server and send it to a friend who’s equally gaga over FB; hope you don’t mind, MM. ;-0

    Jul 2, 2007 | 9:11 pm

  6. spanx says:


    Jul 2, 2007 | 10:22 pm

  7. corrine says:

    Aside from cookbooks, my other fave is Garfield! I go gaga over Garfield collections in Borders. Such great news that FB has too. I’m hats off to their cookbooks but I hope they can improve on other subjects. Sooo many nice books out there that I hope this new branch would have.

    Jul 2, 2007 | 10:38 pm

  8. chris says:

    I hate Fully Booked for opening just a few hundred meters from where I work! haha! i have been there everyday since I “discovered” it and I think all my salary in the next few months will be spent on books. They’re my only luxury, aside from food of course, and I can’t resist not buying at least one (or at the very least, a magazine) when I enter a bookstore. I guess it’s the same feeling women have when they enter a shoe or bag store?

    Your comment about National BS’s annoying practice of taping price tags is right on. They put it on books too, not just pens. And it leaves a residue on the book! I have to spend a few minutes rubbing it off. At FB, they put tags on the shrink wrap, so it comes off with the plastic when you unwrap it.

    Jul 2, 2007 | 11:48 pm

  9. Maria Clara says:

    What would not you love at this store – wide selection of books, competitive prices, in-house Starbucks, air-conditioned and parking is just right around the corner?

    Jul 3, 2007 | 12:55 am

  10. Larees says:

    More than shopping for clothes, shopping for books makes my blood rush! Can’t wait to visit this one. I can get lost here and I won’t mind at all!

    Jul 3, 2007 | 1:28 am

  11. bernadette says:

    Thank you very much for this info, MM! For someone in the province going to Manila on limited time it is great to know immediately where to browse. I would really see to it to go to Rockwell for Fully Booked and drool! Budget-wise I really have to choose buying an original DVD/VCD or a very good coffeetable art or cookbook. Tough!

    Jul 3, 2007 | 8:56 am

  12. mila says:

    I kept going everyday to check when it was going to open, and was thrilled when I saw a Soft Launch sign on the front door. At last, a local bookstore worthy of a Barnes and Noble or Borders (although nothing beats Powells in Portland).

    It would be a pity for Rockwell to lose such an anchor store, but maybe that’s why National Bookstore got their space within the Lifestyle 2nd floor section. I never liked the layout when Fully Booked moved upstairs to the 3rd floor, like some attempt to think outside the box gone wrong.

    Jul 3, 2007 | 2:07 pm

  13. SimplePleasures says:

    Woh! this is one huge mega bookstore! Its what I imagine heaven would look like full of wonderful books!

    Jul 3, 2007 | 2:46 pm

  14. TOPING says:

    Woohoo! Got a copy of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals from FB. You have that on your to-read list, MM? It’s great; a bit scary knowing where most of our food really comes from, though {shudder}…

    Jul 3, 2007 | 5:21 pm

  15. Ria says:

    I found Maida Heatter’s award winning Cookie Cookbook here. I love it!!!

    Jul 3, 2007 | 9:08 pm

  16. Katrina says:

    I’ve been half-excited and half-nervous (for my wallet) to visit the new Fully Booked. From your pictures, it looks wonderful — we’ve never had a bookstore like that here! Still, I really hope the rumors aren’t true about the Rockwell branch closing. It’s a more convenient location for me, overall. Although I was very glad about Natl. Bookstore opening there, I didn’t see it as competing with FB, but with Office Warehouse (which is I dislike). Maybe the Rockwell branch’s closure was the reason for the sale tables last weekend, which I scoured for over an hour. I bought a basketfull of books, from 50 to almost 90% off! :-D

    Jul 3, 2007 | 10:44 pm

  17. Maddie says:

    Off-topic: I see a couple of people here mentioning the price tag on NBS’ merchandise. Geesh! They have this on everything! Brown envelopes, illustration boards! Imagine presenting a layout the old-fashion way, mounted on illustration boards (black side) and they have to place the tag at the corner? WTF? Why, why can’t you find a better price sticker like everyone else? Or seal everything and stick it on the plastic?

    Back to BHS Fully Booked! Oh my Gus Abelgas! I don’t want to go there unless I am really on the lookout for something. So far, I’ve been there 3x and on all occasions walked out with a purchase, justifying it by buying a book or two for my little girl. :)

    Jul 4, 2007 | 12:01 am

  18. Ria says:

    I’d like to add another comment: My 2 year old absolutely loves the stools in the kids section.

    I can’t wait for the paper and art supply section in the basement to open :)

    Jul 4, 2007 | 12:52 pm

  19. Christa says:

    Gasp! 5 stories?! Heck, that’s a lot of books. Now, if only they had a built in hotel and diner, I would never ever want to leave.

    Fully Booked is ever the dependable place to find books and supplies! :)

    Jul 5, 2007 | 2:12 am

  20. Pia Magalona says:

    Hi, Market Man :) I hope you don’t mind my referring to your blog for a full description of Fully Booked at Serendra/Boni High Street.
    Thanks so much…
    Pia M

    Jul 12, 2007 | 1:37 am

  21. buckythetarayslayer says:

    There’s a way to remove the annoying dark mark left behind by those sticker tag price thingies… get a piece of tape, apply it to the offending mark, lift it up and you’ll see some of the ick gets lifted off as well. The tag has to be freshly removed for this to work. Of course, you have to repeat this step til insane so…. Would’nt it be cool if you can just wave a wand and shout “Scourgify!” to get rid of that nasty splotch? Ehehe…

    Aug 15, 2007 | 3:42 am

  22. Clarissa says:

    hi nice post, i enjoyed it

    Aug 19, 2007 | 9:18 am

  23. Jose Costales says:

    We wish to inform you that all retailers that accept credit
    card payments are strictly prohibited to impose a
    surcharge, extra charge, or additional charge over and
    above the indicated price tag displayed on the product or
    service being sold when consumers use their credit cards.
    This One Price Rule is a Department Administrative Order
    issued by the Department of Trade & Industry.

    If the store does not follow the One Price Rule, you can
    remind the merchant about the One Price Rule. However, if
    merchant refuses to extend just one price, ask the merchant
    to indicate the surcharge amount separate from the
    service/merchandise price on the receipt or sales slip.
    Afterwhich, kindly report the incident to Citiphone Banking
    and present receipt as documentary evidence.

    If the cardholder was billed with surcharge by the
    merchant, Citibank will report the case to CCAP (Credit
    Card Association of the Philippines). However, the Bank
    cannot guarantee refund or credit for any surcharge. It
    would also be helpful if the cardholder is vigilant since
    affixing signature on the sales slip signifies the
    willingness to pay the amount indicated on the sales slip.

    We hope we have addressed your concern. For further
    inquiries, please call our 24-Hour CitiPhone at
    995-9999 (Metro Manila), 234-9999 (Metro Cebu),
    1-800-10-9959999 (Toll-Free from Other Provinces) or +63
    (2) 995-9999 (from Abroad).

    Thank you for visiting Citibank Online.

    Sincerely yours,

    Customer Service
    Citibank N.A. Philippines

    This was emailed to me by Citibank. I jst don’t know why you have a different price for unising a credit card? We hope for a clarification on this since we love going to your store and normally buying a lot from you.Thank you and have a nice day.

    Nov 7, 2007 | 10:03 am

  24. Marketman says:

    Jose, I think you meant that comment for Fully Booked. This blog is not connected with them, I simply write about food and other issues. However, I will let the comment stay because I agree that stores should not add a surcharge. But I must say that I am a frequent customer of Fully Booked and have their discount card. It is only when I use the discount card that the pricing is different for cash or charge, that is in their agreeements. But if you just buy a book off of the shelf and have no card, I didn’t think they charged you more at the counter if you used a credit card…

    Nov 7, 2007 | 10:08 am

  25. icy purple says:

    Only fully booked has the complete twilight series… thank you fully booked! I was desperate to find a copy of the 1st book. Good thing you have it.

    Nov 15, 2008 | 7:27 am

  26. shin says:

    do they have manga [Japanese comics] in fully booked store?
    and [!important!] how much per manga?
    I’m planning to ask my mom to bring me there.
    cause I’m dying to have mangas. [really.]
    fully booked is really really really far from our location.
    i just want to confirm if they truly have manga
    before i bug my mom. cause shes so gonna kill me if
    i don’t have much information about it.
    i really hope someone will answer my question.
    please answer me. thank you very much people. :D
    answering me makes me extremely mega happy to the fullest!
    again, thank you very much.

    May 30, 2009 | 10:01 pm


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