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 was 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 behind 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 jump 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 still 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…