Chachic's Book Nook


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Christmas Shopping – Manila Edition

In my previous post about Christmas shopping, I mentioned that I was planning to get Filipino titles to give as gifts to friends. I wanted to support the local writing community and at the same time, encourage my real life friends to read. So I ordered books from Filipino authors even before I flew home to Manila. To make the gifts even more special, I asked the authors if they could personalize the books and they very kindly agreed to do so.

When I got home, a package was waiting for me. It contained five copies of Loveless. Childless. Clueless. by Miren B. Flores:

Loveless. Childless. Clueless gifts

On the same day that I landed, I met up with my friend Chris Mariano, author of Cover (Story) Girl. We had dinner at Cibo in ShangriLa but I was super hungry so I wasn’t able to take any pictures of the food. Here’s a fangirl pic instead:

Chris Mariano fangirl shot

Cover Story Girl gifts

I also dropped by the bookstore in that mall and grabbed three copies of the first installment of the Trese graphic novel series:

Trese gifts

The next day, I met up with authors Mina V. Esguerra, Tina Matanguihan, my friend Kim and newfound friend Jothee at Tweedle Book Cafe (more about that meet up in a separate post). I was able to get the pile of books that I ordered from Mina plus a freebie of What You Wanted:

Mina V. Esguerra books as gifts

Here’s the whole pile of the various titles that I bought:

Filipino books as Christmas gifts

I was really excited to start giving these books as gifts that I didn’t even bother with wrapping them up, since I wanted my friends to see the signature and messages inside as soon as they could. Fellow book blogger Kim was the first recipient:

Kim with Loveless Childless Clueless

Followed by three girlfriends who were thrilled to receive personalized copies of books. I think this is the first time they’ve gotten books specifically signed for them. They were so happy that they took pictures of the books (here, here and here) as well as the messages (here, here and here).

Chuchay, Mich and Ena with gifts

They wanted to start reading the books right away. I made a point of giving them different titles so they can swap and borrow each other’s copies once they’re done. Based on my friends’ reactions, I think I can safely say that my mission has been accomplished.:) Fingers crossed that my other friends will be just as happy with what they’re getting.


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Pratical Guide to Christmas Gift Giving

My friends in real life always say that even if they wanted to give me books as presents, they never know what to get for me. Aside from not knowing what title I would enjoy reading, they also have no clue whether I already have a copy of a particular book. I do keep my Goodreads shelves updated but I don’t think my friends would think of checking that site since they don’t have accounts there. I’ve mentioned several times that I would be happy to receive bookstore or Amazon gift cards but some friends refuse to give gift cards, saying that it’s equivalent to just handing money over (I don’t see why that’s a bad thing when it’s money that would be allocated for buying books). I think for them that takes out the fun in gift giving?

Of course, the best way to get a good gift idea is to just ask me directly. Which is what one of my Singapore-based friends did. One of the days we were out together, I brought her to the bookstore and gave her five books that I wanted. We’re both into graphic novels so those were the ones I gave her. I then asked her to choose a title that she would be interested in borrowing. And viola! She has then bought and given me a gift that we’re both happy with:

Christmas 2015 - Nellie's gift

Yes, I know what’s inside but the bookstore offered to gift wrap it for free so it’s nicely covered until I read it. I’m going to suggest this practical gift buying procedure to any friend who wants to buy books for me.:) What do you guys think, do you agree that it’s a good idea? Do you have any other tips regarding this topic?


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Christmas Shopping – Singapore Edition

As I mentioned in one of my posts last week, I love the Christmas season. It doesn’t really start feeling like Christmas is near until I start my Christmas shopping. I think it’s a lot of fun to browse around malls, go into stores with Christmas carols playing on their speakers, and try to decide what would make great gifts. This year, I’ve decided that I’ll mostly be giving books as gifts. I was at the bookstore the other day and was able to get Christmas-themed board books for my newborn godson:

Christmas 2015 - Kinokuniya books for Adrian

The bookstore offered free gift wrapping services and I think their Christmas gift wrappers are adorable. These two titles are inside:

Dream Snow Little Santa

I hope my godson enjoys these books! Or I guess I should say, I hope his parents enjoy reading these aloud to him. Another bookish shopping experience that I enjoyed was putting together a Secret Santa package for my book club. This has become a tradition that I’ve participated in for the past three years (the Secret Santa haul I got from previous years: 2012, 2013, 2014). Of course I can’t share the contents so here’s a preview instead:

Christmas 2015 - YAckers Secret Santa

That gift bag is from Kikki.K, the same store where I’ve been getting my planner for the past few years. Fingers crossed that my YAckers Santee will like the stuff I put inside! Now I just need to drop by the post office during the hours that they’re open.

For my friends back home, I’m planning to buy Filipino titles. I was thinking Filipino romance titles (lots of new releases this year) for my girlfriends, Filipino graphic novels for guy friends, and Filipino kiddie books for my godsons. And for those, I wouldn’t be able to start buying them until I’m in Manila. So watch this space for another bookish Christmas shopping update!

What about the rest of you, have you started your Christmas shopping? Planning to give any books as gifts?


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Gone Reading International

Gone Reading International, markets a line of great products for book lovers and readers, and donates 100% of the after-tax profits to fund new libraries in the developing world. I think what they’re doing is amazing. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’re aware that we don’t have good public libraries here in the Philippines and that’s not going to change anytime soon. It’s one of my biggest frustrations and yet I can’t really complain because I’m thankful enough that I have a job that lets me earn money to buy the books that I want to read. So I really don’t mind spreading the word about Gone Reading and their products because it’s for a great cause. Here’s more information from their homepage:

Gone Reading International, LLC was founded to bring the magic effect of reading and books to places where they don’t exist. We believe that when people have open access to great reading materials, life always changes for the better. When libraries and reading materials are made available, entire villages, communities and their citizens achieve unprecedented levels of self-sufficiency.

That’s why Gone Reading International donates 100% of after-tax profits to fund new reading libraries and other literacy projects in the developing world. By purchasing GoneReading brand gifts and merchandise, you’re treating yourself and the world at large to a wonderful gift. All purchases from GoneReading – from our book lights to our book club gifts – help contribute to our philanthropic work.

We donate to great non-profits such as READ Global and Ethiopia Reads, amazing organizations with proven models, long track records, and dedicated teams on the ground. Such groups partner with local villages and communities in the most underdeveloped parts of the world to effect real change.

Brad Wirz, founder and CEO of the company, kindly sent me an email informing me that they created a special discount for followers of my blog: CHACHICS25

The coupon expires one month from today, and is good for 25% off of any purchases at http://www.GoneReading.com except our bookends. There is no risk of “oversharing” it, so don’t hesitate to mention via social media or other online channels, too! We still earn a margin even after the discount, and the online buzz you create for us helps our Google rankings, bringing in plenty of new shoppers!

They ship within the U.S. and internationally to Canada, the U.K. and Australia. Some of their products are bookmarks, book journals and book lights. I thought it would be a good idea to highlight some of the products that look interesting to help the rest of you decide what to get. I think this bookish board game is awesome:

I also like these shirts for women:

Head on over Gone Reading’s website and see if there’s anything that you’d like to buy. Don’t forget to use this coupon code: CHACHICS25 to get a 25% discount.

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