V.E. Schwab Book Haul

I survived my first week at the new job! To reward myself, I went to the bookstore and bought two books from this shelf… can you guess which ones they are? 🙂

Kinokuniya bookshelf - taken with Samsung S7

If you guessed A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab then you’re absolutely right! I keep hearing good things about both books from friends so I’ve been wanting to check them out. I know I keep saying I need to buy books in ebook format to save space, but the Kindle editions for these are still pretty pricey, and the UK paperback editions cost just a few more dollars so might as well get physical copies for the prettiness.

V.E. Schwab books

I hope I get to read these soon. Although I’ve heard that the second book ends on a cliffhanger. Maybe I should have waited for all three books to be released before getting the series? Oh well, too late now. 😛

As an aside, I finally switched from a Samsung S3 to an S7 Edge. The bookshelf pic above was the first one I posted on Instagram using the new phone. I got my old phone when I first moved to Singapore and had it for almost 4 years. I’m loving the upgrade, including having a way better phone camera. So expect nicer shots from me!

Book Haul: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

On Friday night, I had my favorite ramen (Ippudo) for dinner and (Laduree) macarons for dessert. Since I was in the same area as Kinokuniya’s most well-stocked branch, I decided to drop by for a visit. And after 3.5 years of living in Singapore, I caved and bought a discount card. So I’ll get 10% off on every purchase, and 20% off on special sale dates. I should have done this sooner! I kept holding off because I mostly buy ebooks for myself. The only physical copies I buy are gifts for friends, or graphic novels that I want to read. Since I foresee a lot of graphic novel purchases in my near future, I thought a discount card would be a good purchase. I think Kinokuniya’s graphic novel section is pretty up to date, I was able to find copies whenever I went there to look for certain titles, such as Saga, Rat Queens, The Wicked + Divine and Giant Days. I wanted to take a pic of their shelves but the store was about to close so

book haul - Jan 29, 2016

Last Friday’s impulse buy:
Kinokuniya’s privilege card
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North and Erica Henderson
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 2: Squirrel You Know It’s True by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

I also saw two other graphic novels series that have new issues. But since I don’t want to start the (expensive) habit of buying per issue, I’m going to wait until Vol. 1 is released for these two:

Monstress Cry Havoc

And two other titles that I wanted but didn’t get because they’re too pricey for me:

Seconds The Sculptor

I need to read the graphic novels that I already have before I buy more! What about you, any recent impulse buys?

Impromptu SG Indie Bookstore Hop

Last weekend, I did an impromptu bookstore hop. I’ve been meaning to visit Littered With Books ever since I saw pictures of it pop up on my Instagram explore page. I finally got to do so last Saturday.

Here are pictures of Littered With Books, located in the Tanjong Pagar area:
Littered With Books 1

Littered With Books 2

Littered With Books 3

Littered With Books 4

I bought one of these canvas bags from the store, which brings my bookish tote bag collection to a grand total of two.

Littered With Books 5

I’ve always loved this quote because books + travel ♥♥

On Sunday, I met up with friends for brunch at Forty Hands cafe and since we were already in the area, we dropped by Books Actually and Woods in the Books.

Forty Hands

Brunch at Forty Hands. Poached eggs with mushroom and spinach. Bacon. Mocha.

BooksActually - July 2015

BooksActually - July 2015 - corner

BooksActually - July 2015 - cats

Cats of BooksActually

BooksActually - Math Paper Press

Books published by Math Paper Press.

Last but not the least, we dropped by a bookstore specializing in children’s books:
Woods in the Books - July 2015

It was a fun weekend because I got to visit these three indie bookstores even though I didn’t plan it. What about you, have you visited any nice bookstores lately?

Europe 2015: Prague Update

Dobry den! I have a feeling my blog will look more like a travel blog than a book blog as I post updates about my recent trip. But I like doing these recaps because it also helps me remember the experience and I feel like I can look back and reminisce whenever I’m in the mood to do so. For the first leg of our trip, we traveled to the beautiful city of Prague in Czech Republic.

Whenever I find out that a friend has been lucky enough to go around Europe, I would ask what his or her favorite city was. I’ve gotten Prague as an answer several times. I found out more about this fairytale city when I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and that just further strengthened my resolve to visit it one day. So when January rolled around and I started planning for my Europe trip this year, I knew Prague had to be one of the destinations that I’ll visit. And the city didn’t disappoint. It was even more charming and beautiful that I expected. Some parts of the city are modern (which is to be expected) while others feel like they’ve been frozen in time. It was a place steeped with so much history and I wanted to just absorb as much as I can in the days that we spent there. I fell in love with Prague the same way I fell in love with Paris last year. I think the pictures will do a much better job of showing everyone how beautiful Prague is. Here’s is a lovely view of the city from the palace gardens:

Prague - for blog

The iconic astronomical clock and Tyn Cathedral in Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site:

Europe 2015 - Prague astronomical clock Europe 2015 - Tyn with horses

Another shot of Old Town when we came back another day. You could see how big a difference the nice weather makes when it comes to historic buildings. Also, we noticed that even the manhole covers are pretty in Prague:

Europe 2015 - Tyn with blue skies Europe 2015 - Prague manhole cover

Another famous landmark in Prague is the historic Charles Bridge, which crosses the river Vltava. It was super crowded with tourists and vendors so I’m quite proud that I was able to get a shot of one section of the bridge WITHOUT any people in it. I also loved how the sunlight bathed the bridge and the surrounding areas in such a warm glow:

Europe 2015 - Charles Bridge Europe 2015 - Charles Bridge sunlight

We walked around the palace gardens and saw quite a nice view of Prague Castle. We went back another day to explore the insides of the castle (where pictures were not allowed) as well as the grounds within.

Europe 2015 - Prague Castle garden Europe 2015 - Prague Castle

We were awestruck by the magnificent St. Vitus Cathedral which is inside the grounds of the Prague Castle:

Europe 2015 - St. Vitus Europe 2015 - St. Vitus clock

Europe 2015 - St. Vitus inside Europe 2015 - St. Vitus Mucha panel

The stained glass panel above was designed by world-renowned Czech artist Alfons Mucha and because Kim is a Mucha fangirl, we also visited the Mucha Museum in the city. No pictures inside so this was all I got:

Europe 2015 - Mucha Museum

Some traditional Czech dishes that we had: pork knuckle, beef goulash with bread dumplings, beef sirloin with cream sauce served with bread dumplings, potato dumplings with bacon. Of course, served with Czech beer.

Europe 2015 - Czech dishes Europe 2015 - Czech dishes 2

And because we are book nerds, we took note of bookstores whenever we saw them:

Europe 2015 - Prague indie bookstore Europe 2015 - Prague Knihy books

From the indie bookstore above, I bought the one and only book that I managed to buy for our entire trip. It’s a children’s book called This Is Prague and I loved its quirky illustrations. Even better? The bookstore also sold postcards based on the book. Such a perfect souvenir for a book and postcard nerd like me.

Europe 2015 - This Is Prague Europe 2015 - This Is Prague with postcard

I feel like I can go on and on about Prague but I’ll leave you all with this write-up. Next up will be recaps of the day trips that we took from Prague to Kutna Hora and Cesky Krumlov. Have you been to Prague? What did you think of the city? If you know of any books set in Prague that you think I’ll enjoy reading, please feel free to recommend them!

Europe 2014: Paris Update

Bonjour! There are so many things that I want to share about my first time in Europe, I don’t even know where to start. I thought I would do an update of each city that we visited. These will be picture-heavy posts, mostly from my Instagram account. It’s funny because at the end of each day, I would spend time uploading pictures (staying up late to do so) because I wanted to write captions while everything was still fresh in my mind. To make these travel posts a little more book-themed, I thought it would be a good idea to include a list of books I’ve read/plan to read set in the cities we visited.

Books I’ve read set in Paris:
Amour et Chocolat series by Laura Florand – All’s Fair in Love and Chocolate, The Chocolate Thief, The Chocolate Kiss, The Chocolate Rose, The Chocolate Touch, The Chocolate Heart, The Chocolate Temptation
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Books set in Paris that are in my TBR pile:
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan

Ahh, Paris. I feel like Paris will always have a special place in my heart since it was the first European city that I visited. It’s such a beautiful city, oozing with its own charm – even a normal street or building looked wonderful in my eyes. I was surprised at how well-kept the old structures are – the bridges, the palaces, the museums, etc. We don’t really have things like that in the Philippines. But then again, we probably get more natural calamities like typhoons and earthquakes back home. Moving on to the pictures…

Here’s the iconic Eiffel Tower – before and after dinner shots, with the latter captioned by my friend as “Does the moonlight shine on Paris?”

Paris - Eiffel1 Paris - Eiffel2

Sacré-Coeur and around the Montmartre area:

Paris - Sacre Coeur Paris - view from Sacre Coeur Paris - Montmartre Paris - carousel

Arc de triomphe and Champs Elysee:

Paris - Arc de triomphe Paris - Champs Elysee2

The opulence of the Palace of Versailles:

Paris - Versailles1 Paris - Versailles2 Paris - Versailles3 Paris - Versailles4

Museums Orsay and Louvre – the former was previously a train station while the latter was a palace:

Paris - Orsay Paris - Louvre

Notre Dame and Point Zero, as mentioned in Anna and the French Kiss:

Paris - Notre Dame Paris - Point Zero

The bookstore Shakespeare and Company – several friends who knew I was in Paris kept saying that I should visit this place. What’s great is that all five of us ended up buying something from this bookstore:

Paris - Shakespeare and Company Paris - Shakespeare and Company2 Paris - Shakespeare and Company3 Paris - Shakespeare and Company4

Hope you had fun going through these pictures. They were all taken using my phone camera and some filters were applied in Instagram. If you know of any books set in Paris that you think I’ll enjoy reading, please feel free to recommend them!

Shoot That Book: Books For Rent

Shoot That Book combines my passion for books and my tendency to become trigger happy with a camera. My lack of photography skills is compensated by my enthusiasm. Basically, I like taking pictures of books.

books for rent

There’s this bookstore near the office that allows customers not just to buy books but to borrow them as well. Their books are marked with two prices: the first amount is what you pay for when you get the book and the second is what you’ll get back when you return it. I’m not sure what the formula is for the prices but I think you get about half of what you pay for. So it’s like paying for half the price to read a book that you’re interested in. You can choose to buy brand-new books as well because they have stocks of those. Given how expensive books are in Singapore, this seems like a great idea. But why not borrow books from the library instead? Foreigners only need to pay an annual membership fee while membership for Singaporeans is free. I wonder how strong their business is since the Singapore public library has pretty good selections and there are several branches scattered all over the country. I haven’t borrowed or bought any books from them because I usually get my own copies in Manila or just borrow from the library.

books for rent2

I thought the rest of you would find this concept interesting. It’s first time I’ve encountered it. What do you think about renting books instead of buying them? Have you heard of other establishments that lets readers borrow books for a certain price?

Kinokuniya

I miss the bookstores back home. Singapore is similar to Manila in the sense that it has a lot of malls. But unlike Manila, most malls don’t have bookstores inside them. Kinokuniya, a Japanese bookstore, is one of the more well-known ones because it has three branches.

image

The young adult section:

image

Here’s the Harry Potter section:

image

And they have free bookmarks:

I think they have a pretty good selection of books but a lot more expensive than the books in Manila, they cost almost twice as much here. More reason to sign up for the public library! Or renew my friendship with the Book Depository.

Woods in the Books

Found this cute little indie bookstore called Woods in the Books. It’s located in Millenia Walk mall. They specialize in books for children. Too bad they don’t allow customers to take pictures inside the store.

image

I wasn’t able to buy any books but I did get these adorable postcards:

image

I’m planning to put them up in the office, just need to buy some magnets. Books here in Singapore are a lot more expensive than books in Manila. I probably won’t buy anything until I finish going through the tiny pile that I brought with me. I love that there are several indie bookstores here – so far, I’ve seen this and BooksActually. Will try to look for more so I can feature them here.

BooksActually

Tucked in a quiet street in Tiong Bahru is a lovely indie bookstore called BooksActually. I’ve been hearing a lot about this bookstore from fellow readers who have visited Singapore. So when I had some free time yesterday afternoon, I decided to drop by and check it out. Aside from books and other bookish paraphernalia, they also sell some vintage knick knacks.

Of course, I had to take pictures of these bookish postcards:

While I wasn’t able to buy any books (there weren’t that many YA or fantasy novels in the store), I have a feeling I’ll be back to visit and just look around because it’s such a charming bookstore. BooksActually is located at No. 9 Yong Siak Street, Tiong Bahru. Feel free to drop by whenever you’re in Singapore!

Libreria Bookstore in Cubao X

There’s a new bookstore in town and it’s called Libreria, located in the quirky and artsy Cubao X. This is where the second meet up of the Filipino Book Bloggers was held but more about that on another post. I wanted to highlight Libreria because it’s new and you can’t find a lot about it when you Google the name of the bookstore. To those who’ve never been to Cubao X, here’s the full address:

CUBAO EXPO
Gen. Romulo St.,
Araneta Center, Cubao QC, 1109

Libreria doesn’t have a sign to indicate its presence so when you enter Cubao X, just go straight until you find a vacant area then go inside and you’ll see a bright blue door. That’s the entrance to what Tarie has dubbed the Filipino Book Bloggers’ new headquarters.

Triccie, the owner of Libreria, is really nice and friendly. The place has a homey feel to it because some of the books are from Triccie’s own collection. She has a houseful of books and when she realized that she wouldn’t get to read a lot of the books that she owns anytime soon, she decided to put up Libreria. The books in the store aren’t covered in plastic like in other commercialized bookstores so customers can read samples while browsing. The books are very affordable especially since some of them are pre-loved. There’s even a bargain section where all of the books are just P50 each. I was glad to see that there are books in Libreria that aren’t available in other local bookstores. I bought a hardcover edition of The Spell Book of Listen Taylor by Jaclyn Moriarty for only P100 and a trade paperback of I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith for only P75. To the other Filipino Book Bloggers, please leave a comment listing the books that you bought to give people an idea of what’s available in Libreria. 🙂

I’ve always envied my American friends their indie bookstores and now I have my own favorite indie bookstore to patronize. Libreria is open everyday, 3pm to 8pm but on weekends, they can extend up to 11pm. Cubao X caters to a nocturnal crowd and I quote Honey in saying that Libreria is “a haven amidst teenage angst.” They also serve freshly brewed, refillable coffee for only P50.

Follow Libreria through its Facebook page.