Since 1993, there's this quaint bookstore - pretty much like Meg Ryan's The Little Shop Around The Corner in the movie "You've Got Mail"- that I have been going to to satisfy my literary cravings. Capitol Bookstore has been much a part of my life since the time they opened their doors in the city, especially considering the dearth of book shops here at that time. Even when the nationwide titan National Bookstore made its way here and lured me with their brand-new, glossy-covered books on rows upon rows of bookshelves, there still was that need inside me, the need to dig into a pile of old, threadbare books with their yellowed, brittled pages, that only Capitol Bookstore could satisfy. 

So imagine my shock and total dismay when I saw a "CLOSING SALE" banner hanging outside their door yesterday. I was in the neighborhood to cover an event and I didn't know that the bookstore was closing their doors for good. It turned out that the sign has been there for a week already, but I've been quite busy these past few weeks that it's been almost a month since I last dropped by the shop. Oh crap.

I quickly walked in only to find the small shop crowded with people armed with books and scouring the shelves. The store's closing sale promo is 10 books for a hundred pesos while for purchases of less than 10, you get an 80% discount. Now, that's one deal that's too good to resist. It's like dangling a chocolate-covered strawberry in front of me. 

So I dove into the crowd and pored over the books on the shelves and dug into the huge piles on the tables, while inhaling that wonderful musty, slightly moldy scent that only a book hoarder can love. I want to embed that smell on my mind for a long time. 

While struggling with the growing pile of books in my arms, I saw this little, old man checking out the books as well (left pic):

I saw him again when I walked out of the shop (right pic), cigarette in one hand, a book in the other standing beside his red, vintage bicycle. What a cool fella. I wonder if he was a writer in his heyday, or maybe a former English professor?

Anyway, I did walk out with my 10 precious finds, but it was a difficult process. To choose only 10 in a shop crammed with literary goodies is no joke. I wanted to buy everything there. 

Most of my buys are spy thrillers, medical and courtroom dramas, your run-of-the-mill detective stories. This batch should last me a month, I hope. 

Today will be Capitol Bookstore's last day of business. The owner said that they will start taking down the unsold books from the shelves today and pack them up for storage in a warehouse somewhere. I intend to go there today for my one last look and my last buy in what have been my favorite book store in this city that needs more book shops like this. And I'll try not to wax sentimental over it. 


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