I DRAGGED my friends Karen Montevirgen-Mondragon and Jay Magbojos to Solidaridad, the quaint, quiet bookstore owned by the writer F. Sionil José. It's in the neighborhood, near the intersection of Bocobo and Padre Faura Streets, a private store that sells books, albeit more pricey compared to their counterparts at National Bookstore. But I always like the sweet smell of books, both old and new, and the classical music—mostly Bach and Mozart—that plays in the background, so I always visit when I have the opportunity.
One can find rare books in the store, even those published by NYRB, like this essay collection by Max Beerbohm, which I shall buy next.
I must confess that I've never read any of Mr. José's books. I don't know why, but I should really find the time.
There's an abundance of Filipino literature inside, too—lots of books on Martial Law, Mindanao, and history.
It also sells magazines that are hard to find: like The New Yorker (at Php 300; not bad) and even Harper Magazine at times.
I got Anton Chekov's "Peasants and Other Stories" published by NYRB. I'm alternating his short stories with William Finnegan's "Barbarian Days: A Surfer's Life," a book on surfing, which I'm reading in my iPad.
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