First of all and to get it out of the way, FullyBooked or any company related to it is not paying me to do entries on them. It just so happens that FullyBooked’s flagship branches in Manila and in Alabang just happen to have interesting displays or places that I can’t help not write about it.
So after enjoying a cup of coffee at Fully Booked’s Press Cafe in Alabang, it’s time to head back to Manila and enjoy the comforts of what may just be the Philippines’ only five-storey building for books. Located at the heart of Fort Bonifacio, in the swanky and high-end Bonifacio High Street is FullyBooked’s gigantic behemoth store on all things books, music, magazines, comics and literary events. Inside this wonderful place are interesting set pieces that deserve an entry all to themselves. The first is all about Mike Stilkey’s “Discarded Romance” and the second is Herakut’s artwork on culture and beauty at the fashion and design wing of Fully Booked BGC.
Seeing Discarded Romance for the first time and visiting it is always a new experience for me. It’s largeness is quite astounding and the installation itself speaks metaphors of the value of books. Reading some blogs about Mike Stilkey’s work, he alludes or what I think he alludes to, the slow decline of books. With all the technology in the world replacing books: from the Kindle by Amazon, the iBooks of Apple, and other e-readers, a question starts to loom in the horizon, what is the value of books in this technology driven society of ours? In a larger scale, it also raises the question of the relevance of bookstores, now that buying books, to use Amazon’s tagline “only takes less than a minute”.
While enjoying going up the multiple levels of the store, I got to ponder my questions on the relevance of physical books and stores. I for one have an e-reader but I seldom use it, maybe for the occasional travel and the convenience of not having to lug around a heavy hardbound book. I find that e-readers take away the feel of books and the experience of reading a book; the riffle of pages, the scent of both old and new novels, the crack of the spine and the undeniable fact of dog-eared (which I utterly detest) pages give a book its character and leaves the reader with fond memories of the journey of reading that particular book.