on books being necessary to sustain life

They say Filipinos are not a reading people. We get our mental stimulus primarily from television. As proof, look at the tremendous popularity of the sensational evening news programs, prone to exaggeration, and the fantasy telenovelas that feature mestizo actors and actresses, many of them as pale-skinned as radishes through artifice (glutathione, anyone?).

Yet there are still many of those who read. There are those who crave the feel of a book in their hands, a construct of paper and ink, upon the pages of which letters crawl to form words that are portals into other worlds.

Wall art on an upper floor of Fully Booked bookstore, Bonifacio High Street, The Fort.

The local market is not large enough to fully support a healthy publishing industry; I know of several publishing companies that were born in hope yet died in time when buffeted by economic and social realities.

Still, the major chain bookstores thrive. They derive much of their revenue from imported reading material and ephemera, but at least they are around, to provide the necessities to those of us who cannot imagine living in a world without books.

taste more:

Leave a Reply