Just two months ago my colleague in the office recommended that I should visit this big warehouse located in an obscure alley somewhere in Concepcion. He told me that cheap imported books were being sold there. His evidence: a book of poems by T.S. Eliot. Being a book nut I took the bait without question and informed Ahj that we were about to embark on a little book adventure.
We initially missed the place ‘coz we failed to spot the landmark which was this beer brewery. We just realized our being off our destination when the jeep that we were riding had already reached the edge of its last stop. After slapping our foreheads for not paying attention we then took another jeep (which was just a trip back to where we started). We were more vigilant in our attempt to find the landmark. A few minutes later, with our eyes ever unblinking, we finally found the brewery and asked the driver to drop us there.
We then walked amidst the three o’clock heat and the zooming sounds of speeding trucks from the highway. We spotted a narrow street and asked a tenant from a nearby sari-sari store about this warehouse of books.
We were totally in the right direction, she confirmed. She then told us to turn right at the end of the alley. We found this unassuming gate with a skinny dog in a corner. There wasn’t any signage indicating the presence of books nearby–we hesitated to enter the gate. So we asked the guy who was standing in front if there were books being sold inside. He told us to come right in, and so we did and we saw this:
As you walk into the dusty entrance you’ll immediately be greeted by boxes filled with random titles. Old eds, [somewhat] new eds, the used, the unused, the neglected, the lost, the unseen, the good covers, the classics, the torn pages, the folded ecstacies, the intricate summaries, the dull-and-lazy blurbs, the ins, the outs, the inbetweens and what have yous —they’re all there, mere orphans waiting for a new home.
In the end I got these:
I got them ALL for only 100 pesos (that’s only around $2.50!). Surreal.
And yeah, I have this strange predilection for modern poetry.