Anvil Book Sale ’09: A Primer

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 18 - 2009

As you might know from Kyu or Jessica Zafra, Anvil Publishing, one of the leading (and certainly one of the most prolific) Philippine publishers is holding a big bargain book sale from November 17 to December 12. I trooped on down yesterday morning, and thought I’d get this guide up for all of you who are planning to launch raids of your own.

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The first step of course is that you need to find the place. The sale is being held at Anvil’s office along Pioneer Street, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig–I’ve included a picture of the gate above for reference. It’s along the same road as Pioneer Supermarket and Robinson’s Pioneer (or, “the Forum” as they’ve taken to calling it. If you’ve ever been to one of the Powerbooks warehouse sales or the Regalong Pambahay outlet store, those are also along Pioneer street. Usually the quickest way to get there if you’re coming from EDSA (going north) is to take a right into Robinson’s Pioneer or right after it, but recently there’s been some construction in the area, so there might be cases when that road is closed off. Another way to get to pioneer would be to take Shaw, then take a right at Pioneer Street (there’s a Caltex station at the corner). If you’re coming from Edsa and you hit the rotunda you’ve gone too far.

Parking might be a bit of a doozy, but the guards are helpful and they’ll allow you to double, as long as you promise to pull yourself away from your book binge when someone needs to get out.

After the cut I’ll post a few pictures and give my impressions of what awaits you, but if you’d like to “see” things for yourselves, here’s a video (with those new annotations youtube allows) I took of the booksale area. It’s not a big place but there are a lot of books to sift through:


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The three pictures above give you a basic idea of how the place is laid out–you’ve got the generally cheaper (and more raggedy) books in the middle, either on the tables or on the floor, while the books on the shelves are usually more recent publications that go for close to their original prices (100-200 bucks). The books on the shelves are almost uniformly Anvil publications, while those in the middle are a mix of older Anvil stock (except for the occasional new-ish book) and books from other publishers.

I did spot a few newer books (all in the upper right corner of the area, amongst the hard bound books on antiques) like “Pareng Barack” and “From Darna to Zsazsa…”, but I really had to root around for those–still, you just might luck out, if you can get to the sale early enough.

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There was a shelf full of of children’s activity books on sale, most with recognizable characters such as Dora, Spiderman, or that annoyingly ubiquitous yellow sponge, and all were going for ten bucks a piece. There’s a catch though–I think these books are on sale because they were immersed in water (during Ondoy perhaps) and then dried out, so they are a bit warped. Other than that warping though, they seemed to be in good shape–not discolored or ripped or annything–so while I wouldn’t give them as gifts, I certainly wouldn’t mind buying them for a child of my own.

Or… maybe you’d want something more overtly educational for an older child? I saw some of Queena Lee Chua’s books, as well as some generic science books–juxtaposed, unintentionally I’m sure, alongside a stack of Star Wars YA, much to my amusement. After all, what better way to introduce a child to science than by getting him accustomed to how cool it is to ignore it entirely? ;)

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I also saw a pile of Barron’s booknotes, which made me all misty-eyed for the days whencheating on book reports required more than a book report. Ah the good old days… *sniff*

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The piles on the floor are a bit more mixed, but the children’s books (and the sponge!) are everywhere. Just don’t give your toddler a Tony Perez Kulam book ok?

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There were a lot of Mr. Perez’s Kulam and Spirit Quest related books available though, so if you’re looking to do research in that area, the Anvil sale is perfect. Also well represented were Jaime Licauco and Ms. Zafra herself. There’s something funny about finding a Twisted book atop a pile of pink books on Flipper the dolphin though.

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Now while there were a lot of useful non-fiction books on the Philippines for Speculative Fiction writers, for the Speculative Fiction reader the selection was a bit more narrow. No sightings of any of this years SF-related releases from Anvil (Time for Dragons, Waking the Dead, Lost Language) but there were three big name genre books in big quantities at the sale, although chances are you already have copies of these:

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(1) The Hobbit

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(2) New Spring, the prequel Wheel of Time novel

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(3) Book 1 of the X-Wing series by Danielle Steele er, I mean Michael Stackpole.

I haven’t read New Spring, and the Hobbit bored me to be honest, but I have fond memories of Stackpole’s X-wing series, so if you haven’t read that yet, it’s worth checking out.

Well, that’s it for me. Hope this little guide has been helpful. Good hunting!

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Rocket Kapre is an imprint of Eight Ray Sun Publishing Inc. (a new Philippine-based publisher), dedicated to bringing the very best of Philippine Speculative Fiction in English to a worldwide audience by means of digital distribution. More info can be found at our About section at the top of the page.

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