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Where to Buy Books in The Philippines

Buy books in the Philippines

We would like to think that the reader population in the Philippines is steadily increasing. The flourishing of a wide variety of online bookstores— like Gregory— plays a significant factor in that success. What's more, is having it delivered right at your doorstep has satiated the bibliophile's need to traverse worlds and have a grasp of understanding in the urgency of our situation. 

Publishers, Bookstores, and many others seize the opportunity to make use of the digital platform in growing their brand's visibility, amplifying their mission, and promoting books. Fortunately, as Filipinos have time to coup up in their house more so than ever, it encourages readers to spend it to a meaningful exploration within the pages of a book. That being the case, buying books in the Philippines becomes widely accessible and hassle-free.  

Before, books compete for space shelves in-store, but that is not the case now. We now have the capability to releases indefinite book promotions on different social media platforms and websites. This totally made sense as people have too much time in their hands to browse through our favorite bookstores like Gregory— an online book haul.

Buy books in the Philippines

Is our Filipino reading culture influenced by our colonial past?

The director of the Ateneo de Manila University Press, Karina Bolasco, remarks that the Filipino reading culture is shaped by the previous countries who colonized us. Furthermore, she expressed that we should not be surprised that our literary taste is American because we are surrounded by American books during our educational years. No wonder when buying books in the Philippines,  we are most likely to pick a book that shows a hint of western culture. 

History aside, we love to experience flipping the pages in our hands and being pulled within another realm of the world created by brilliant minds. With that, no wonder we love reading for a lot of reasons.

Whether you need a bit of inspiration or feel low, a good read lifts our spirits and helps us move forward in life with patience.

The way our brains develop as we read the book and introduce us to a different lens to understand life is incredible enough in a much better fashion. On top of that, there's a lot of room for language development and grammar. As you explore further deep in the book, you get to come across new words again. 

Nevertheless, why do Filipinos love to read? The Readership Survey shows that Filipinos read because of these reasons:

  1. To expand their knowledge (43.83%)
  2. To keep up with current events (20.26%)
  3. To experience and enjoy reading (35.91%)

Aside from these, surely, there are other reasons that the survey has not noted yet.

Books get through us…

We are all guilty of being a part of "reading marathons" or "reading challenges". While this is beneficial to those who are working on achieving their reading quota in a day, it is only when we slowly take our time reading, do books get through us.

Travel without limits…

That’s the thing about books. It allows us to travel without moving a muscle. Filipinos are particularly known for enjoying fun, cheap thrills, and buying books in the Philippines makes that possible. We explore another beautiful universe, see it through the character's eyes, and feel like a part of a book. Books provide interesting insights about different facets of life whilst staying at home.

Books offer a lifeline…

To breathe is what we involuntarily do because life demands it. However, in moments when life seems a bit unfair and cruel, keeping our heads afloat is all we need. In the same way, instead of letting a great story slip pass-by our hand, pick up a book and dive right in.

Our lifelong love affair…

It is easier for us to be vulnerable whenever we are around books because we don't feel being judged for our pasts. Instead, books listen. Metaphorically speaking, books seem to know our troubles and provide comfort by distracting us from reality. Albeit for several moments, we forget our own world and live in a different one.

Finds lifelong friends…

All bookworms relate to this. Every time we close a book and come back to reality, the characters leave an impression on us. It's like a dear friend just shared to us their story and we finally got to experience a glimpse of their history. They take us on a journey, where they share with us all along.

To lead many lives in a lifetime…

There's a quote from George RR Martin that says, "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies". You breathe, live, and die a thousand lives when we read a book. You find your soulmate, discover yourself, fight demons, and learn new things just through the pages of a book. All of these are possible in one sitting, in only one lifetime. Buying books in the Philippines has its ways to fulfill the life we dreamt of having.

Encourages us to dream big...

As we meet many people from different worlds and lifetimes it makes us realize that everything is possible. Reading helps expand our horizons, makes our lives better, and pushes us to dream bigger. In a lot of ways, it enriches our dreams. 

Brings a stillness to our lives

When we read, we do nothing but listen and lend our ears. We don't interrupt the author or the narrator of the book as it is showcased before us. Reading tests our patience to completely listen and shut off our prejudice towards others. Additionally, it stirs our sympathy for a person or character regardless of whether they are fictional or not.  Be it on a set of the toilet, under our bed, or on a subway, reading forces us to stay still in a world that no longer makes place for that.

Shapes who we are...

The greatest magic of a great book is it becomes a part of you. It stays with us long after we've closed its last chapter. Why? Because some parts of it have inspired, uplifted, and questioned our outdated beliefs. These life-changing reads allowed us to see real-life situations from a different perspective.

Buy Books in the Philippines

Additionally, when COVID-19 happened, the 4 corners of our house becomes our safe space from the virus. Bibliophiles and bookworms alike refocus their attention to online bookstores to find their life-changing reads and buy books in the Philippines to withstand such an unprecedented time.  

For almost two years dealing with an invisible enemy, restrictions started to ease— and so as our beloved brick and mortar bookstores. Nevertheless, the majority of us prefer, for safety reasons, to browse on Facebook and Instagram to look for books that pique our interest. 

So, how has the pandemic affected Filipino bookstores?

According to some publishers, the demand for books increased when community quarantines were imposed. Capacity issues made it more complicated to meet the demands for printed books. With downsized presses and limited resources, the books supply chain is struggling to keep up with this unexpected demand.

In addition, traveling with books to deliver them to their respective owners was difficult given the border restrictions. Most of them opt-in in focusing their efforts on selling on-and products rather than the usual. To adjust to the limited workforce in major publishing houses, they were quick to come up with solutions such as acquiring the books directly from smaller publications or authors during the lockdowns.  

Fortunately, referring to the 2020 State of the Book Publishing Industry report of the National Book Development Board (NBDB), they were able to organize 53 initiates to help bookstores get back on their feet. From webinars and workshops, these expenses were all shouldered to grant incentives, research, and policy development.  

The distance created more demand for connection and books existed to satiate this need. It is only a natural outcome that book communities emerged out of the pandemic as a great source of support for the book industry. Furthermore, the #bookstgramph and #booktokph on Instagram and Tiktok respectively have led to a positive impact on bookstore owners by yielding more sales.

In the midst of panic buying and hoarding, we witnessed the early days of what constitutes essential goods. Among all the other things, arts, culture, and books are perceived by others as foods; as nourishment for our souls. 

So to address the beginning of your book hoarding or shelf-indulgence, here are the 2022 edition of our bookshop's list.

Gregory

An online and local bookstore established at the height of Pandemic, readers have found solace from the books provided by Gregory. The main objective of Gregory is to provide books that are essential in the development of a person. Hence, their dedication to promoting reading as a habit among Filipinos of all ages. It is Gregory's vision to offer affordable and accessible self-development books to shape a community into aspiring leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs. For anyone whose goal is to become a better version of themselves, Gregory has the perfect books just for you. Gregory updates a list of books from time to time based on the requests of customers to cater to the different preferences of readers. Make certain that each will have a book that resonates with their journey. 

  • Online bookshop
  • IG & FB account: @gregorybooksph
  • Website: Gregory.ph
  • Book Genre: Business, Finance & Self-development books

Bookulaw

Its rough translation is Reading Ape. Every once or twice a month, this bookstore comes out with a brand-new selection of books. However, they don't sell huge numbers of books. There may be inadequate quantity, but the store makes up for the fine, quality books they sell. For instance, their literary luminaries include famous authors such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Jhumpa Lahiri, Alice Munro, and Philip Roth. To reserve books beforehand, just leave a comment down on their photos during uploads on their social media pages. 

  • Online bookshop
  • FB account: @bookulaw
  • Book Genre: Filipino and International Literature & Classics

Surpriseoutofboxes

Roald Dahl, "The Little Prince", Agatha Christie, "Winnie-the-Pooh", and many more are the usual book staples among this particular bookstore's collection. Nevertheless, the store manages the bookworms to bounce off the walls with a diverse and wide array of great reads for readers of all persuasions. No wonder most bibliophiles remain to feel elated in buying books in the Philippines.

  • Independent Online bookstore
  • FB account: @Surprises.Home
  • Book Genre: Pre-owned, Publisher overstocks & Vintage collectibles

Balangaw Books

For collectors of the New York Review of Books, Archipelago, Verso, Penguin, and many other covetable editions, Balangaw Books has got your needs completely covered. Their price range starts at around ₱300-600 based on the rarity and conditions of the book is. Aside from this, Balangaw Books carry many local poetry books coming from small presses whenever there's available.
  • Independent Online bookstore
  • FB account: @balangawbooks
  • Book Genre: Pre-owned, Publisher overstocks & Vintage collectibles

Books, Brains, Bombs

The first two names of this shop are partially aimed at brainy bookworms. This perfectly makes sense with the presence of Szymborska, Calvino, Proust, Joyce, and many more on its bookshelves. But the "Bombs" part? Apparently, it's the bookstore's way of teasing the readers and then dropping a huge quantity of books for sale like an "explosive" device in the simultaneous disposal of bombs. If buying books in the Philippines is like this, then it would be so clever! 

  • Online bookstore
  • FB account: @booksbrainsbombs
  • Book Genre: Literary, Classics, Philosophy & Poetry Books

Chapter IX Bookstore

From endlessly renowned paperbacks to overly mysterious covers, Chapter IX Bookstore has got your back. This digital bookstore makes finding rare editions and discovering new favorites an exciting adventure in the land of literature. With its wide browsing categories, including books on writing, signed editions, and art books, there's almost anything available on hand.

  • Online bookstore
  • FB account: @chapterninebooks
  • Book Genre: Diverse 

Roel's Bookshop

This Davao-based bookshop earned substantial online followers mainly due to the affordability and diversity of the great books that it sells. Oftentimes, the selection includes unfamiliar philosophical books to elusive literary classics. Buying books in the Philippines is becoming more interesting and fun!

  • Online bookstore
  • FB account: @roelsbookshop 
  • Website: https://roelsbookshop.com/
  • Book Genre: Self-help, Fiction, Arts & Filipiniana 

Required Reading PH

As you visit Required Reading PH's page, the quote "To read is to resist" is the first thing that'll greet you. As a matter of fact, with books written by authors like Noam Chomsky, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, and James Baldwin, these rare finds in this independent digital bookshop can lead you to the path of awakening.

  • Online Independent bookstore
  • FB account: @RequiredReadingPH 
  • Book Genre: Self-help, Fictional &  Filipiniana 

Artbooks

Another rare gem of a bookstore that mainly sells Filipino publications. As you explore their online catalog, they have a great selection of books from Filipino authors, zines and small presses, and local university presses. Additionally, Artbooks carry out-of-print and rare books on Filipino artists namely Joya, Legaspi, and Amorsolo.

  • Online Indpendent bookstore
  • FB & IG account: @artbooksph
  • Website: https://artbooks.ph
  • Book Genre: Self-help, Fictional, Arts & Filipiniana 

Librodega

Another store with a bilingual blend word name that translates to a bookstore. By many accounts, this is one of the many local online secondhand bookstores that sell affordable books. In fact, hardly ever do the pricetags of its books to exceed more than ₱300. To buy books in the Philippines doesn’t always have to be expensive, too.

  • Online bookstore
  • FB account: @librodega
  • Website: https://artbooks.ph
  • Book Genre: Self-help, Fictional, Arts, Filipiniana & Pre-loved books

Omniana

While browsing through their website, you would notice how it may seem like they only carry eye-pleasing books. The bookstore flaunts several of the most outstanding editions and book covers from Everyman's Library classics, Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions, to the most popular contemporary literature. Also, they sell stunning art and collectors' editions. Since these books are new, expect that prices are a bit higher.  

  • Online bookstore
  • FB account: @omnianaph
  • Website: www.omniana.com.ph
  • Book Genre: Fiction, Self-help & Arts

Bookstore in the Rye

What you'll most likely find in this bookstore are  Eisner and Booker Prize awardees, a New York Times Notable Books, Nobel and Pulitzer winners. Their upload cards consist of helpful information like awards it has won, its price at a full bookstore, or the state of the book to help decide which books you want. However, you must act fast as books are on a "mine" basis. Every now and then, they also upload brand new books.

  • Online Independent bookstore
  • FB account: @bookstoreintherye
  • Website: www.bookstoreintherye.com
  • Book Genre: Fiction, Self-help & Arts

Book Around the Corner

It has a great variety of range of inexpensive books that appeal greatly to hardcore bibliophiles and casual readers alike. In addition, they upload a bunch of varied selection of inspirational, children's literature, and self-help books. Frequent authors include Roald Dahl, Toni Morrison, and JRR Tolkien. There are also bestselling authors like Anne Rice, Dan Brown, and Stephen King.

  • Online Independent bookstore
  • FB account: @bookstoreintherye
  • Website: www.bookstoreintherye.com
  • Book Genre: Fiction, Self-help, Children, Non-fiction & Arts
Buy Books in the Philippines

Unsurprisingly, lockdown made reading a physical necessity for some of us.  In addition, they sought out topics that was at least predictable and comforting. Many found the lockdown to be an opportunity to explore things they normally have the desire or time to read.