by KB Meniado
Welcome to Tosses and Turns, where I rant-chant about whatever reading-related issue that has been keeping me up at night.
This time, I want to talk about the downsizing and shutting down (blasphemy!) of bookstores. I’m sure you’ve heard about this issue—all those news on big bookstore chains abroad closing down from last year—and have sympathized with how sad and disappointing this is for readers, authors, publishers and those involved in the production and consumption of books. It is sad and disappointing, especially now that the fact that the downsizing of my favorite Fully Booked branch has finally sank into my book brain.
This Fully Booked branch I’m talking about is the one at the SM North Block in Quezon City. From its huge space on the third floor near the exit towards the parking lot, it moved to the fourth floor, across a popular buffet restaurant (where diets go to die).
It didn’t hit me initially back when I first noticed it, which was last January, because again, my book brain was too focused on the goal of helping ~clear~ the shelves (SALE! SALE! SALE!). But now that I’ve been frequenting the new, smaller space, I caught myself disliking the feeling of being too cramped in with shelves.
Bookclaustrophobia, if I may invent.
That image of the tiny Fully Booked kept me up at night. Why did this happen? Why did Fully Booked let this happen? Why did SM do this? Was I not buying enough books? Were people not buying enough books?? Is this the start of the end of the bookstore in the country?
But the biggest question is that: Why do books always seem to be a lesser priority? And without bookstores (and libraries), this issue will only be magnified, worse, forgotten. This, my dear reader friends, is what I would like for us to discuss. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below! ☁