Friday, January 18, 2008

I Heart Book Sale

My DH and I are Book Sale denizens. Since I started sending three KiDS to pre-school, I could no longer afford to have my monthly (when I was single, weekly) fix of brand-new, crease-free books. I learned not to be so picky when it came to reading the latest bestsellers, especially if I could get them at 75% less than the bookstore price. I figured, the quality of a book does not diminish with every reading it got. Also, I get a kick trying to guess who the earlier owners of previously-owned books are. You could learn alot about a person on how they lovingly write their names on the first page, or how they underline, sometimes double-underline, words or phrases that struck the very core of their souls. I have as much fun reading one unknown person's marginal notes as the author's rambling narrative.

So, with all their cheap books, no matter how musty or dusty, or even if the covers had been stripped, I heart Book Sale.

It was only recently though that I began haunting (yes, that is the perfect word to describe me as I hover between shelves and shelves of books and magazines) Book Sale for their scrapbooking magazines. It was mostly hit or miss, as I think there are not that many issues of Creating Keepsakes as OK or Yes Magazines to begin with. Sometimes, I'd get lucky, but most of the time, I went home magazine-less.

Until this year, I cooked up a plan. A plan to get all the scrapbooking magazines I can get my hands on on from every Book Sale branch I can visit. And was I successful? See for yourself.

7 on January 12

4 on January 16

3 on January 17 (DH got these for me)

And I didn't even have to spend more than a few minutes in each store or get my hands dusty.

At the risk of depriving myself of future scrapbooking loots such as these, let me share with you my strategy:

1) Don't waste your time going through the magazine bins. Ask the Book Sale (BS) personnel if they have scrapbooking magazines. They (usually) know their inventory. They even know if it's sold already. The really good ones even help you locate the magazine from memory.

2) Tell the BS person what items you usually buy. Ask them their names and their numbers. (I have a directory of all Book Sale branches within lakwatsa radius.) Leave your name and number with them. Ask them to call you when they have a delivery of scrapbook mags. (An actual call will depend on your relationship with them though.)

3) In connection, know the schedule when fresh stock is delivered. This is usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays at around 3 pm. They would have managed the inventory by 4 pm so that's a good time to haunt.

4) Befriend the senior BS person so that a) when s/he goes to the warehouse, s/he will remember to get you the items you like and b) when the inventory gets to their store, s/he will reserve these for you and call you. (Again, this depends on your actual relationship with them.)

The plan didn't really pan out for me at the start. I mean, who am I anyway, to demand reservations. During a hard day's work, I am just another customer for the sales person. So when I failed to elicit any encouraging response from the Book Sale nearest our studio, I decided to play my trump card. I brought in...hubby.

Now those of you who have met my DH know that he stands out in a crowd. With his long hair, he is quite easy to remember. The BS may not recall his name but there is instant recognition when he walks into the store. BS personnel rotate and get re-assigned in different branches so I am always pleasantly surprised DH is warmly welcomed at the most obscure Book Sale store. Note though, that my DH has a good track record with BS. When he buys, he buys in bulk. And when he makes a reservation, he gets them at the agreed time. So there is never any worry on the part of the BS personnel that s/he will be left hanging with unsold inventory.

So anyway, no amount of flirting with the sales guy helped. (OK, admittedly, I am not as young or as desirable as I was - mwahahaha). I did steps 1 - 4 but no can do. He went through the motions but he was very lukewarm. I knew I was never gonna get a phone call anytime soon. So I went out and asked DH to meet me at the Book Sale. When I came back, DH was already there digging for books. I called him honey, and I made sure the guy heard me, no, not to make him jealous, but simply to let him know, I'm with this guy. And guess what, the BS guy dug through his mags and asked me, "Ma'am nagbabasa kayo ng Paper Crafts?" I said, "Oo pero meron na ako niyan." Then he said, "Next time po may scrapbooking ma'am, ibibigay ko na lang kay Sir."

Oh, yes, being married to this long-haired guy certainly has its perks. :-)


marjorie said...

i enjoy your write-ups always, and i mean always...this one is no exception...i was laughing and smiling until the end.

C70 said...

bwahaahahahah!!!! LEE!!! you are lucky through and through! Lucky to be the proud owner of those bargain mags, lucky to be on the list of BS personnel's phonebook, and certainly lucky to have a DH like yours! *wink*

thanks for another entertaining read!

Ch said...

Hahaha! I absolutely love Book Sale too. I went crazy yesterday buying back issues but this time, I buy Blueprint (Martha Stewart), Real Simple, Ready Made and Domino -- mga home magazines that have really great layouts (because I want to go into designing magazines). Ganda! And what a steal talaga at P90, no? I've found some great scrapbook mags too! Hehe! I think I'll follow your advice! ;) Miss you Lee! Till the next EB!

Alby said...

As usual, I was so entertained reading your blog. And with a great shopping tip too! I also scour the racks of Book Sale for a chance to get P90 scrapping mags. I get lucky sometimes but I'll try your tip on befriending the sales people. I can ask my hubby to flirt with the lady but it might not work considering that he doesn't buy books!

Anonymous said...

I know what its like "haunting" all the Book Sale stores. I was able to buy Stamp It Aug 07 yesterday in Cubao while waiting for Camille and Sophia to finish the Disney on Ice show. The back issue store at Galleria used to sell lots of Scrapbook/card/stamping mags. I haven't been there i a while though so I don't even know if thet're still there. Marian

Bebhin said...

People should read this.