Bookworms, Your Favorite Pop-Up Library Is Back

You can find it at Plaza Roma in Intramuros.

PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

( Intramuros in Manila is reopening to tourists today, February 17, at exactly 2 p.m. Three specific tourist sites are coming back to life: Fort Santiago, Baluarte de San Diego, and Casa Manila. The bite-sized (but comprehensive) The Book Stop Project at Plaza Roma in front of the Manila Cathedral is also back to give everyone access to free books and the exchange of reading materials.

Visitors, however, are advised to take note of the following health protocols at The Book Stop in Intramuros:

  • No mask, no entry.
  • Maintain physical distance of at least one meter.
  • Books can only be exchanged with books. Exchanging quality titles is encouraged.
  • Create a account for contact tracing.
PHOTO BY Facebook/The Book Stop

Launched on April 23, 2016, The Book Stop Project is on a mission to encourage reading and a passion for literature. It also aims to "share ideas, one book at a time" through an exchange of both books and ideas through conversations.

Unlike libraries that often require fees or membership, it brings the books closer to the community by setting up in public spaces. The Book Stop Project also encourages poetry readings and even blind dates to pull in more people to check out its shelves—at least, it did before the pandemic. They've so far made stops at Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati, Bonifacio Global City, and San Sebastian Basilica in Quiapo.

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PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

They've won two international awards for the Philippines: the Architizer A+Award in New York, where they garnered both the People’s and the Jury’s awards; and a shortlist to the World Architecture Festival in Berlin, where they were nominated as World Building for the Year 2016. In 2018, they were nominated for the Haligi ng Dangal Awards.

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