(SPOT.ph) Gather around, bookworms, because you'll want to hear this. We recently discovered a secondhand bookstore that's hidden in plain sight: located right below the MRT station in Guadalupe (EDSA northbound side) is a quaint bookshop called JERVS Pocketbooks Store—and you can find great reads for as low as P10.
The store carries thousands of books that cover a wide range of genres from literary classics to romance novels to history books, and more. A few of the names that stood out: JD Salinger, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Edith Hamilton, and Sydney Sheldon.
JERVS Pocketbooks Store has been around for 22 years and we got to have a quick chat with the man behind the shop, Edgardo Perea. "Kung talagang gusto mo kumita, hindi ito yung hanapbuhay para sa'yo," Perea admits. He shares that there were times in the past that the bookshop would have to close because he had other things to prioritize, like his other business where he sold consumables like food. "Mas maganda kita no'n actually, kaysa dito. Pero ito yung hilig ko e," he shares.
When asked about how he obtains the books he sells in his shop, he tells us that when he was starting out in the early '90s, he would personally hand-pick some titles from Book Sale. "Binibigyan nila akong flat rate na 25% discount. Ang ganda di ba?" he shares. "Then later ni-refer nila ako sa mga [other] branches. Kilala ko 'yong mga nagbabantay," he tells us. "Tatawagan ako pag may bagong dating. Kaya ako 'yong unang nakakapili." He would also go to garage sales where he would pick up some great reads from people who want to dispose of their collection. "Nung bandang huli, meron na akong mga kakilala na siguro ganun din 'yong ginagawa, dinadala naman nila dito," he shares. "So every week, meron mga dumadating, kaya lang, di ko na siya napipili. Most of the time naman maganda, kaya lang di mo mapili 'yong genre."
Interestingly enough, Perea is a civil engineer who is very passionate about books, but he decided that pursuing selling books is much more fulfilling than having a job that stresses you out even when you're already home. "Pag basa ka nang basa, nag-a-accumulate ka ng knowledge," he tells us. "Most of the time it's very useful. [Because] usually when you converse with people, it's not about what you know. It's what they want to hear," he continues. "Pag may nasasabi kang gusto nilang marinig, most especially pag tungkol sa sarili nila, sa gusto nila, nakakapag-contribute ka at nalilibang sila kausap ka," he says. "This is simply the act of having an intelligent conversation with people with the same interests as you," he continues. "At the same time, may kinikita ka. Ano pang negosyo ang mas hihigit pa don?"
A quick look at the store will show you all the other kinds of reads you can shop aside from books and novels. You can go through their collection of old-edition magazines, English and Filipino pocketbooks, and even useful textbooks for people who are still in school. Prices range from P10 to P130, so everything is practically a steal. You can also avail of their three for P100 promo on selected titles. Just take your time in scanning every shelf to find the book you're looking for or simply ask the store owner—he'll be glad to help you and even give you recommendations based on the author or genre you're into.
The next time you're in the area, you might want to drop by this little book shop and have a conversation with the owner. Even if you leave with nothing, you're sure to bring home some words of wisdom—and those are usually priceless.
JERVS Pocketbooks Store is at G/F Guadalupe Commercial Complex, EDSA Guadalupe, Makati City.
For more information, log on to JERVS Pocketbooks Store's Facebook page.