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The Book Stash Adventures — Part 2 | Read Part 1

I call the whole thing (as my title above puts it) harvesting and salvaging old books. Trash and treasure mix it up, and it takes a trained eye and an alert mind to sort them out. (Well, okay — add to that a passionate heart.) I can’t help but quote the “trademark” or “signature” of the evangelist Matthew — that “scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven [who] is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old” (Mt 13:52).

And I simply connect as well my being a fan of used, secondhand (or they also call them pre-loved or pre-owned) bookstores ever since. I am biased for Booksale, simply because of the sheer number of both their books and branches. (Not to mention that their warehouses are located in Better Living Subdivision, just a stone’s throw away from our seminary.) My only beef with bargain hunting in secondhand bookstores is that while you save on the moolah, you nevertheless need lots and lots of that other resource most precious . . . Time!

And speaking of time, I will have to give in again to a couple of memories as I go on nostalgic mode once more. I recall my grade school years in Don Bosco Makati, where I had my first experiences in using a library. When I entered the Juniorate in Pampanga, I was assigned (even just as a first-year high school aspirant) to work in the library. It was a small one actually, but my work was huge: to classify a good number of the books. With minimal training from our brother assistant back then (no other than Fr. Andy Wong), I had to go through the books one-by-one, browse over them to determine the topic or subject matter, refer to the Dewey Decimal System classification guidebook, and finally write the result in the title page with a pencil. Yes, each and every book passed through me. Was it hard work? Oh, definitely. But it sure was also enjoyable for the budding bookworm that was me back then.

Next week, I will share with you about a few prized finds in this Don Bosco Batulao library revamp of ours: for one, an “intriguing” book entitled A New Kind of Conversation: Blogging Toward a Postmodern Faith, among others.

Read the conclusion.

MartYM or Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB, SThD is a professor of Youth Ministry. He received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome.

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