Archives for the month of: November, 2010

So, it has been a rather long week, and the weekend could not have come soon enough!  I’ve managed to come across a major book sale at the Fort/Serendra Branch of A Different Bookstore.

There were books which were up to 80% off.  It turns out that  some of the items  (we’re talking about non-fiction books here) are still around P300 – P600 after that discount – but considering the normal prices of the books there, they aren’t bad deals at all.  I did not browse the fiction section – though I can imagine that the prices might be lower.

If I had stayed longer – I might have ended up buying more books than I had… which would have been good for my brain but not so good for my pocket.  I have a feeling that this won’t be the first and last time I’ll check the sale out.

At any rate, I have no doubt that all serious bookworms in Metro Manila would definitely appreciate this Christmas sale – which apparently would last till the 31st of December 2010, if I am not mistaken.  I don’t know whether the other branches would have a similar sale too – as I have not had the opportunity to be out and about lately.

And no, this is not a paid advertisement or review – in case anyone is wondering.  It’s just one happy bookworm sharing some good news to fellow bookworms.

Happy Browsing/Reading!

(c) Niconica 2010

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When I do get the chance to go to a mall, the first place I find myself heading to is the bookstore.  It has been this way since I can remember.  I remember when I was young, I used to save up my allowance and scrimp on buying merienda (snacks) just to be able to buy the book I had in mind for the week.  It is as if I would wither away without a steady diet of books.

It has happened that I’ve gone into a bookstore and was not able to find any book which spoke to me, which I feel that really must have. While it meant that there would be no extra expenditure for books, I would feel rather disappointed, since there’s something about being able to find a new book to devour.

Recently, I have had the good fortune to come across several interesting books which have struck my fancy.  I’ve placed them on hold and I’m planning to pick them up soon! I can’t wait! I don’t know if other book lovers will agree with me, but each new book promises a whole new experience with unique insights and ideas.

As of late, I have tended towards non-fiction books, and while I still do have some room for reading fiction, I am more sparing with my choices.  Some days when schedules have been rather full on and I have been unable to manage to read a couple of paragraphs or even a chapter of a book, I almost feel unsettled and restless, as if exhibiting symptoms of withdrawal.

It would not be unusual to find me reading five books at a time, jumping from one to the next, grateful for the invention and existence of bookmarks.  There’s just something graceful about a well constructed sentence.  There’s something profound about a well-articulated thought.  There’s something magical about the world of ideas which each book invites us to explore.

Reading is an avenue by which I indulge in the my version of man’s quintessential search for meaning.  There is a certain sense of satisfaction with the successful search and acquisition of choice titles.

The anticipation of the enjoyment of new words and concepts are complemented by a genuine appreciation for the melodic symphony of intellect, logic, emotions, and experience.  This is accompanied by the realization that there are so many books, and so little time…

As such, I hereby proclaim myself a certified bookaholic – and have created a badge to prove it!

(c) Niconica 2010

When is Enough Really Enough? How many repeated apologies with questionable sincerity does it take for us to get the point?  How many repeated offenses and feeble excuses do we have to swallow before it gets to the point that we feel that it is already too much?

I walk the fine line between compassion and practicality.  When people have gone through so much trauma in their lives, is it fair for them to take it out on other people?  When we are the people they take it out on – we become the prey.  In such cases, it is sometimes hard to figure out where patience ends and stupidity begins.

There’s a fine line between being a tolerant person and being an idiot and when we find ourself in this gray area, its hard to tell where we stand.  When we allow people to repeatedly verbally, emotionally, psychologically, and/or physically abuse us, we are perpetrating gross negligence towards ourselves.

When we allow other people to get away with virtually anything less than decent behavior and short of any major crime, it is irresponsible behavior on our part.  It is irresponsible behavior towards ourselves, for are we not the wardens of our own well-being?

If we as much as defend ourselves or at the very least set boundaries, it is not about changing people’s minds, dictating their behavior, meting out punishment or taking revenge on people.  It is about respecting ourselves enough that we do not allow people to treat us like rubbish – without treating them like dirt as well.

It’s not about rallying people to crucify a certain person or to initiate an exercise in self-righteousness which might turn into a witch hunt.  It is simply about knowing and loving ourselves enough to set boundaries for what we allow others to say and do to us… and learning to leave, to disengage, and to walk away – to basically not be present in questionable company to allow such behavior – when it is already too much – indeed, when enough is enough.

(c) Niconica 2010

So, the Globe Wimax option didn’t pan out and while I did consider getting SmartBro, I ended up going for the Sun Wireless Broadband option since it seemed that Smart Bro’s signal is erratic to nonexistent in our area – or so I’ve heard from some friends who live in the neighborhood.

Despite the fact that it was strange that Sun would have better signal than SmartBro, I did not give this any further thought as Sun Broadband didn’t only offer signal availability but also a fast and convenient sign-up policy, and a monthly unlimited internet access with only a 3 month lock in period (which is of course not specified in their brochure) for P799/month  as opposed to the two-year long lock in period for Smart and/or Globe.

The plan named “Easy Broadband 799” held true since there were no credit checks, no further hassles.  The optional USB modem costs P888.

Sun Broadband Wireless seemed like the way to go since both Globe Tattoo and SmartBro postpaid wireless internet plans included the hassle of waiting for the standard credit checks to pull through which could be easily a week to two weeks on top of the 24-month contract one is locked in to when one avails of a postpaid plan.

After a few weeks in Internet Siberia, acquiring Sun’s Wireless Broadband seemed like a great idea since it appeared to be the best option among the wireless USB internet service providers, however, I was not prepared for how slow, frustrating, unstable, and inconsistent the connection would be.

So, it seems that while Sun Wireless Broadband was a very marginally satisfactory stopover (if at all) and it seems that the search continues for the most suitable internet connection which might most likely be the traditional wired DSL connection…

So, then again, the cards are back on the table, in terms of the DSL internet connection – will it be PLDT, Globe, Smart, SUN, or Bayantel? Stay tuned…

(c) Niconica 2010

So I’ve come across a book in the shelves of a local bookstore which I’ve purchased in Kindle format from Amazon and was reading on my iPod, and I felt something tug at my heart.  The brand new book was P200 more expensive than the Kindle format but I felt that had I known that the book would be available on the shelves locally, I would have much preferred an actual book, rather an e-book.

This is not to say that the books in Kindle format are not revolutionary or worthwhile.  I’m sure that it would be a means to save a lot of trees from becoming book paper and would definitely be one step forward in fighting global warming.

It is just simply, after the novelty of having more books at our fingertips in electronic format, I seem to prefer to go back to the basics… to have my fingers come in contact with the printed page and be able to smell the pages in the book… there’s nothing quite like it.

There’s also something cozy about being able to use a bookmark to mark where we have paused while reading.  This is harder to do with electronic books.

There is something almost intimate about being able to hold a printed book in one’s hands and coming in contact with the pages – flipping through them and enjoying the connection with the words on the page.

In having said all this, I leave room for the possibility that perhaps reading the Kindle format books on the actual Kindle device might actually change my mind.

(c) Niconica 2010