Oh yay, I get to talk about my favorite stores! Finally, a topic that doesn’t necessarily bring up how awkward and anxious I am as far as human beings go. Like many girls, shopping really does make me feel happy.
Unlike many girls, what I like to buy on a regular basis aren’t necessarily girly stuff. Okay, maybe there are SOME girly stores in my list, but they hardly outnumber the stores that more or less encourage my shut-in tendencies. Why am I telling you this? Because I want to give you fair warning.
So what ARE my favorite stores?
This is my mother’s store, and I’m not including this in my entry because I want to suck up to my mother and sister or because I happen to be the model they got for the site (frankly, I think I didn’t do the clothes justice). I’m putting this here because I honestly think that the shop has great selections. The look I’m sporting in the home page of this blog? They put it together, and I think it’s rockin’. It probably helps that “shopping” in this case mostly involves going to a room at home and asking if they have that dress I like in stock.
I don’t always use extremely high-quality yarn for my projects (because they can be extremely expensive), but when I do, I go to buy materials from this shop. It’s a veritable WONDERLAND of yarny crafty goodness that makes me feel like I’m walking through clouds tinted by sunsets. Yeah, I know. I’m starting to gush. But can you blame me? That place has almost everything you might want or need if you’re an avid knitter or crochet crafter. While I can’t classify myself as one of those, I still confess to a life-long passion for hooking, knitting, and purling.
When I want to do some crochet and knitting projects that don’t require me to use expensive materials, then I go to this shop. While most of its merchandise in its Megamall branch (which I frequent) are focused on making FABULOUS gowns, bags, and accessories, they also have a fairly good section dedicated to crochet thread, yarn, and the like. I’m especially in love with the selection of colors that this shop makes available – to my knowledge, this is the only shop near my home/workplace that offers this many color choices. I can trust this store to give me great hues.
As a writer, having the right tools for writing is important to me – and since I like being able to write anywhere, having great pens and notebooks are ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT. While it is true that there are other places that offer some really great products for writing by hand, Scribe has the advantage of putting all the useful pretty in fairly accessible shop form (they have stores in Eastwood and Shangri-La Mall). They have stuff for calligraphy, notebooks and journals that have extremely beautiful pages, and (if you’re into that kind of thing) sterling steel book markers. Frankly, I can’t give the place justice.
Of course, I don’t always need to write on smooth and creamy-looking paper to get myself inspired. Sometimes, I need to write on paper that has a bit of texture – and that’s why I’m so addicted to buying notebooks from this shop. Not only are they affordable and pretty, they also give me an EXPERIENCE when I write on them. I like them so much that I buy them in bulk. The store also offers a variety of other products like quirky activity cards, jewelry, beautiful storage boxes, charmingly carved desk accessories, and many other things that evoke the feeling of home.
This particular shop sells lots of things – clothes, home accessories, bath salts, even FOOD – but I basically go there to buy the pens. They have some really awesome gel-type pens that come in several colors that I swear do not show up in regular bookstores (where I buy “normal” writing materials as well as some easily-accessible books). Don’t get me wrong; I still like those Korean MyGel pen sets that they sell in National Book Store. I just like these pens more. They’re not just remarkable in terms of color; they also give me a nice, smooth writing experience.
We have fairly decent bookstores here in the Philippines, but they don’t necessarily carry all the titles that we want or need. For a Literature major who occasionally likes to relive her student days by splurging on some high-grade titles, this could be problematic. This online shop is my saving grace. Want something written by Stanley Fish? You won’t actually find it in local stores – but this one has it, and it OFFERS FREE SHIPPING. I’m especially thankful for this right now, because it’s the only store I could find that sells that particular Patton Oswalt book my brother wants. And it’s my brother’s birthday on Saturday.
8. Fully Booked
This is one of the fairly decent bookstores I mentioned we have in our country. What I like best about it is that it honestly tries hard to be able to give people high-quality books. I think bookstores didn’t try selling stuff that isn’t necessarily popular until Fully Booked came along and started offering those. That’s why for a very brief period (like, a WEEK), I took a job doing customer service for it. It obviously didn’t work out, but I loved the fact that – at least, at the time – they had mandatory book club discussions for the staff. Now THAT’S dedication.
Definitely the most accessible resource for books, writing tools, and school supplies, I grew up with this store and still find comfort in wandering through its aisles. It’s in this store that I discovered Julia Quinn. It’s here where I find those awesome Art Deco journals, those complete MyGel pen sets, and those mind-blowing little “islands” that sell high-end pens that you can have engraved with your name (or some other person’s name, if you want to give him or her a gift). I can find a lot of useful things in this store, for whatever purpose or occasion. This was my gateway store to books.
Let me make something clear: I don’t necessarily approve of some of the stuff that Amazon’s been doing in the world of books. HOWEVER, I own a Kindle and I love it to bits. Whenever I need or want to buy an ebook, I either shop through my Kindle or go to the site – and have the book automatically uploaded to the device. Bloody freaking convenient, let me tell you. And I admit that reading some of the reviews are fairly illuminating and entertaining in equal parts. I guess until I start dealing with this company as a sort of vendor, I can’t help but like it.