I have been asked multiple times on my Instagram where I buy my poetry books. Well, I decided to make a blog post about it. As most of you know by now, I am obsessed with poetry. It all started when I was in high school, when my English teacher asked us to compose a poem. And from then on, I knew poetry and I will forever be together. But I just recently collected poetry books, it is my goal to fill up one entire bookshelf full of poetry books and I can say my poetry book collection is pretty much taking shape! Yay!
So on to the real question, where do I get my poetry books?
Majority of these books came from a secondhand bookstore, BookSale is a popular second hand bookstore here in the Philippines. Whenever I visit any branch of BookSale I make sure I buy at least one poetry book. The branches I usually visit are the following: Pedro Gil, Mall of Asia, Robinsons Imus and SM Dasmarinas. I particularly like Mall of Asia branch because the poetry books there are separated from other books, stacks and stacks of poetry books and I tell you the sight of it is pretty addicting, you can seriously get high just by looking at them. That is my version of a kid inside a candy store. Hee! I’m not sure if other branches do the same, but so far it was only the MoA branch. And if I am not in that branch,expect to see me slumped on the floor rummaging even the darkest corner of the bookstore, hunting for cheap poetry books. And I tell you, it is such a thrill to find a poetry book for P20 or .50c! There’s this sense of fulfillment that I just couldn’t get enough of. Usually the prices of these books range from P10 ro P125, that is for paperbacks, but for hardcovers and compilation of poems, the price can go up to P400 or 9$.
How to spot a poetry book?
I don’t have any particular author in mind whenever I hunt for poetry books, well Ted Hughes is a staple one and T.S. Eliot but I already gave up on finding them on BookSale, since they are really hard to find. I found some of it online but the price was pretty crazy. The tip here is to look for a thin book, with a catchy title, 80% of the time it is a poetry book. Most of the poetry books I did get was published by FSG and Graywolf Press, so that’s an additional tip. Well you can always flip through it, to make sure it is really a poetry book. But its always great to know your poets so you can easily spot them amongst the piles of hundreds of books. My recent favorite poets are Brian Russell and Henri Cole, which both of their works I found in a secondhand bookstore. I seriously can’t wait to discover more poets.
Secondhand bookstore doesn’t cater poetry books? Well try online!
I have been lusting to have The Complete Collection of Poems by Emily Dickinson and The Complete Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe, so when I saw one on Books, Brains and Bombs on Facebook I just knew they had to be mine. Plus they were cheap and the shop owner even gave me a month to reserve the books! The said shop has everything rare, they have Sylvia Plath first editions, Walt Whitman, Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, Pablo Neruda and so many more. Just a tip though, reserving a book is like going to war, you have to be ready, when they say they are going to upload the book pictures by 7pm, oh you gotta be there refreshing it to no end, and comment “mine” as if your life depended on it! It was exciting and fun, but such a bummer when the book you’ve been wanting was reserved by someone else because you were too late by a fraction of a second. It was crazy! And oh before the “big upload” they will let you salivate over their teaser! Hahah what an evil shop! I missed battling for books there!
Next would be Book Depository, I know they are a bit expensive, but hey they offer free shipping plus if you’re lucky your purchase will come with a bookmark! I bought No Matter The Wreckage and B both by Sarah Kay, Twenty Love Poems and and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda and Arile by Sylvia Plath there and they all came with a bookmark.
Of course, don’t forget your local bookstore
Lastly, you can try your local bookstore, I bought my copy of Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson from FullyBooked and ahhh that poetry book is really really beautiful!!!
I hope this blog post helps those who are asking me about it. Happy hunting! 🙂