Jan 6, 2020

I hate having to wait especially for new books to arrive. Call it “millennial mindset,” this need for things in an instant. Blame it on Amazon, on the rise of “see now, buy now” online shopping platforms, and same-day shipping.

But really, the speed at which new books (from the west, at least) arrive here in the country is just plain ridiculous. Remember that time the New Yorker staffer and all-around internet guru Jia Tolentino released her book “Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion” August last year and it wasn’t widely available in most local bookstores until November when she visited Manila as part of her book tour?

[READ: Morality in the age of the internet: thoughts on Jia Tolentino’s ‘Trick Mirror’]

You either have to make pasabuy from a friend who’s traveling abroad or if you’re the patient kind, make do with buying an ebook copy (for the same price as a physical one!!!) or an audiobook like I did that one time reading Ocean Vuong’s “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” (which I loved doing because of his beautiful voice).

20 days after a release is pretty decent, especially after I’ve gone bookstore hopping in hopes of finding an available copy for weeks.
That one (and last) time I resorted to an audiobook just because I loved Ocean Vuong’s voice a lot.

Luckily for (impatient) bookworms like me, there’s Fully Booked. I was lucky enough to have reserved a copy of “Trick Mirror” and receive it a few weeks after its US release—still late but a blessing nonetheless.

That’s how, for the longest time, I’ve navigated this tricky life of being a third-world reader with no ready access to newly-released titles: asking Fully Booked staff on the regular (and in various branches) if they have the book I am looking for and if not, listing down my name and number, so they could inform me when they finally do. That or recklessly DM-ing them on their social media pages.

Oh, and there’s Book Depository, the free worldwide shipping online book depository that sells books from (nearly) all parts of the world for a cheaper price. The but here is that it takes them a month to deliver your order.

Enter Fully Booked’s new monthly book subscription program called Fresh Read, where every month, for a monthly fee of P799, subscribers could get the latest book release delivered to their doorstep.

So how on earth, do I sign up? You just have to choose a genre (fiction, non-fiction, children’s, intermediate) and choose a payment schedule (biannual, quarterly), and voila! all you have to do like a true capitalist consumer is sit and listlessly wait for your package to arrive all the while bugging your doorman whether something has arrived in the mail yet.

Apart from its convenience, here are some things to know about your Fresh Read monthly subscription. Depending on the availability and format, you could either receive a paperback copy of a hardback copy (a steal considering the soaring prices of commodities).

Now, if you’re wondering whether or not you can know the title in advance, well, technically you can but only in cases of delayed delivery just so you don’t end up buying the same thing out of impatience.

You can also subscribe on behalf of a friend as a gift if you’re the generous type and if you haven’t already squeezed him or her into your Netflix plan.

Shipping fee is free for readers in Metro Manila and priced at P100 for provincial locations. Also, impatient readers have to note that the cut-off for subscribing is until every 5th of the month. After that, you will receive your first book subscription in two months. (Example: Subscribe on Feb. 6 and receive your first book by April 2020.)

For more information about Fully Booked’s Fresh Read program, visit their website and FAQ page.


Header photo courtesy of Jairph on Unsplash

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Read more:

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To all the books we haven’t read, yet are already on our bookshelves


TAGS: book delivery book subscription fully booked reading