Sunday, June 03, 2007

Davao Reader's Haven

There's this rent-a-book store in Davao that has been around for years. It was formerly and conveniently located under our office in Galaxy Theater at Ilustre which gives me access to check it out once in awhile(which I rarely do).

I was in Grade 6 back then when I was brought there by a friend who shares the same interest with me reading books and Archie Comics. I was so amazed by their collection of Archie Comics and Sweet Valley from Kids to University. I envied that store for it's extensive collection! Grabe! Super! Super! T_T

I don't read Sweet Valley now, but still I want to collect the books because it was from there I learned to really love reading. In fact, it was Archie Comics at first in our school library in Davao Christian High School, but to collect Archie would be hard, because number 1 the ones I know which are in SALE are pretty expensive ranging from Php 100 and above and number 2 they have so many editions that I can't track them anymore.

So, I just borrowed comics from my uber rich Chinese classmates. I also ended up buying myself two editions but because I am soo nice I lent them to different people (the only two copies I have, which came from my allowance pa talaga) and now it's nowhere to be found! T_T. That was one of the "FIRST" first-hand stuff I bought using my allowance. *sigh* No use crying over spilled water.

I am drifting off the topic already. Anyway....

I wanted to become a member of the said rent-a-book place called Davao Reader's Haven or pretty much known by their readers as "Book Haven". Their membership at that time costs Php100. But, my mom at that time was against my reading Sweet Valley because she said it's too much non-sense and she preferred to see me reading her business books and during that time it was pretty boring to me. There goes my plan of being a member.

So, I would just stand outside and gaze longingly at the store(yes, I am that paranoid). I would not go inside because the place was a bit imposing for lil ol me to be in, and it's kinda embarrassing to go there if you're not a member.

I was in 1st year or 2nd year High School when they decided to transfer to a different location one day. They sold some of their pretty-used but in a good condition and plastic-covered books for as low as Php 10-50, which gave me a chance to be inside the place. The books they were selling were old Sweet Valley books and a few Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series. My allowance was pretty small that time but I really saved and bought one book a day.

One time, I have enough money to buy me a few good books on a Saturday when I saw their sign that they moved out. I was really devastated. But good enough they left a sketch of their new location. I hurriedly went to the new location but maybe I am not just good at map reading and I can't find their place or any stall with books, and so with a heavy heart I went home.

The prospect of finding it again was so nill. And... I really thought that place was a goner.

Years later..

I am in third year college now about to enter my fourth year.

Recently, I've been talking non-stop about "Book Haven" to anyone I know who loves books.

"Hey, do you remember the store.." and then telling them my story which I just narrated above and my desire to find it one day.

And then I'd tell my mom about it.. how she would not let me register and be a member (money at that time was not good, that's why even a mere 100 was regulated).

Yesterday, we(my family) passed by the place that was supposed to be the location of the "new book haven" years ago.

And I once again... said aloud to them..

"Diri lang diod tong Book Haven ba...." (The Book Haven would be located just here.....)... and I let my gaze wander to the place...

I was about to narrate my story when a GREEN SIGN that read "Davao Reader's Haven" appeared before my eyes.

"OMG! That's the book haven! It's there! It's there!"

I again narrated my story to them... of how I really want to find that place and now I saw it when I least expected it.

I said, "I will go there later".

And true enough I went there with my bro Paolo and my sis Darlene. My mom did not discourage, but in fact encouraged me to go there. (She wants my siblings to learn and love reading as well)

I did not take time thinking about registering and I pulled out 200php. Yes, yes they increased but I don't mind. I just want to be a member. They still have those sale items they have before. And I pulled out most of them and bought them. My bro and sis borrowed books in my account as well and I am to return it a week.

Their store downgraded a bit. No aircon, just a single electric-fan. It was pretty dusty and you're hand would go black while browsing their books in a few seconds. But, I don't mind.

I found it! Alas! Thank You !!! Ahh the joy of knowing the Law of Attraction and using it consciously . Hehe.

"Seek and you shall find"
- No matter how long it was. Thank You Father!

Mhmm.. Now.. I'm looking for anyone who sells a replica of the Illusionsit Wooden Locket! Anyone know someone who sells it? I'm also looking for Sweet Valley Twins books that I don't have.......


Mari said...

When I was in college I lent books to my college friends and that was the last I saw of them...the books. Years later while I was already working a college friend happened to work the same company and she said she's going to lend me a book. LOL, that book was mine which I lent her in college. She insisted it isn't, but my name was right there written on the first page...and with my old handwriting. LOL

Is Archie (of Archie comics) still in school, after all these years? LOL

I'm happy for you, you found that book haven.
Mari | Homepage | 06.03.07 - 3:08 am | #

Anonymous said...

they should have more of those everywhere in the world.

If you ever chance "Song of the Sparrow," please skim through it. You might like it.
paolomendoza | Homepage | 06.03.07 - 4:18 am | #

wow, may ganyan palang place dyan sa Davao, how i wish merong ganyan when i was back ther in the Phils.

Archie comics, haha, kahit naman matanda na tayo, masaya pa rin magbasa nun
katia | Homepage | 06.03.07 - 5:41 am | #

Weird, I loved reading since I was a kid. I remembered back then, Three Little Pigs ang bukambibig ko because lagi ko xang binabasa. Haha. Tapos nung 10 y/o ako, binagyan ako ng tito ko nang isang pocketbook tungkol sa war. Bwahaha. Na-morbid ako dun! Hehe. Nice post. :] Brings back memories.
Theia | Homepage | 06.03.07 - 8:34 am | #

grabe ang ganda naman ng experience mo na yan.. at last after so many years nakita mo rin ang hinahanap mo.. ako din super love ko magbasa.. dati ang dami kong nancy drew books.. kaso katulad mo dahil sobra din akong mabait ayun pinahiram ko kaya 1 na lang natira sakin.. hindi ko na rin mahagilap yung iba.. tsk tsk tsk..
joanna | Homepage | 06.03.07 - 9:14 am

bokbok said...

hay sana meron din ganyang book haven dito sa lugar namin. magandang hobby ang reading, ipagpatuloy mo yan...
bokbok | Homepage | 06.03.07 - 11:45 am |

dimaks said...

naalala ko yung famous komiks stands noong 80's
dimaks | Homepage | 06.03.07 - 1:05 pm |

Ychel said...

hehe! yeah those Archie comics really became famous those times. i remember my cuz reading them too. and sometime on my highschool days ive also got into reading the sweet valley twins..ive got some books that i recive as a present and some friends gave it to me. i would love to sell them :P but i left it in the phils. too bad! and dont have any idea wer to find them anymore.

good that u have found it. and yeah coz all this time u never lose hope of finding it again thats why He gave it to u at the right time.

take care tina. have a great week ahead!
ychel | Homepage | 06.03.07 - 6:41 pm |

krisha said...

You're mom's really training you on business stuffs. Pero siguro, if I'm on your shoes, I'll be a spoiled brat and ignore those business books. Aba! Mas gusto ko yata yung comics! :D Haha! :D
Krisha | Homepage | 06.03.07 - 8:49 pm |

Sasha said...

Grabe, you are such a bookworm! Hehehe... I can see myself in you when I was still in school and not yet earning. I was actually thinking of opening the same business somewhere in our place pero I don't think there are a lot of young people interested in reading nowadays. You are one of the few na nga yata.

Congrats sa pagiging member mo! That place sounds like heaven to us book addicts! Hay... u inspire me to read more talaga, Tina.

Happy Monday!
sasha | Homepage | 06.03.07 - 10:05 pm | #

Anonymous said...

siguro kahit matanda na tayo ang Archie comics nandyan pa rin
I have more or less 5 memberships in different locations in Bacolod coz the membership is cheap like 50bucks and renting a book is cheap too, kaya ok lang,..good thing this rented bookstore, came back, sayang din yun na mamimiss nila ang isang voracious reader
cat | Homepage | 06.04.07 - 2:29 am | #

Wow! Sana meron din dito. Elementary pa ko nung nabasa ko yung Archie and Sweet Valley! Naku! Usong uso yan noon! Sana meron din Book Haven dito. Hehehe.
tin | Homepage | 06.04.07 - 3:25 am | #

I am a member of a rent a book here but i do not rent that much... i also want to buy some bnooks but my course requires projects, case studies and more that cost really a lot di tuloy ako makaipon....
Richmond | Homepage | 06.04.07 - 5:08 am | #

wow! kakaiba ka tlaga ate consistent tlagang hilig mo ang books and reading since nung bata ka pa...ang galing naman kahit sa tagal na ng pnahon yung lumipas eh nhanap mo parin yung bookstore na yun parang dream fullfiled ika nga hehehe good for you ate hehe ^_^ tc plagi!
len | Homepage | 06.04.07 - 5:43 am |

fyeza said...

hi there! i'm a proud dabawenya, too! can you give me the directions to the place you were saying - book haven - ? please, please. a bookworm here. and i would like to visit the place myself.
fyeza | Homepage | 06.04.07 - 6:03 am |

Anonymous said...

i'll be in davao next week. i may be able to pass by the place.

i still have plenty of unread books at home. no room to borrow.
Lazarus | Homepage | 06.04.07 - 9:10 am | #

Gravatar You should start your own book store!
I also like the Archie Comics!
Sidney | Homepage | 06.04.07 - 9:50 am |

Vk said...

at nakita mo haven....

nancy drew........i read this book too, high school days.....

addict kayo sa books ano?

thanks for sharing....

moment, i smile with the story of Mari-over...yon pala book nya, tapos naka signature pa ang name
vk | Homepage | 06.04.07 - 2:17 pm | #

Christian said...

Back in grade 3, I bought my first ever (and last) Archie Comics. Hindi ko man nabasa, because somebody borrowed it. Pinahiram ko naman. Hayun, hindi na binalik sa akin. Kaya since then, I did not buy any Archie comics anymore.

Sana, may ganyang store dito sa Pampanga, all we have is National Book Store, tsaka mga stores na nagbebenta ng 2nd hand books na never heard ang mga titles.
christian | Homepage | 06.04.07 - 10:17 pm |

Mel said...

Tina = bookworm

I love books din pero di ako masyado nakakapagbasa. Before puro Archie comics, SV (Kids, high, Twins), Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys yun binabasa ko sa library. I even enjoy scanning the encyclopedia and other reading materials sa school. Kaso ngayon naiba na ang hilig ko. LOL. Pero the book that I love most is he Little Prince.

If ever na makapunta ka rito sa Manila, try mo dumaan sa National Library. Grabe ang daming books dun! Marami pa ring tao ang nagpupunta dun! Congrats for finding the 'haven'. Maybe you could put up your own haven soon kapag super dami na ng collection mo.
MeL | Homepage | 06.04.07 - 10:24 pm | #

Anonymous said...

Kung may ganyan dito baka suki rin si tin2 ko. Book adik din yun eh.

Home study program ka di ba?(yun nga ba tawag dun?) Don't you miss the regular school days?
ann | Homepage | 06.04.07 - 10:32 pm | #

Gravatar i envy you a lot because you have such a wide interest in reading books. hehe. ang saya naman dyan sa place niyo, merong book haven na ganyan. ako kasi, kung ano lang ibili sa aking libro, yun lang binabasa ko. haha. tamad.

take care!
pam | Homepage | 06.04.07 - 10:59 pm | #

geezz, you really are a bookie..

Congrats in finding you 'haven' once again! I'm sure happing happy ka..

Ako man tambay din ako sa booksale, ntb, powerbooks and bookforless everytime napupunta ko mall... pero tambaya lang.. except pay may nkitang good deal.

ingat Tina!

pinoybanda | Homepage | 06.04.07 - 11:35 pm | #

Ayos, maganda nga 'yung tinatambayan mo. Tambayan for the brain.

Ako naman, sa Powerbooks kasi mas madalas akong makakita ng mga rare books du'n. Tsaka talagang may browsing section sila so you could size up on books before buying them.
Jake The Miserable | Homepage | 06.05.07 - 12:02 am |

pepe said...

Glad to read your story Tin, i have those books before too....! Yung charlie brown, archie, richie rich and the looney tunes in book version pero hindi ko iningatan....! Bata pa kasi ako nun, pero luckily i have a lolo na may comics and books shop before and he was just shredding those for the grass of the christmas belen pagkatapos so hinihingi ko....! Pero hindi ko iningatan kaya nawala lang basta....! I also have a carton box full of marvel super hero comics in glossy pages at mga original na volumes talaga....! Nagkawala din lahat yun.... Magkano na kaya price nun ngayon, sayang ano....? Wala pa kasi tayong isip nun....! =)
Pepe | Homepage | 06.05.07 - 6:08 am | #

karla stefan said...

where exactly is THIS? pero parang tinatamad ako eh.. btw, sa maraming nagbebenta ng cool books na second hand. i bought one at a hundred and it's still at its best condition.. it was a chick lit(usually these cost P300+)
karla stefan | Homepage | 06.05.07 - 6:27 am | #

Sexy Mom said...

you're like my 3 girls--they have a collection of sweet valley, and many many others, which they would not like to part with. until now, i could still see them reading these books, which i thought they have already outgrown (and they're 23, 16 and 14).

a few years back, i proposed that they send the books to the province to rent them. they didn't agree, not that they are selfish, but they said the books are part of their life na daw.
SexyMom | Homepage | 06.05.07 - 9:54 pm

Raine said...

i used to rent books from that store too and other book rentals but then Book Shop came along so i opted to buy my own books and swap it with my friends. Speaking of teen books, do you have any Nancy Drew Books? The hardbound series? i still read and collect those
we should trade books one of these days Tin...
raine | Homepage | 06.05.07 - 11:34 pm |

Jojie Alcantara said...

I was a member of Davao Reader's Haven for quite some time many years ago. I now have more ebooks and pdf files and my bulky books are placed gently in boxes, but i don't have the heart to sell them. In college, I opted to sell my Nancy Drew (pati hard bound!), Archie, and Mills and Boons books, at P15-30 each in Alemars Bookstore. Nice to know that little cozy haven still exists. I wonder if my membership card and borrower's list still do???
Jojie Alcantara | Homepage | 06.08.07 - 2:44 am |

Gorgeous said...

Hi All,

Can anyone please advice telephone number and exact address of Davao Reader's Haven?

Or please email to

Thanks :-)


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mookie pioco said...

help! i was hearing about book haven for years but i really don't know the exact place since the person who told me about it isn't here in Davao anymore. . anyway. I was searching for the place and i found this blog, fortunately.

pls.pls. could i ask for the address and if possible the phone number of Book haven?

you could send it to my email:

thank you. thank you very much if you'll ever do help me with my request :)