Great Booksale finds this year

Booksale is my favorite physical book shop in the Philippines. Specializing in cheap used books (and what seem to me to be surplus books), Booksale has furnished my personal library with a third of all my books for more than a decade now. Here are some of the titles I found there this year.

But first allow me to share something I dug up there a few years back: a 4-volume set of Mao Tse-Tung’s Selected Works but in German! Of course, I didn’t buy the set but it does give you an idea of the kind of gems one occasionally finds there:

Photo0287Earlier this year I found the following book by one of Bertolt Brecht’s lieutenants at the Berlin Ensemble, Ekkehard Schall. The Craft of Theatre offers discussion on the practical side of acting in Brechtian Theatre side by side with personal impressions and insights on the master himself:

00I also got my first Jean Baudrillard title, Simulations, from Booksale. I would never have bought any brand new Baudrillard book not being a big fan of postmodernism, particularly Baudrillard’s hyperbolic strand of it!01I have Paul Baran’s Political Economy of Growth, an inheritance from one of my titas. Monopoly Capitalism, a collaborative work by Baran and Paul Sweezy is a welcome addition to my stash of books.


I also found E.P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class and the original French version of Raymond Queneau’s Exercises in Style. I’m particularly happy with the latter. I will have to crudely translate along by myself as I go through the text. But reading a work focused on formal and stylistic calisthenics in its original language is better than in translation.

03The Long Revolution is my first book by Raymond Williams, the father of Cultural Studies, courtesy of Booksale. Also 2 issues of the great Monthly Review journal which I hitherto only read online.

04Here’s a historical account on “capitalist roader” Liu Shao-Chi’s rise and fall during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution by academic Lowel Dittmer (Liu Shao-Chi and the Chinese Cultural Revolution: The Politics of Mass Criticism). That’s Mao Tse-Tung in the picture frame!

05I’m not sure about Tony Smith (Technology and Capital in the Age of Lean Production: A Marxian Critique of the “New Economy”) but I thought the title on the right (Black Woman’s Burden: Commodifying Black Reproduction by Nicole Rousseau) looked promising.


A more recent find meanwhile reminds me of my undergraduate thesis, an unfinished research paper on Cebuano rock group Missing Filemon submitted for the sake of complying with all the requirements for graduation. That study could have benefited from my reading following first: Tony Whyton’s Beyond A Love Supreme: John Coltrane and the Legacy of an Album.

07Finally I found the following titles a week ago, saving me lots of money given that those Verso Books titles seems to be just like new: Collected Stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Cost of Living by Arundhati Roy, The Good Conscience by Carlos Fuentes, Cultural Capital by Robert Hewison, The Art-Architecture Complex by Hal Foster, Proletarian Nights by Jaques Ranciere, and Tehanu by Ursula Le Guin.




  1. nice to know that such a shop exists and most of all that the variety is great. in my time, there were only two 2ndhand bookshops in Cebu and there was hardly any work of literature available, only bestsellers, and how to books, gardening, housekeeping books:) and mostly (or probably exclusively) coming from the USA. The offering of the regular bookshops wasn’t that much better either, no Nobel prizewinners, for ex, not even the Anglophone ones. I remember despairing because the most ‘exciting’ thing that were available were books by colleen mccoullough or mario puzo, so you can imagine how poor the offering really was.
    Hopefully the (physical) bookshops, for new or 2nd hand books, is a branch that will continue to expand sa Pinas. Availability of books of all kinds is after all one of the first signs of democracy.
    The MaoTse-Tung books that you didn’t buy were simply ‘selected works’ (ausgewählte Werke), so it will probably only have been some minor selected essays, etc, not any particular major work of his.
    Queneau’s exercices de style rings a bell, and i’m glad to be reminded of it. and i would encourage you to try to translate it using online translators, for ex. if i remember right, because i went thru the English translation quickly (the one prefaced by Queneau himself, there may be other translations available), it tended to be more of an adaptation to English rather than a strict translation, and somehow the French version was wittier:).

    1. Those are The Selected Works, the official anthology of Mao’s definitive works. Unfortunately they only published up to 5 volumes because the post-Mao regime is critical of his anti-capitalism.

      Indeed, the original is best especially when the object of the text is the form itself. That’s why I was very happy to find Queneau’s Exercices de Style in French.

      Aside from Booksale, there are also lots of online bookshops proliferating especially on social networking sites like Facebook. They make the book offerings more diverse lately.

  2. wow! this is great to know. are these all from cebu? booksale is very helpful in building up my own library. and also the photocopying centers in diliman, especially ‘blessing’s.’ when you get to visit manila, do scour the booksale stores in manila itself, from harrison plaza to sm city san lazaro. also, check the bookstores along recto avenue and surrounding area.

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