Update Your Library with Titles from These Highly Curated Instagram Bookstores
At this point, I welcome a space where I can appreciate books without having to scroll through hundreds of options.
Something about the nostalgia around books has got all of us in a chokehold. Whether it’s from the inclination to hide away from the grim realities of our time or to seek spiritual mentors to guide us through tough moments, there’s a certain solace to be found in the intimate act of reading.
Recently, curated bookstores have taken over the Instagram book scene. And while it’s not a novel creation by any means, it is a refreshingly welcome one. Choices can be paralyzing. With the number of decisions we make in a day—minuscule or mildly important—it can be hard to decide what we should read. And also, you’d be hard-pressed to find a bookstore where the creator, the work, and its legacy are discussed at length.
1| Eastway Bookstore
Not a lot of Asian authors get the limelight. Sure, you might have the occasional Murakami lying around in your home, but you have probably never heard of Yan Lianke, Hamid Ismailov, or Madhuri Vijay.
These are the kinds of things that Eastway Bookstore tries to shine a light on. They champion Asian authors who are often on the sidelines, but whose stories are equally powerful, evocative, and humane. Of course, they don’t neglect our homegrown artists as well. The shop also carries Mia Alvar’s "In the Country" and Paolo Tiasus’ "Lahat ng Nag-Aangas ay Inaagnas."
The store carries brand new copies of books, but also sells second-hand ones for a discounted price. If you’re looking for a more short-term commitment, try checking out their rent-a-book service.
2| Gregory Books PH
The next time you feel down in the dumps, maybe try to check out the books over at Gregory Books PH.
If you want to build confidence, self-awareness, and leadership skills, Gregory Books PH may be the perfect read for your bookshelf. No doubt some titles here will be familiar. After all, they carry the famous titles like "The Daily Stoic" and "Atomic Habits," which have become self-help hits in the last year. Self-improvement tools are now the weapon of many to shield against the anxieties of the pandemic, and this store knows this for certain.
3| Gantala Press
Now Gantala Press technically isn’t a bookstore, but their curated feminist collections written by Filipino women across the country deserve some love and recognition. If you want to learn about the histories and contemporary lives of women in the Philippines, this publishing house is the perfect place to dip your toes into progressive and indigenous local writing.
Reading expands our understanding of the world. In many ways, your small library is an extension of the ideas and reflections that define you. Curating your home library is no small feat, so let these cool bookshops shepherd you into the worlds you want to dive in.