Bookshop Owner Hits Social Media Shallowness

Being an avid reader, I couldn’t help but jump for joy when an independent, inexpensive bookshop opens up nearby. That was my feeling upon finding Bookay-Ukay at Maginhawa street in Teacher’s Village, Quezon City some years ago. It has inexpensive books, mostly older, outdated pieces, but still nice to read. I especially go for the art and general issues books.

Then the owner Dan Gaffud opened another bookshop some years after, with the catchy name Bookfellas (after the movie Goodfellas). After K-J Kamias, Bookfellas moved to Cubao Shoe Expo, then to Project 4. The latest move was to Malingap street in Teacher’s Village, right in the garage of Tomatokick. More reason to jump for joy because that was the nearest it ever been, walkable from home.

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I thought I would have trouble finding something more to say about it, but the owner Dan had a controversial post. He noticed that so many people were just having pictures of themselves taken in the premises without them buying anything. They were just getting a book, making as if they’re reading, getting snapped and then that’s it. Dan decided to ban that.

Some people reacted, how rude, what an overreaction. But I find the measure reasonable. I never understood the point of having pictures of yourself reading to post on social media if you are not a reader yourself. Dan told me that people did it without even asking his permission. Using someone’s store for your photo op without asking permission, much less buy anything, is gross disrespect. Dan also saw the culture of fakeness in it, and it relates to articles on this blog about Filipino selfie and souvenir photo culture.

I’d also say Dan’s still more level-headed compared to certain stores of old. Perhaps some art students and scale modelers would recall how at these stores, if you just browsed, the owner would rage and scream something like, “how dare you come into my store without buying anything!” I’m sure some who read this blog know what I’m talking about.

Too bad Dan took down the post soon after. But I hope people got the message. Real people go to Bookfellas, or any other independent bookshop, to buy something to take home and read, not to get photo ops. You have to admire bookshop owners like Dan for continuing with this business despite its apparent risks. So I just support him because he’s the dealer of my kind of crack, paper crack. If you’re into it too, go there and take a look, you might find something you want.

4 Replies to “Bookshop Owner Hits Social Media Shallowness”

  1. Bookstores are getting bankrupt, left and right ; because of advances in Information Technology. Books of any kind can be downloaded into the internet, and in your computer at low price…they can be read in your computer at you leisure time.

    Printed books are getting obsolete, because of the advances of Information Technology. It is the same as Colleges and Universities….they are getting obsolete. Some colleges and universities, are offering “on line courses” and you can earn degrees, from anywhere they are offered, without leaving home.

    We cannot prevent these advancement of technology. Those people affected, must learn to find other kinds of livelihoods. Because Technology advances, everyday, whether you like it or not !

  2. Calling out idiots for being idiots is commercial and/or political suicide these days. Telling someone that they’re being rude, disrespectful, or just plain stupid is likely to get you censured by the entitlement brigade.

    People hate hearing the truth, especially about themselves.

    Anyway, more power to Dan Gaffud. Hope he’s successful, but in a country where almost nobody reads books (or even CAN read beyond grade-school level) I don’t really rate his chances.

  3. Hello,

    I just want to check if you still have Sir Dan’s original post? I’m too shy to ask him personally. Hahaha. I’m a college professor, teaching Entrepreneurship, and I just thought that his post would be a really good caselet topic.

    I saw the post myself but I can’t find it again. I’m not sure if he deleted it though.


    I totally agree and gets his point. From another small time business owner, I do get his frustrations of being bombarded with people who don’t really have any intentions to buy his books. It’s just sad that we Filipinos are sooo easily to get offended without actually absorbing the real message of his post.

    Anyway, hoping you could help me!

    Love your posts by the way 🙂

    – Ann

  4. I notice that Filipinos in general don’t read boring books like memoirs, encyclopedias, etc. They only read love stories in printed form. It’s sad that this ties down to the social media culture where Filipinos pretend to read, take a selfie, and leave. This is the equivalent of someone going to the gym, NOT exercising, taking a selfie, and then leaving the gym. Some only use the gym, not to use the equipment, but pose in the equipment and pretend that they’ve been working out. This is so pathetic. This isn’t just happening in the Philippines and in the US. It’s all over the place. It’s hard to find REAL people with GENUINE interest in arts and crafts. I used to think that everyone else is having a good time and I’m the only one who’s not living life to the fullest. Turns out it’s ALL FAKE.

    Have you heard of Wattpad? The website originated in Canada, but has become a popular website where people post their stories. Let me tell you, it’s hard to find a well-written story on Wattpad. Many Filipinos love Wattpad and prefer to read those types of stories with cliche romance over a story with substance. Stories that originated from Wattpad becomes published in book form. Diary ng Panget, She’s Dating the Gangster, and many more are poorly written but Filipinos eat these stories up. Someone told me that the reason they publish Wattpad stories because people who don’t have an account can read them. The book covers looks generic, and it’s not worth the money.

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