The page pimps along AS Walk sure know how to hook their customers.
"Hey, you collect Garland, right?"
I'm usually famished after my classes and I just stepped out to get myself some lunch. But one of the guys recognized me from last week's transactions, which ended with him counting bills and me holding two Jhumpa Lahiris and "The Coma." He flagged me down a few steps away from the canteen.
"Yeah." I suspiciously eyed him.
"We have 'The Tesseract,'" he said and showed me a paperback--smaller than all my other Garlands.
"I read that na years ago. Hardbound pa."
"It's a different edition. 180 lang."
I bit my tongue just in time before I could say that I just borrowed a friend's copy while we were on a road trip. Instead I said, "The other stall also has a Garland and Lahiris, too. And the new Palahniuk."
"Really. Which one?"
"'Stranger than Fiction.'"
"But we have 'Haunted.' 500 lang."
"Mahal." I raised my arm to check an imaginary watch. "Got to eat."
"Sige, we'll keep an eye out for a paperback then."
There goes next week's lunch money. Nyar. Seriously, I need to cut down on buying books again. I have books that haven't even seen the outside of their neat plastic covers and shrink wraps.