Hi guys! It’s been a while since I have posted an entry due to personal and technical reasons, but now that my blog’s back up and kicking like its owner, I decided to go right ahead with telling the whole account on my once-in-a-lifetime experience about a month ago. Kids, let me tell you the story of how I met my library.
The NBS1MillionThanks Giveaway
It all started with a simple Rafflecopter giveaway from National Bookstore way back July. It was their way of celebrating 1,000,000 (1,055,060 as of checking) likes on their official Facebook page. See, kids, I haven’t really had that much luck in the raffles I’ve joined in the past, but because it was my birth month, I decided to push my luck.
You can earn points either by:
Following their Facebook page (1 point),
Following their Twitter account (1 point),
Tweeting the message “I want to read more books via #NBS1millionthanks by @nbsalert,” (point
Following their Instagram account (1 point)
1 of Ten Lucky Winners #blessedt
Realizing that there would probably be thousand of entries (I was right. There were about 65,000 entries) that will give me but a sliver of a chance in winning the NBS1MillionThanks giveaway, I have completely forgotten all about it. Come August and suddenly while surfing the web as usual, I had a notification of my mentor (who is also bookish like me) tagging me on the comment section of a post. I wasn’t prepared or really expecting anything, but lo and behold, it was the announcement of the 10 winners and I was one of them.
It took days for that fact to sink in and to realize how big of a deal this is for my reading career (Yes, I call reading a career and I might as well be a professional reader). Then it came to me: I JUST WON THE BOOK LOTTERY. I’M GOING TO THE BOOK OLYMPICS. SQUEAL. JUMP. BANG. CRUSH. WIPE GLASSES WITH SLEEVES.
Introvert’s Inner Turmoil
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and every reader’s ultimate dream. But there was a catch: I almost didn’t go. Being a Baguio girl all my life, I have always been terrified of Manila and its inner workings. The only times I’ve been there were with family, with a car, for 3 days max. I’ve heard horror stories about living and commuting in Manila (no offense) from friends that made me make a pact to myself to not go to Manila unless absolutely necessary. Watching the daily carmaggedon from the news didn’t help at all. So after receiving an email from miss Lora from National Bookstore telling me that the book spree will be held at their branch located at Glorietta 1, my mind went a blank for a bit and the terrified introvert in me almost automatically decided not to go. Imagine going alone, with no idea how to get there, and probably a very high chance of getting lost plus a million other thoughts about what could go wrong? Introvert friends, back me up on this please?
My family, mentors and friends were very supportive, though, and maybe, in all honesty, if not for their push, I really wouldn’t have gone and bawled my eyes out watching the live videos and singing “That should be meeee” in regret. One of my friends, Jen, who worked in Manila, was back in Baguio that time for a breather, and she agreed to accompany me. (Imagine the amount of air I exhaled after she agreed. A MILLION THANKS BHEST) Friends and mentors were giving me tips and strategies on how to make the best of my experience: from apps to download so I don’t get lost, to how I should hold my basket so I get most of the books. I was psyched. This is it! I was going to the Olympics!
The book spree was scheduled to happen last August 19, 2016, and the call time was 7:30 AM. To minimize the cost for the whole experience, we going directly to the event, and then going home immediately after. We booked a bus ride the night before at 11 PM, estimating that we’ll arrive MNL at around 6 AM, not too early, but not too late either, leaving us ample time to find the venue or maybe eat. We weren’t able to sleep in the bus because Jen and I talked about what could happen. I was THAT nervous. And it appears we had no time left to sleep because the bus arrived manila at 3 in the morning, because it passed by TPLEX SCTEX, cutting the travel time down to 4 hours. Thankfully, there was a family mart open where we could spend the rest of the hours safely waiting for the dreaded call time.
The Panic Attacks and Anxiety (We’re getting there, promise)
Waiting for the event to start and my turn to hoard books was the longest hours of my life. By the time it was 8 in the morning, I have overly saturated my sleepless self with gruesome thoughts of slipping, falling, and getting only a book in the process. Of course, I pep talked myself, too. That cycle went on.
At around 8:30, we were called for the registration. The setup was nothing like i imagined. There was a stage, an area for the spree a lot bigger than what was on my mind, and a lot of loot bags from the sponsors. They’re also doing a Facebook Live. So much for my plan coming and going without any of my Facebook friends knowing I won something. Hahaha. The eight of us at that time have drawn lots and I got number seven. We were gathered behind the bookstore’s escalator so we can’t see the strategies of the first ones to enter the battlefield. What also added to the nervousness was the sound of the countdown, which you will hear in the video I have attached. Imagine hearing that a lot of times before it was your turn and you have no idea what’s happening back there. I kid you not, it felt like I was Katniss going to the Hunger Games. salutes to Panem Then my turn came. asdfghjkl
“Go back to reading!” – Universe
Winning this is like the universe telling me to go back to reading, and here are some proofs. Below are my Goodreads reading Challenge for the past three years. There’s only about a hundred days left of 2016 and I’ve only read 7 books. :/
All is well now though, and I’m back to reading. We made it back to Baguio with no sleep, no energy, but a lot of books to make up for it. We went to sleep, but not without unboxing and auditing the precious books.
To end this super lengthy and overdue post, I would like to send a million thanks to National Bookstore and their sponsors (Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Random House US International, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Usborne Books & More, Lonely Planet, Singapore Asia Publishers, and Tuttle Publishing.) Congratulations to my fellow winners who have been really supportive to each other. Shoutout to Shaina and Pauline. Who knew that along with books I’d also have two new friends?
I would also like to extend my gratitude to my best friend, friends, mentors, family, and even the strangers who have supported me online and offline. Huuuuugs
To those who commented on the video and said that they were cringing at the books that were falling, believe me when I tell you that I was swearing under my breath with every book that fell, too. But considering the time and my long nails, all I could say was sorry to each and every one that fell in my wake.
Also, I’m sending a special shoutout to my mentor back in college who told me that “I could never go wrong with reading a book.”
So, the next time you see a giveaway of your dreams, no matter how slim the chances are, you know what to do 😉
Aaaaand that, kids, is how I met my library. The experience was legen- wait for it- DARY!
P.S. This is not a sponsored post and is purely written out of experience and gratitude. 🙂