I finally visited the Reading Club 2000 after reading about it on the Philippine Daily Inquirer a year back. The Reading Club 2000 is a non-profit community reading center in Brgy. La Paz, Makati. It’s open 24/7 to everybody who loves to read and learn; anyone can donate and take home books for free. More than just a reading center, the Reading Club 2000 also expands its cause and bring books to children in remote areas. This amazing effort is founded by former accountant Mr. Nanie Guanlao.
You can read more about this wonderful effort here: lifestyle.inquirer.net/50687/ex-libris-2
After dropping my brother off at La Salle, we headed straight to Bgy. La Paz. It’s a less than 10 minute drive, provided that there’s no traffic. Armed with my books for donation and a screencap of Googlemaps, we found the place easily.
Mr. Amadeo, who was there to bring books with Mr. Nanie to a community, and Mr. Nanie at the front of the Reading Club. The Reading Club isn’t easy to miss, with all the books in front of the house, covering the Guanlao’s stoop and the sidewalk. It looks like a decent collection from the outside, especially considering Mr. Nanie runs this on his own.
But then you can come inside…
This is actually just one part. The shelf on the right is actually a middle shelf, so there’s another huge row of shelves on the far right side. And books until the end, as far as the eye can see.
As far as the eye can see in the picture–and if you turn left, there’s also a second floor.
I nearly got myself into an accident (or at the very least, would’ve made a hell of a lot of noise and broke religious figurines) getting one of the books here. It’s not in the photo–imagine it three stacks to the left of the leftmost stack in the photo, on a stack that is wedged between the wall and another stack of books; in front the books is only a 12 inch space, since there’s an overhanging shelf with an altar. The book I wanted was around 6 books from the top; trying to fish out that one book would either topple the last stack and the one next to it, maybe bring down the religious figurines. But I managed, all 5’2 of me. (By being sensible, of course, and removing parts of both stacks slowly, carefully, on tiptoe, before I got the one I wanted).
Just. BOOKS. Did I mention they were free? Because yes, FREE BOOKS. Pre-loved, but they still hold wonderful stories–and you’re helping the environment, too.
Mr. Nanie’s Three Golden Rules.
I spent about an hour there, skimming the stacks. I’d have spent more but I was aware of the gas in our car running. Anyway, I emerged with these treasures:
Left, top to bottom: After The Fall by Arthur Miller; two Sweet Valley Kids books for my 8-year old cousin; Touché: A French Woman’s Take on the English by Agnes Catherine Poirer; Not All Pink Gins, a collection of works from female Singaporean authors; a medical Japanese book; Tricks of the Trade by Ben Tyler (that I admit, I got because it is extremely rare to find any gay fiction here); Writers INC (the book that I risked limb for); Anne Rice’s Lasher (this was the first book I found on a shelf that caught my eye, and the instant YES COMING HERE WAS SO WORTH IT celebration party in my brain); Dr. Manny Dy’s Philosophy of Man (several of my friends had him as a Philosophy professor and I thought it’d be fun reviewing old lessons).
Right, top to bottom: An old pamphlet/map of Paris that slipped out of one of the books; Stephen King’s Needful Things; cultural and travel guidebooks for Paris, Italy, Rome and the Vatican (this set was my second MWAHAHA I LOVE IT HERE LOOK AT THE TREASURES I FOUND moment); The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank (I remember one of my friends wanting to read this, so I took it); and Patterson, Clancy and Grisham hardbounds for my grandmother.
I’m definitely coming back here with more books to donate. Please check out the Reading Club 2000–it’s a great idea, especially for our country. You can add the Reading Club 2000 on Facebook: Reading Club 2000 and get in touch with Mr. Nanie for donations, or if you want to extend the Reading Club 2000’s efforts in your province or community.
The Reading Club 2000 is at 1454 Balagtas St., Barangay La Paz, Makati City.