A Trip to Booksale: Finding Christian books at a Second Hand/Used Bookstore

21 05 2010

Want to do something that will flex you Christian life? Read a Christian book! But you don’t have a budget to buy those books at National or PCBS. Go to Booksale!

Booksale is a popular second hand or used bookstore in the Philippines from a company called Visual Mix Inc. It’s a sort of ukay-ukay for books. They sell those books (from novels, children’s, coffee tables, comics etc.) in a very cheap price. It also carries new and back issues of magazines, local and international. You can find it at malls as stalls or a store branch. Sometimes it has Christian books that are classics and written by famous authors.

For years now, I’ve brought books at Booksale. Some had impact my life. You don’t have to pay expensive Christian books just to fuel your Christian walk. You can find some treasures at Booksale.

This article intends to give advice and tips on finding a Christian book if you ever be or planning to go to Booksale.

For first timers: Prepare for a lot digging, flipping and bending for books at Booksale. But your effort will be paid off if you get hard to find or classic books in a very affordable price. It might surprise you that big stores sell that same book for a hefty price but find it at Booksale very cheap.

You might as well be informed that this is not a Christian bookstore. Booksales carries men’s magazines and other stuff Christians should not set eyes upon.

Another don’t expect for the sales clerk to know or find a book for you. They are not like those from big bookstores.

The budget: Booksale gives prices as low as P10. The price ranges to P10-75 and over 100 which are still cheap compare with popular bookstores. If you’re going there, it’s safe to have P50-100. If you’re lucky, with that amount you can buy 3-5 books. If the book is prolific in Booksale, you might as well wait for them to lower its price. I’ve observed that if a book wouldn’t sell, they will change the price. You might notice the multiple price stickers on the book. I brought books which are classic for as low as 10-25 pesos. They don’t price it because of the authors, but to sell and dispose it.

Some publishers you might look out while digging: This list will give some ease and save some time on what is a Christian book by looking at the publisher’s name. Some publishers are Whitaker, Tyndale, NavsPress, Revell, McMillan, Moody Press, Regal, Bethany House, Spire, New Leaf, CLC (Christian Literature Crusade), Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Inter Varsity Press. These are legitimate Christian publishing company, but that doesn’t mean we should put off our discernment radar. Let’s use our Christian discernment by comparing those books with our stand in doctrine, morality, biblical worldview etc. Also I would recommend old stuff (50’s -70’s) from them which, I think still have biblical integrity rather that the new one (driven to just make money).

It will also help if you find a book or author to check them in the internet before buying it. You can search info, reviews, criticism and recommendations for that book and the author. Ask someone like a pastor or a fellow Christian if he knows something about the book you like to get.

Authors you shouldn’t miss: Booksale sometimes has great books by these authors: Chuck Swindoll, Josh McDowell, E.M. Bounds, Andrew Murray, Corrie Ten Boom, Charles Spurgeon, and C.S. Lewis. Some of these authors are available in thin pocketsize books. I spot Left Behind series, In His Steps and Lee Strobel’s A Case For Easter more recently. The list I provide are some that are prolific in Booksale (which I have seen in BS over the years) but not necessary always available.

Of course, there are Bibles in different versions and sizes you can find in Booksale. You can own the greatest book in the world for a very affordable price.

Topics or Category you may find: Mostly Christian living, devotional and discipleship.

Rarely are apologetics and theology.

Great titles that influence me: Here are some books I brought that greatly helped me in my Christian walk that I got from Booksale (and I hope you can find it too.)

  1. More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell
  2. Spiritual Maturity by J. Oswald Sanders
  3. In Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray
  4. Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
  5. Of The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis
  6. Discipleship: Up Close and Personal by Chuck Swindoll
  7. Ashamed of the Gospel by John MacArthur Jr. (hardbound)
  8. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
  9. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
  10. The Song by Calvin Miller

Books You Should Avoid: Once in awhile I find some books that have spiritual stuff but don’t uphold a biblical Christian stand. So please check carefully the book you’re buying. Here are some of them:

  1. self help
  2. Hare Krishna/Divine Consciousness
  3. Robert Schuller
  4. New Age, Yoga and Shirley MacLane
  5. Dianetics by Ron Hubbard
  6. Book of Mormon, Great Controversy, Steps to Christ and other so called religious text from cults.
  7. Horoscope and other fortune telling stuff.

Top Secret Tips: If you find something that you really like but forgot to bring cash or you budget it to something else and you don’t want to come back to find its gone, don’t worry. You can reserve the book for a few days with no additional fee till you can buy it. Just tell the sales clerk or cashier and they can keep it for you.

Booksale changes books every month. That means new (old) books with much lower prices are available. Sometime they do it every first day of the month. So before anyone get something, better know when they change products.

Advantages: Here are some advantages in buying at Booksale:

  1. The price is very low. As I have said, you can buy something for P10.
  2. If your fortunate a Christian book can be in hardbound.
  3. Popular, hard to find and out of print Christian books are available.
  4. Books are printed in the US.

Disadvantages: Although the prices are very low at Booksale (which is an advantage) there are some disadvantages.

  1. Quality of the books-sometimes (but not always) some got ugly because of the price sticker, has missing or falling away pages, worn out, torn and crumpled cover. Flap jackets are missing. Markings like “Used” or “Discarded”. Lots of pencil or ballpen markings.
  2. You won’t get what you want-unlike PCBS or National bookstore you can go to a section for a specific book or topic you’re looking for. Sometime you won’t find any that fits your taste.
  3. Sales clerk- aside for not having one attending, they don’t know about the books and won’t even recommend you one.
  4. Not all malls have Booksale.
  5. Some Christian books available at Booksale (or even at National or PCBS) can be read or in some cases downloaded in the internet for free.
  6. Some are old editions and not updated.
  7. Sometimes they don’t have multiple copies of a title.

Not all the time I buy at Booksale, I visit National or PCBS and purchase (if I have the budget) books that are new, fresh and relevant with the time or culture. Or simply research the internet for specific topics that are available in different digital format free.

Interesting stuff: Over the years of buying, collecting and reading books, I find in Booksale I notice some stuff worth noting. Some of the books are discarded from libraries in the US because it still carries the index card or has the name of the library stamp on the first page. In some books I own, you know it’s a gift because of the handwritten dedication for someone. You can also know who previously owns it with the sticker of the owner’s name complete with address! Other times, someone might be studying the book that you can see pencil or ballpen lines and hand written comments on the spaces of each page.

I hope this article help you in finding a worthy read for your enjoyment and spiritual growth. If you have some question you can send an e-mail: allstarboyscout@yahoo.com or use it to add me up in FaceBook. Booksale has a website:Booksale. Happy Christian book hunting at Booksale!



16 responses

12 07 2010

would appreciate if you can give me booksale’s email address. thank you.

15 07 2010

i dont know but you can search google for it…

16 07 2010

Nice article and its really a great help to bookworms like me. Actually, I do the same technique in digging book at BS. 3/4 of my collected books i got from BS. I preferred the classics christian books. They are more on discipleship and I usually read the “Christ-likeness” from their books. Keep on digging, reading and growing!!! God bless!

16 07 2010

God bless u2 ptrda yes they have classic books that are great. please share what books you have that u got from BS

21 07 2010

cost of discipleship (Bonhoeffer), following Christ (Stowell), Discipline of Grace (Bridges), Burning Heart-Bio of John Wesley, Metamorpha (Strobell), etc…sorry i can not recall all the titles…but my recent collection from BS are very classic (1960-70 publish) and some are worth P9-P15 only. Really great catch!

Your site is very helpful. I love reading the articles during office breaks. The multimedia library are great too. I believe its not an accident I came across your wonderful site. It was orchestrated by God…God bless the R.O.C.K.

28 07 2010

wow yes its really a catch specially bonhoeffer and jerry bridges….

thank you for reading the articles.you can support ROCK thru prayers and generous gifts….we are non profit and recognized by LPU Batangas…God bless you too!!!!

1 08 2010

WOW! The Screwtape Letters! I so want to buy a copy but I searched the price on Nat’l BS and i can’t afford it.. Glad I saw this entry of yours. 😀
May I know which booksale branch you bought it? 😀
I just know two booksale branches, one in SM EDSA and in Malabon.. 😀

6 08 2010

yes its a great buy that CS Lewis book is a classic every Christian should have…batangas city citimart and orange pc batangas city

1 08 2010

Ah, and I am also a fan of Booksale.. been buying books from it like a year or more than now.. 😀

6 08 2010

been buying @BS since high school but late college i start buying christian books

24 09 2010
Sunny Patole

Dear Sir,
Shalom and Loving greetings in the name of Jesus.
I am looking for Biblical Fiction Novels/ Novels written on the lives of Biblical Charachters- like: John the Apostle, Peter/ Paul or even on the life of Pontius Pilate /Roman Kings Tiberiua/Augustus etc.
Pl. help me to get this. I can give you the list-Titles/names of the Authors/Publishers etc.
I am from Pune,(Maharashtra State – INDIA)
Truly yours in Jesus,

19 10 2010

Hi. Thank you for this blog. I really appreciate this. Can you help me. I am looking for second hand C.S. Lewis books. (as well as Chesterton, but priority is C.S. Lewis). Do you have any idea where I can find them (Or what BS branch do you see them most)? Or do you have any extra copy which you would want to sell? Thank you so much.

I almost forgot. Are you base in Manila? Thanks again.

22 10 2010

im frm batangas city…most likely u can find c.s. lewis on BS…manila branches of BS are big so i think they can carry some of his works…or you can check out the internet maybe their are online for free…

3 12 2010
PRK Laser Eye Surgery

there are mnay used books online and the price is cheap too but i wonder if the quality of it is good ::-

4 06 2012
Jeane (@jeanelesoleil)

Like a needle in the haystack, finding a copy of your most-loved books in ‘Booksale’, absolutely priceless..

22 06 2012
Celina Reichel Capalad

Hi…. I love booksale! Hahaha.. I HAVE to drop by at least every time I see one and I am a Christian too. Nothing is as good as reading legitimate christian and BIBLICAL books. And I also want my books OLD. The older the better but of course, stay away from false prophets, books as wolves in a sheep’s clothing. I have had all my CS Lewis in free pdf but I would still prefer TANGIBLE books. 🙂 I have WHEN REVIVAL TARRIES by Leonard Ravenhill and I never thought in a million thoughts that I can find one in booksale! I also bought books by Jerry Bridges for 80php..

I am also the kind who would just buy Bibles and give them away to people who don’t and I get (if the Lord blesses with you with it) almost untouched bibles for 130php!

Can I be honest? I am so shocked to find someone who is as obsessed with Jesus as I feel I am. [I always feel like im weird.] But, that is what happens when you are really born not of man, not of will, but of God.

And especially to know all theses things that normal self-proclaimed christians don’t really seek to know. I am happy to have read your post.

May we be able to walk with full courage and strength with Him.
May He grant you an increase in faith and love in both rejoicing and suffering.

Only Jesus truly satisfies. Only Him.

Grace to you!


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