Ex Libris

Consider for a moment the idea of books as the manifestation of an inspired kind of virus, when a single book could spread and replicate itself countless times until it took over its host.

That’s the first thought that occurs to one when surveying the breadth of the Reading Club 2000-known to many simply as “the library on Balagtas Street.” It appears almost suddenly and improbably, a literal and literate library in the middle of the block, right where La Paz-Dulo jeepneys turn left on their way back to Zobel Roxas street.

As much as it is a wonder to discover, the Reading Club is even more extraordinary when you find out its rules. There are none. “No rules,” says caretaker and Club founder Hernando “Nanie” Guanlao. “People can borrow, they can read, they can take home. In fact, the club is open 24/7. I never close.”

Not only that, but once you take a book, you don’t have to return it; it’s yours. In fact, Guanlao encourages you to take it, take it!

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(The Reading Club 2000 is located at 1454 Balagtas St., Barangay La Paz, Makati City. For book donations/inquiries, call 0915-7291526 or e-mail readingclub2000@yahoo.com)

From my country! ❤

Wow! We have a dearth of libraries. This is an example of grassroots community service at work. I wish many such clubs would sprout in the country. Mabuhay ka, Hernando Guanlao! 🙂


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My name is Terrie. I write for a living and blog for pleasure. Some days, I get up in the morning and know precisely what kind of day it is. At other times, I get knocked over for a loop. People seem to like confiding in me. When I was younger, I thought I knew everything and can tell you what you need to do if you ask me. Now that I'm older, I realize I don't know anything. That's been my motivation for the blog and for writing. To figure out the unknown and unknowable.

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