Wednesday, April 7, 2010

wanted: good books at yosi prices


after reading about the history of penguin paperbacks (or, "How the Paperback Novel Changed Popular Literature") i've been suffering from an extreme case of paperback envy.

the idea behind penguin was this: to sell quality books for the price of a pack of cigarettes.

that's a step in the evolution of literature that we in the philippines seem to have skipped over, for various reasons. but basically, it's a chicken-or-egg scenario out there right now: publishers claim a dearth of readers, while readers can't find any affordable local novels. we have pinoy romance and horror, but what else? where are the celebrity biographies, crappy potboilers, psycho thrillers, sex-soaked shoot-em-ups?

they don't even have to be good. penguins were in part a reaction to dime novels--trashy, poorly-printed books that until then had been the norm. we could start with that. no one would mind. just make them accessible. people want to read. i don't care what anybody says. give 'em something to read.

give us the yosi novel.

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