During our stay in Laoag, we had a quick stop at Samtoy Books. It’s located at the second floor of La Tabacalera Lifestyle Center just above Johnny Moon Café, so it’s pretty easy to spot. I really planned to visit the place because I heard that they have a pretty good collection of Filipino literature, and they sure did! They also have tons of secondhand books.
What caught my attention is their little reading corner where visitors can stay and just read any of the books in the place for just 5PHP per hour. That’s quite a bargain! If I were from Laoag, I’d probably spend most of my weekends there.
From the way Gee, the clerk, interacted with us, it’s obvious how they really try to connect with their customers. They really give an impression that they’re here not just to sell books, but to engage customers in reading. They have a little wishlist board where visitors can leave requests on books they want to see in the shelves. It’s just like Booksale but with a lot more creative touch to it.
Samtoy Books has that laid-back atmosphere that will entice any book reader. Just running my hands through the books stacked on tables make me want to pick one and huddle in a couch. All of a sudden, I have a dream business.
I may have left Samtoy with no book in hand, but I assure you, I left with so many ideas. I didn’t realize that I was actually looking for such a bookstore. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a cozy little bookstore where you can stay all day just reading? A bookstore with a little café inside will be perfect! Before I’d been to this bookstore, I didn’t realize that I’ve been dreaming of such bookstore! It may not be the business that will make me a millionaire, but I’d love to have such store. That’ll be amazing. Just reading all day and interacting with people who love the same things I do: books and coffee.
Anyway, if you’re in Laoag, make sure to drop by Laoag. It’s at the heart of the plaza, and it’ll be a shame if you’ll miss it.
2nd Floor La tabacalera Ilocano Lifestyle Center
beside Museo Ilocos Norte
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