Why is condo living a gift to all book lovers in Metro Manila? A book lover is different kind of specie. This curious creature possesses the power to suspend time and travel from one dimension to another. A book lover is a shape shifter. It is a solitary little prince living on an asteroid in a moment and a Russian aristocrat torn in a forbidden affair in another time. A book lover summons the power of imagination wherever she may be. Give her a special corner in your home, preferably by the window, and she’ll forever be grateful.
Why is condo living in the Philippines ideal for bookworms? Most residential condos in the metropolis are located near business districts and commercial hubs. This makes commuting easier and helps busy workers free up their schedule for their reading and other leisurely pursuits. A condo community offers several reading nooks such as comfy couches in common areas, parks and gardens, and the roof deck. Moreover, these condos are surrounded by libraries, bookstores and cozy cafes. What more can you ask for?
Is the coffee shop across the street always jampacked? No worries. Here are 10 of the best places in Manila for bookworms you should check out.
#1: Reading hideouts in Quezon City
Not all coffee shops are book reading-friendly, especially the popular ones. They’re too crowded and noisy for something that requires focus. But Filipinos love coffee regardless of the time of the day or the season. Who cares of it’s burning hot outside? Coffee makes life better. Check out Tweedle Book Cafe along Scout Gandia Street in Tomas Morato, Quezon City. There’s a menu of specialty brew and pastries that can go with a wide selection of literary masterpieces. Also in Quezon City is The Coffee Room where you can lounge on a comfy sofa while catching up on Haruki Murakami’s new bestseller. This quaint room services a limited number of patrons, offering you an escape from the usually packed coffee shops.
#2: The green, green grass of Makati’s parks
There’s something magical about reading a paperback while lying on the grassy earth. It’s poetic and a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively. There’s not many open parks in Metro Manila, unfortunately. Most were turned into commercial centers or office buildings. Luckily for Makati residents, there are several parks in the the CBD. The Ayala Triangle Gardens, the most famous one, is a fave spot for joggers, foodies and families. Choose your “corner” near a tree and lay down your picnic blanket because it’s going to be an exhilarating day with Tolkien and Gaiman.
#3: Balinese spaces in Pasig City
The somber weather suits a poetry journey with Pablo Neruda or melancholic ruminations with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. No need to leave your condo community because there are many reading spaces around. East Raya Gardens is one of DMCI Properties’ premier communities in Pasig City. It’s Bali-inspired gardens and water features offer the perfect backdrop for your afternoon reading sessions. Indulge in your books at the recreation hall while it’s raining outside. But go ahead and relax by the poolside once the weather gets a little bit kinder.
#4: A hip after-office spot in Kapitolyo
Done in the office but not yet in the mood to head home? Grab your Kindle and proceed to a trendy cafe in Manila’s millennial hub: United Coffee at Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Patrons are praising this coffee shop for three things: ambiance, coffee and choco lava cake. Its large space can accommodate big groups and solo customers. You don’t have to worry about getting a spot. You may need to bring a pair of earphones though if you’re dropping by during peak hours. Well, there’s no sound that a Mahler playlist cannot drown.
#5: Historical reads from a roof deck in Mandaluyong
Jacquez Barzun is considered as a rockstar historian and author. He encapsulated 500 years of Western cultural life in less than 900 pages without boring his readers. Barzun presented history in an amusing, sometimes even humorous, fashion without losing the scholarly foundations. Do you know where best to satiate your thirst for non-fiction works? In some quiet place free from chatters yet full of action – the view deck. Relive the rise of civilization through Professor Barzun’s books on Flair Towers’ peak overlooking Mandaluyong City.
#6: Tea leaves and readings spaces in A.Venue
Makati City is home to a number of top-rated coffee shops, bookstores and other must-visit places for book lovers. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is not as crowded as the more popular shops, but they don’t also fall under the hole-in-the-wall category. The brand is yet to expand to other parts of the country. Anyway, if there’s a CBTL branch a bibliophile should explore it’s the one in A.Venue Mall in Poblacion, Makati. It’s seldom crowded, and even if patrons flock in, there are tables on the second floor for your reading time. CBTL has a mesmerizing menu of tea leaves from different parts of the world. Take your pick!
#7: Sumptuous grubs and quiet spots
Who says malls can’t be a good place to read a novel? Shangri-la Plaza is a high-end shopping mall in Mandaluyong City. It’s a preferred alternative over the bustling SM Megamall or Starmall. For people who are not fond of malls, but need to do business there anyway, Shangri-la Plaza is a blessing. There are various coffee shops and restaurants here that can offer solitude and sumptuous grubs while you bury yourself in a paperback. Treat yourself at La Creperie, Paper Moon Cafe and TWG.
#8: Co-working space for bookworms
Co-working spaces are an answered prayer for freelance workers who can’t work at home and bookworms who can’t find an appealing spot for a reading marathon. The Study Workspace at The Podium Mall in Pasig City is equipped with office equipment, a fully-functional kitchen, on-site cafe, personal lockers and a library. But a reading nook is incomplete without the perfect seating. The Study Workspace got you covered: ergonomic chairs and beanbags!
#9: A booklover-friendly community
What’s your definition of a perfect weekend? A brunch at home and a quick dip in the pool before noon, an afternoon inside your condo living room with a Nicholas Sparks novel, or both? In Riverfront Residences, overlooking the majestic Marikina River, these simple luxuries are yours for free. This resort-style condo community features an expansive Sunset View Park, gazebos and pools. On rainy weekends, you can stay cuddled up in your living room and finish your reading backlog. Keep your condo home cool and comfy with an indoor garden or a selection of house plants.
#10: Every book lover’s paradise
Where else should a bookworm be but in a bookstore? Fully Booked BGC at Taguig City is not your usual store where you scan through titles, take your pick and leave. It’s a massive five-storey building of books, vinyls, art materials and other treasures. The entire place is adorned with incredible art works that are every inch literary-inspired. Fully Booked has a wide collection of bestsellers and hard-to-find titles from a nearly all interests. You can stay, marvel at the breathtaking interiors, smell the book pages, read and just savor every moment.
Looking the perfect place to get into your bookworm zone? Metro Manila has everything you need – cafes, parks, condo communities and bookstores. Your only concern is getting yourself a good book.