5 Essential Things to Know on What Book You’ll Read Next

 Clueless on what book will you read next? If you planning to visit a bookstore, try following these tips for your next book fix.

  1. The Need- your spiritual need that needs to be equipped. Say for example you need advice on discipleship, then find books about discipleship.
  2. The Author- Not just to know who wrote the book but know his forte and other works he wrote.
  3. The Blurbs-I love this part. Check who’s endorsing his book. It will give you an idea what the book is all about.
  4. The book section-the book section is a giveaway answer on what the book and the author is and what kind of book you’re looking for. It will be nicer if it has sub-sections.
  5. Contents –check its Table of Contents. Do the chapters strike something in your spiritual need?
  6. Similar authors-don’t get stuck on one writer. Check out other authors. Other authors may have more in-depth and comprehensive treatment on the subject.

Do you have number 7? Please post it on the comment.

7 Useful Tools to Power Up Your Laptop or PC

This list is a no brainer (I can almost hear you say”Duh?!”), but you need this for your laptop or PC. It’s very essential. Your digital life should have the following:

  1. The Holy Bible-God’s Word in digital format. For your Bible study or devotions. Free software like E-Sword or you can request a FREE copy from Blue Letter Bible. PDF format Bibles will do also. Some of it includes dictionaries, commentaries, devotionals etc so you’ll have a deeper understanding of God’s Word.
  2. Anti-Virus- to clean all those dirty USB or protects your machine when going online. You can download Avira or Avast for FREE.
  3. Photo Editing Software– Make your photos or images stunning. Adobe Photoshop is the most popular but you can download (FREE) alternative like GIMP 2. Also if you’re online you can use Picnik.
  4. E-Book Reader-Some books or articles you can download from the internet is on PDF format. Download Adobe Reader or Foxit to be able to read it. Also you might try Adobe Digital Edition for e-books if you don’t have readers like Nook, Kindle or I-Pad, you can still view it on your PC.
  5. Video player– can’t watch MP4 formats? Then download video players to play videos you have or you have downloaded on the internet. It will be good if it can play virtually all video formats. I recommend VLC player.
  6. Internet Browser-No surprise it’s on our list. You wont be able to check your FaceBook (and read this article) if you don’t have this. Orca Browser or Mozilla Firefox will do just great.
  7. File Extractor/Compressor– for multiple files that are in Zip or RAR format. You can use Win Zip already installed in your PC. For RAR I use Extract Frog which is FREE.

So that’s my list of essential tools your laptop or PC should have. Do you have something to add on the list? Please post it on the comment. I love to hear your answer.

(originally from my Facebook Notes, 20 August 2011)

Used Book Finds: The Writer and The Writer’s Digest

  Been following blogs to help me improve my writing ability and style but nothing beats a physical material that won’t strain my eyes staring at my laptop. Just this year, as I was excavating BookSale (a second hand bookshop in the Philippines) I noticed they carry some writing magazines that are so inexpensive it cost P5-P10 per copy! Yes Virginia it’s so cheap! The magazines are “The Writer” and “The Writer’s Digest”. Both (though geared for secular writing) deliver the goods that are very useful for writers. From tips, advices, interviews, online exclusives etc.; the two magazines are great companions for writers especially for us bloggers. As of now I have 8 magazines in my collection and counting. I suggest that you go search it out at the nearest BookSale branch. You can also find them on the web: The Writer and The Writer’s Digest.Happy magazine hunting and blog writing!

A Trip to Booksale: A Christian Guide on Finding Christian Books from a Pre-Loved Bookstore

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. Then 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 popular 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. There are competitors and book fairs popping up but Booksale is ahead of the pack.

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 (if you are super duper lucky) . The price ranges to P10-75 and over 200 which are still cheap compare with popular bookstores. If you’re going there, it’s safe to have P 500. 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. 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.

Major publishing companies: Whitaker, Tyndale, NavsPress, Revell, McMillan, Moody Press, Regal, Bethany House, Spire, New Leaf, CLC (Christian Literature Crusade), Thomas Nelson, New Growth Press, Zondervan, and Inter Varsity Press.

Publishing company that has a Reformed bent: Crossway (most of their product), 9 Marks, Banner of Truth,  Cruciform Press, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, Reformed Trust Publishing, 10 of Those, The Good Book, Matthias Media, and Lexham Press.

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. Look it up in GoodReads or Challies.com (if he reviewed it).

Authors you shouldn’t miss: Booksale sometimes has great books by these authors: John MacArthur, JI Packer, E.M. Bounds, Andrew Murray,Randy Alcorn , Charles Spurgeon, and C.S. Lewis. Some of these authors are available in thin mass produced trade paperback.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, ministry, 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. Narnia series by C. S. Lewis
  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. Ashamed of the Gospel by John MacArthur Jr. (hardbound)
  7. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
  8. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
  9. 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 (but if i were you I’ll do this for these cult literatures).
  7. Horoscope and other fortune telling stuff.

Top Secret Tips

1.) 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.

2.) If you want to find great selections, better visit the big stores rather than the small ones. The big stores can be found in Robinson Galleria, SM North Edsa, SM Southmall Las Pinas and  Makati Cinema Square.

3.) 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. Ask the clerk what date do they change their books. 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. There are books sellers in FB Marketplace or in IG that I follow and get pre-loved books.

Free books: Simply research the internet for specific topics that are available in different digital format free. Another thing is to subscribe to David C. Cook, Desiring God, Crossway or Ligioner Ministries and for time to time they give away e-books for 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. You might get a surprise if you get autographed books.

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: nitoymgonzales@gmail.com or use it to add me up in FaceBook. Booksale has a website Booksale  and FB Page. You can connect also to them on FB Messenger. Happy Christian book hunting at Booksale!