The Book Project Manila: Sharing Your Books with Other Readers in Manila

When In Manila, I’m sure my fellow book lovers would smile at the thought of finding a book at a random place. It can be upon going to the ATM to get some money, feeling tired after walking around the mall, lounging at the mall waiting areas, or when suddenly feeling thirsty and going to get some milk tea.

 Impossible? No.

How can I say so? Because I have left some books at places like those.

All thanks to The Book Project Manila.

The Book Project Manila is an initiative of a fellow book lover to spread the love for books throughout the Metro. Usually, book owners find books in bookstores, but rarely do books find an owner. I thought this was a wonderful project and was curious as to how the project came about. 


the book project manila mechanics


“Finding a book left at a public place happened to me before! In Switzerland, at a train station. I was still in high school and found a book with a note in it. It really made my day, and that moment of finding a book left behind by a stranger really stuck with me. The idea of starting something similar here and using social media to spread it sprung from conversations/brainstorming with good friends.”

On Tumblr, there were 12 books donated by the project head. When The Book Project Manila moved to Instagram, engagement got higher. The project currently counts 69 posts and around 30 people who have donated a book. There are a few people who keep donating books over and over again, so those are the ones who really keep the project alive. 


the book project manila instagram feed


To date, I haven’t found a book left by a stranger (hopefully I will in the future!) but I bet it would definitely make my day if I did. So, last week, I decided to make the day of other people and drop 7 books around the Metro. Here are the 7 books I donated to #TheBookProjectManila:


when in manila the book project manila memoirs of a geisha

Book: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden / Location Drop: Place where you can buy cute storage solutions

 Other Notes: I hope the person who’ll buy this rack was intending to sort out his/her books and find this!  

when in manila the book project manila the tempest

 Book: The Tempest by William Shakespeare / Location Drop: Random apartment front 

 Other Notes: I used this back in college and I think someone else might find this useful for school. 

I know it is highly unlikely for someone to find it at the beaten down place where I left it, but that makes this exciting.

when in manila the book project manila the sisterhood of the traveling pants

 Book: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares / Location Drop: Milk tea place 

Other Notes: Is it likely that a high school girl will drop by this milk tea place and get this book? Hopefully, yes!

when in manila the book project manila the making of a marketing guru

 Book: The Making of a Marketing Guru by Aaron Anderson / Location Drop: Starbucks al fresco area

 Other Notes: This is a diary-type biography of Ken Fischer and how he became one of the most-celebrated investment gurus. I figured someone who will hang out at Starbucks might want to learn about portfolio management. 

when in manila the book project manila othello

Book: Othello by William Shakespeare / Location Drop: ATM machine

Other Notes: I used this back in college and I think someone else might find this useful for school.  

Also, I’d be amused if I went to the ATM machine and got a free book! 

when in manila the book project manila mythology by edith hamilton

Book: Mythology by Edith Hamilton / Location Drop: Mall waiting area 

Other Notes:  I used this back in high school for my English class. I was never a fan of mythology but I know lots of people who are. 

when in manila the book project manila bob ong

Book: ABNKKBSNPLAko?! by Bob Ong / Location Drop: Jollibee dining area 

Other Notes:  I thought someone who’ll come in Jollibee might want some nostalgic feels or have been meaning to buy a Bob Ong book. Hopefully, I’m right.


I know what the busy book loving people are thinking, “I don’t have the time to walk around and leave my books to participate in #TheBookProjectManila!”

2 tips I can give are:

2. Strategize where you’ll drop off your books beforehand.

Do you have a favorite place to have lunch? Do you wait for the bus at the same bus stop? It can be where you usually go on a day-to-day basis, so it won’t be a hassle for you.
1. Go to the book exchange corner at Local Edition.
If you’re going out for coffee at Local Edition, might as well bring a couple of books. Just leave it there and exchange it with other people left there. It’s an honesty-based system, so no book-hoarding unless you left a lot of books yourself.


the book project manila local edition

Photo from Local Edition’s Facebook Page


So, to my fellow book lovers: are you up for #TheBookProjectManila? Where do you plan to drop off your books? Share it through commenting below! 🙂 


The Book Project Manila

Blog: https://thebookprojectmanila.tumblr.com/ 

Instagram: @thebookprojectmanila