Going into a bookstore has always been a treat for me. That's one of the places where my time stands still.
But going into a bookstore crowded with kids, flitting here and there, scanning and reading books, and comparing notes, is a triple treat!
My friend Luis, a famous children's book author I look up to, and I just came from a meeting and decided to spend some time at the OMFLit Bookshop. The festive sight that greeted us was something we never expected.
Children—grade school students of a public school—filled the place to the rafters. Their teachers, scattered around supervising them, said, "We brought them here so they could each buy a book of their choice."
I took note of some kids holding my books; they were filed toward the cash register. "Want me to sign those?" I asked tentatively.
I got a question instead of an answer, "Who are you?"
"Well, I am the author of those books," I said, summoning my sweetest smile.
"Really? Wow!" they shrieked.
Their voices reached some of their teachers' ears and not a second too long, they were beside me, posing for a groupfie.
I looked around for Luis and I saw him with another group of kids and teachers, doing exactly the same thing.
It was like being at the Manila International Book Fair—my other happy place, up the same rank as a bookstore—all over again.
Authors never know what instant grace awaits them in the places where they go to.
If I didn't have another appointment, I would have stayed in that bookshop till kingdom come.