‘NBS Needs Innovation’: Netizens Get Nostalgic Over National Book Store’s Glory Days
Sep 21, 2022   •   Meryl Medel
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Sep 21, 2022   •   Meryl Medel
For so long, the local bookstore chain National Book Store has been Filipinos’ go-to for school supplies and reading materials. But over the years, many of their branches have gotten smaller, so for many Pinoys, it’s no longer the go-to for books and stationery. And that’s why Twitter users are now calling for a National Book Store renaissance, kind of like what Tropical Hut recently experienced.
When I was in Ateneo Grade School in the 90s, we didn’t have UP Town or Eastwood, so our go-to “mall” for shopping was the huge National Bookstore in front of Gate 2 along Katipunan.
Now, NBS shops seem so bare.
— Eduardo A. Barrenechea II (@barrrrre) September 19, 2022
Twitter user @barrrrre asked his followers about their thoughts on the current state of National Book Store branches, pointing out that there’s a lack of school supplies and new inventories, which makes “the overall feel of emptiness abound.”
Over its long history, National Book Store has seen a lot of changes, starting as a small-corner space selling textbooks and supplies, then candies, soap, and slippers during the war, then back again to books and stationery. It has since expanded from simply a bookstore to a whole enterprise with several subsidiaries, including a college, a publication house, and other specialty brands.
Other netizens also waxed nostalgic about National Book Store’s older style. Some said they missed the endless shelves full of books that they were able to read. Others remembered how branches used to have floor mats and chairs where children could play.
stayed in ur stores for hours as a child, there used to be floor mats sa kids section and little chairs,, ik it wasn’t a library pero now even if mag open lang ng book saglit to skim through the pages sisitahin na lol also update ur books and materials,, u lack so many things na
— achi (@c0ur1n37) September 20, 2022
For real, tho. Ansaya ng National Bookstore in the ’90s. I’d spend hours there reading Pugad Baboy for free. It even introduced me to gateway occult books like Silver Ravenwolf’s Teen Witch, The Lesser Key of Solomon, and Tony Perez’ Mga Panibagong Kulam.
— TRISHA PAYATAS (@Watdahel_MarceI) September 19, 2022
One netizen pointed out that the limited number of shelves in National Book Store could be because books went to their Powerbooks stores, while art supplies were directed to the Art Bar stores. Other new specialty brands included Noteworthy for stationery and other gift items and Work Station for office supplies. Which left basic school supplies with the original brand.
The good books went to their Powerbooks brand, the good art supplies went to their Art Bar, so what’s left with National Bookstore is… hindi ko na rin alam tbh :( https://t.co/g32ENPQsmA
— H Y R O (@heyrow) September 19, 2022
Another netizen said that this “depressing” feeling most have connected with the bookstore could be because of how modern technology has changed our daily lifestyle that “ it actually took the appeal from them to visit our libraries/bookstores anymore.”
It’s not that the National Bookstore feels depressing, it’s how the young people or Millenials are so integrated in our modern technology that it actually took the appeal from them to visit our libraries/bookstores anymore. Quite saddening but it’s the truth.
— Josiah Augustus Doromal (@JosiahDoromal) September 19, 2022
Or you know, it could be just everyone being nostalgic about a childhood long gone, as this netizen pointed out.
It’s not National Bookstore that’s depressing. It’s the nostalgia. It’s remembering childhood where our life was just school & fun; chill. Going to NBS when you need school supplies or just read.
— Anonymous Galore (@AnonymousGalore) September 19, 2022
Still, as netizens shared their own experiences in branches of National Book Store in their city or province, most agree that their most recent trips to the bookstore were not as satisfying as before. A few wished the store would stock more of the items they sold, whether books or school supplies, and others pointed out how badly maintained some branches are (case in point: this netizen’s experience in Cubao).
I love National Bookstore with a passion pero you still need to admit na some stores have signs of neglect. Case in point: your Cubao Superbranch. The second floor is my fave because it contains titles not usually carried in other branches pero APAKAINIT dun at DUSTY. Hays.
— Ryan Leyco Faura (@hisRyanHighness) September 19, 2022
A few netizens also called others to give NBS a similar resurgence like Twitter has given Tropical Hut a few months ago. A netizen recommended practicing the old habits that netizens just shared, such as dropping by NBS branches and browsing their titles.
Tropical Hut, needed modernization
National Bookstore, needs innovation pic.twitter.com/ucfRF824fd
— Newk | ia (@jooyeonistas) September 19, 2022
His tweet quickly gained traction, receiving thousands of retweets and likes. A lot of people agreed with his sentiment, sharing their own experiences, but there’s also something else that caught netizens’ attention: “Nash”, the nickname he used for the store.
ang takeaway ko lang dito ay people call National Bookstore as Nash??????? https://t.co/Gt6A9KVK26
— des nuts.3 (@desopiii) September 19, 2022
Other netizens also said that it was the first time they heard someone refer to the bookstore as “Nash.” But a few admitted it made sense, given how the word “National” is pronounced. One netizen even joked it’s probably the “conyo name” of NBS.
Same, lol. But it kinda makes sense.
— CafeNervosa (@NervosaCafe) September 19, 2022
The official Twitter account of National Book Store joined in on the fun, giving the nickname a seal of approval by telling its followers to call it “Nash” in reference to the now-viral tweet. “Anong kwentong Nash mo?” it asked in another tweet.
Anong kwentong Nash mo? 😀 https://t.co/9uOu78JkBB
— National Book Store (@nbsalert) September 19, 2022
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