How National Bookstore's 'Nanay Coring' grows a nation of readers


The Filipino is passionate and hardworking, she said.

She reasoned that such contribute to the popularity of romance and self-help books throughout her decades running the business.

Nanay Coring highlighted How to Win Friends and Influence People as one that particularly resonated with her and the public, because it spoke both to a Filipino’s social and self-determined attributes.

Her biggest takeaway from the book: “Be humble!”

Not only 'Twilight'

At 92, Nanay Coring is eager to hand over the reins.

She mentioned that her granddaughter, Xandra Ramos-Padilla, who serves as managing director of National Bookstore, is one of them taking over the bookstore chain, which to date, has about 2,500 employees in over 160 branches.

BUILDING A FUTURE. National Bookstore, co-run now by the younger generation of Ramoses like Xandra Ramos-Padilla, will continue to grow the country by looking after the future of young, Filipino readers. Rappler file photo

BUILDING A FUTURE. National Bookstore, co-run now by the younger generation of Ramoses like Xandra Ramos-Padilla, will continue to grow the country by looking after the future of young, Filipino readers.

Rappler file photo

And National Bookstore, co-run now by the younger generation of Ramoses, will continue to grow the country by looking after the future of young, Filipino readers.

“Children’s books and fiction have lately dominated the market with nothing in between. But the emergence of teen fiction has catered to a whole new segment of readers that even adults are reading,” Xandra said.

She admits that Twilight is probably the best example of this but highlighted that there are “so many quality pieces out there.”

The advent of electronic books (e-books) has threatened traditional books and sellers, but the firm sees them as opportunity as well, Xandra said.

“Our physical book sales are still growing but we also offer e-books through our tie-up with Kobo,” she explained.

Xandra added that the company is also digitalizing its own books published through in-house arm, Anvil Publishing.

Reach a wider audience

Xandra pointed out that some of the new generation of Filipino authors are choosing to be published abroad.

Despite this, the firm is working to ensure that their material reaches the Filipino audience, she emphasized.

“We try to partner with their international publisher to launch them here,” Xandra said.

The firm is also focusing on publishing Filipino translations of prominent foreign authors for their works to reach the wider market.

The firm also plans to continue partnering with figures like Boy Abunda and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, whose pop lit works have been well-received.

“As long as their works are relevant to people or culture [then] they will be published,” she said.

Overall, Nanay Coring said there are now more successful entrepreneurs than ever. And education plays a key role for such.

“Education is such that wherever you are, you have skills and knowledge. You know a little bit about every subject that has to be talked about," Nanay Coring said.

It is the kind of knowledge that a good book can provide. – Rappler.com