The economy has hit the traditional brick-and-mortar book business especially hard. Even landmark literary institutions like Cody’s have not been spared. In contrast, Avalon.ph – a Manila-based online specialist in second hand books – has been thriving. Its founder, Jasper Ong, manages to maintain an independent shopkeeper’s touch by giving customers the chance to close transactions personally in select coffee shops during weekends. We sat down with Jasper to see if we could learn something from his success (which seems to be out-of-print these days).

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