Hello there! Thanks for sticking around. I hope I didn’t keep you waiting that much. I did say in my last post that I do plan to blog about certain stuff so prepare for an onslaught in the next few days. And I do mean an onslaught… Hehe. Allow me to start off with my special feature, albeit delayed, on this year’s Manila International Book Fair (also known as Christmas in September for bookworms like moi).
For those who are not aware of this annual event, the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) is the Philippine equivalent of Book Expo America or Frankfurter Buchmesse (which I dream of going someday), a trade fair that gathers publishers, authors, re-sellers and book lovers under one roof. It is also considered one of the longest-running book fairs in Asia and in the last few years, the MIBF has constantly offered a few surprises here and there. This year was no exception.
I went to this year’s MIBF on a very rainy and traffic-ridden Saturday afternoon. Meann was with me and we got in free, courtesy of a pass for two from Fully Booked after I purchased a hardcover edition of Rapture by Lauren Kate. And I must say, for a free pass, it looks pretty cool enough to pass as a bookmark (wait, that’s a great idea!).
Since we came in on the 4th day of the MIBF, I wasn’t expecting to buy any books but I still went in to see how different the exhibit was. Honestly, not much has changed – I still saw the same exhibitors on the floor – but I was entirely happy to see a former exhibitor make a grand comeback. And I guess I wasn’t the only one eager to see them on the floor if I were to gauge the almost empty and somewhat disorganized shelves in their area.
Meann and I moved further along the exhibit floor and stumbled along Adarna House’s booth. Since we both have nephews aged between 5-7 years old, we decided to grab some story/picture books to teach them the art of reading. I got myself a dual-language one entitled Araw sa Palengke, Written by May Tobias-Papa and Illustrated by Isabel Roxas for Php 50.00! What a steal considering that my nephew now reads it regularly and does it well. I’m definitely going for similar books, more of it, in the years to come to further nurture my nephew’s zeal for reading. Someone has to inherit my book collection, right? 😛
As we moved through the many exhibitors, we bumped into several book blogger friends and traded stories of our purchases and author encounters. One of those we met was Honey, who showed some of her purchases including what would be my personal highlight for this year’s MIBF: Filipino-translated bestselling US books, namely Twilight and the first two volumes of The Vampire Diaries (Volume 3 and Volume 4 are already available as of this writing)! These were sold at the Precious Pages Corporation booth. Seeing them felt too cool for words that we were compelled to hunt and buy them.
Meann and I were joined by another friend, Ronald, and we made a beeline for the farthest end of the trade fair floor to get copies of said books. Each book, in mass paperback sizes, was sold between Php 100-150.00 which is not bad considering the price of their original, English-written counterparts. And the best thing was, these were marked down further if you got a copy of their new comic series, Animen. I haven’t started on reading them though but I plan to sometime soon. While shopping around the Precious Pages Corporation booth, we eventually discovered that those weren’t the only series getting a Filipino-translation. Guess which series also made their cut? The Hunger Games (Book 1 is already available for Php 149.00) and Fifty Shades of Grey! I wonder how the translators/writers will approach those two series.
Having exhausted enough money on books and our energies visiting one booth after another, we felt very hungry. Unfortunately, the rain and the mall-wide sale weren’t helping our mood. Thus, despite getting an awesome loot bag from Blooey (thanks a lot!) and an invite to chat with other book bloggers (really sorry Tarie!), the three of us decided to leave the Mall of Asia grounds and eat someplace where there were fewer people, even if it meant going as far as Makati City.
Although it may seem that I didn’t enjoy much and didn’t purchase a lot of books compared to my previous visits, I don’t think I will ever stop going to the Manila International Book Fair. If I were to choose to keep one new tradition/habit each year, visiting the Manila International Book Fair will definitely be a permanent fixture in my calendar.
The Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) is organized by Primetrade Asia Inc., in partnership with Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP), Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc. (ACCI), Overseas Publishers’ Representatives Association of the Philippines (OPRAP) and Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc. (PBAI).