If you are a bibliophile in the metropolis, you have probably heard of the 32nd Manila International Book Fair, a five-day annual event where readers, publishers, authors, and other literary enthusiasts come together to enjoy book-related activities like quiz bees, storytelling, and cosplaying. For me, the best part of this fair is that going here will never hurt your purse—even if you leave with a stacks of tomes in your arms!
With two other friends, I attended the second day of the event. I guess the major activities are going to be held on the last two days, since all that we saw were numerous book stalls and shelves strewn inside the SMX Convention Center. My friends practically lunged at the nearest shelf that contains 99php worth of brand new hardbound books (80% of it is Christopher Paolini’s Brisngr, though, so I wasn’t that overjoyed when I saw it).
Scholastic books! I can’t help but take a snapshot of this table, where The Hunger Games trilogy was arranged beside the Harry Potter series. I really adore the HP treasure box (or is that an old trunk?). Lots of people will agree that inside it are one of the most significant treasures of their childhood. :) At the back of HG and HP sets are Maggie Stiefvater’s young adult werewolf series…with a freaking free shirt. If I were interested in her books, I’d totally buy them. The one-star reviews of people I trust sort of scared me away from them.
I contemplated on buying the first Dexter book by Jeff Lindsay. I first learned about it when I stumbled upon a trailer of the HBO series adaptation of these books, and I think I’m going to like it. With only half of the first season downloaded (our tortoise-slow internet connection was the most infuriating thing ever), I guess I’d read the source material first. The books got mixed reviews at Good Reads, and most of them are saying the books are not as good as the series…which is a rare situation. Still, that did not discourage me from wanting to read the DDDs.
Outside the NBS’ “territory,” there were an amazing number of makeshift stalls on Philippine publication: Ilaw ng Tahanan Publishing, UST Publishing, Philippine Bible Society, Philippine Christian Bookstore, and many more. Although dwarfed by these large posts, a few foreign stalls were still noticeable in their own little ways. I tracked down some microphone echoes in hopes of finding an enjoyable activity, and at one corner of the Center I found out there was a contest. People were flocking around the stage so I couldn’t see what it was about, but based on the questions I overheard (something like “Who is the woman described in this nth verse chapter nth of the book of…”), this is definitely some kind of Biblical quiz bee. So rad! And the people seem to enjoy it.
I also happened upon the sophisticated-looking stall of Rex E-bookstore. It didn’t look like a “stall,” really, more like an independent unit inside the center. Lots of people are purchasing their ebooks there, too. I wish I could post a photo, but my camera’s memory card decided it was finally time to be “corrupted.” What a perfect timing. *sniffs*
We only got a little time to enjoy the fair since my friends have classes in the afternoon. All in all the three of us bought 1000php worth of books, and we received a freebie for it. I still have a towering stack of “unreads” at home, so I only bought one book--and no, it wasn't a DDD (that one I just mentally scribbled on my to-read list). Instead, I purchased this:
One Day by David Nicholls. My friends loved the flick to itty bitty pieces, and I’m intrigued. The premise is reminding me of The Solitude of Prime Numbers so much, so maybe I’ll like this one, too. :) We’ll find out if I finally get to it.
Anyway, I was planning to go back tomorrow at the fair. It’s the penultimate day of MIBF tomorrow, and I was thinking there would be bigger events. Plus I need to purchase more Murakami books with a discount (they all cost a bomb at a regular bookstore).
It was a short trip, but I definitely enjoyed it.