Wednesday, September 19, 2012

For someone who has consumed books like daily vitamins for the past 13 years, how ironic it is that this is the first time I've attended the MIBF when they've been doing this for 33 years. Stalls and rows after rows of shelves filled with countless books of all shapes, colors and genres. I felt like (and the cliche goes) a kid in a candy store.

I had 3 goals in coming to the book fair. Not all of them were met but I did have a great time browsing through expensive-looking glossy covers and gawking at rare local published works I wouldn't be able to find in any local friendly red and white logo-ed bookstore.

First goal was to meet and greet and have the typical fangirl book-signing-and-picture with the resident internet Pogi Guy and my current brain crush Mr. Ramon Bautista (search the hilarious Tales From The Friend Zone videos on youtube and you will be hooked!) who I knew will be there at the PSICOM booth promoting his new book "Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo" together with Stanley Chi and Tado. Of course, me and book buddy Epi (who blogs at ) arrived too late with already a bunch of other fans in line for autographs and picture taking and no more book copies available. I did get to take a picture of them having pictures with other people. I guess that's the closest thing I'll get to being a fangirl. Must photoshop these pics soon.

Looong line to Tado, Stanley Chi and Ramon Bautista's book signing table.

Second goal was to find some unique designs for bookmarks. Since I'm not fond of reading physical paper and ink books because I have to hold them with both hands and get up and switch off the lights before going to sleep as compared to just turning off the iPad (how lazy is that?) I was interested in getting my hands on some unique bookmarks design like those magnetic ones I found in National Bookstore a few years ago (yes, that’s how long I’ve been reading paperless). Disappointingly, for a huge international book fair, in grand SMX of all places, we only saw one stall selling them and I didn’t even like the designs available.

Third was to find and purchase unique contemporary Filipino works because, honestly, I can't find them anywhere online. ;) But, seriously, I've developed this interest in literature written in English but based on Philippine society etc. and, no doubt, the UP Publishing booth won this category, hands down.

It's not much and I know people who have bought a lot more but in my defense, there wasn't a lot to choose from based on my detailed specifications and with the amount of religion/gospel books taking up half of the space inside the convention center, well, let's just say those stalls were automatically out of my to-browse list. Anyway, here are the 3 books I managed to buy from my first ever book fair attendance.

MIBF Book Haul 2012:

100 by UP Writer's Club - 100 literary works by UP college students (I'm guessing), all within 100 words "expressing kilig to kirot and all points in between". What a word goldmine. Glad we went back to the UP stall or else I wouldn't be able to buy this precious thing.

Beautiful Accidents by Ian Rosales Casocot - Short stories about Filipino modern life written in free-flowing English. Exactly what I was looking for. And isn't that cover just plain gorgeous?

A Hundred and One Reasons by Bianca Salindog - A 20-something Registered Nurse who has managed to published her own novel. Sounds exactly my dream. :)

All in all, it was a thrilling and refreshing afternoon to be surrounded by printed words, glossy covers, star-striking authors but, most of all, by fellow book lovers roving the store like drug addicts  in need of their latest pharmacological fix. Why this is the very first time I went to an event like this is still a mystery to me.


shorebot said...

Went there last Sunday as well. Funny that you mentioned the thing about the Christian publishers, that was the first thing I noticed when I went in.

Too bad I didn't get any of the things I was actually looking for, but I did score a few books that would keep me busy for a while.

Clarriscent said...

We noticed that too while we were halfway finished browsing inside the convention center. Christian \ religious books left and right they were a bit redundant already. Please tell me these companies pay taxes.

Me too. I can't compare this year's event to anything because it was my first time there but a wider selection of genres and styles of literature would be extremely appreciated. Maybe next year.

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