Did you join this year’s MIBF?
The MIBF or Manila International Book Fair is an annual book sale held every mid-September at the SMX Convention Center. This year is their 39th time around and the second year since they occupied both floors of the center. When they announced last year that the book sale would extend to the topmost floor, the response of the public was surprising—to say the least. The lines extended beyond the corner of the building. And that said something!
Personally, this year’s MIBF was one for the books, so to speak. To start, I was there for two days: the first and the last. While I have done that before, it’s nice to be reminded of the stark differences between first day and last day. During the first day: there are so many books, including rare tomes and limited editions from specialty stores—you just have to know where to look; some books have discounts and some do not; and you could bump into hardcore readers and/or hoarders. During the last day: book stocks have gone down significantly; the discounts could increase to somewhere between 30% and 50%; and you could bump into people fresh off the streets that are curious about the commotion in the center.
Yes. That happens. The lines at the door could draw in people who never had any plans of going to MIBF. It’s easy to get in: either buy a ticket or present a free pass. Some publishers give away PDF versions of the latter a few weeks before the event to make certain that more people attend.
While I do not have the numbers for the attendees, I felt like there were more people there this year than last. Even though there’s such happiness to be had at finding and buying books, crowd surfing is a necessary skill. Without it, a person could literally get hurt. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve said “excuse me” and “sorry” there, even when I am not sure if I and my stuff would hit anyone.
Another reason why this year’s MIBF was a record for me is because of National Bookstore’s (NB) Book Binge Bazaar (BBB). The BBB is different from NBS’ large stall; the former is at the second floor and the latter is at the ground floor. The priciest books at the BBB cost 275.00. Suffice to say, it’s at the BBB where I (and so many others) got our books.
So, what books did I get from the MIBF?
Top row, from left to right: Sandali by Mikey Jimenez and Mikey Marchan; The Best Man by Richard Peck; Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 20 Years of Slaying: Watcher’s Guide (Authorized) by Christopher Golden; Hoax: A History of Deception by Ian Tatterstall and Peter Nevraumont; Bad Days in History: A Gleefully Grim Chronicles of Misfortune, Mayhem, and Misery for Every Day of the Year by Michael Farquhar; Ito ang Diktadura by Equipo Plantel; Middle row, from left to right: Light by Rob Cham; Mysteries of History: What’s Real, What’s Fantasy, and What’s Still a Mystery by National Geographic; 101 Inventions That Shaped the World by National Geographic; The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson; The Literature Book by DK (Penguin Random House); Ang Hari ng Komyut: Ang Pagkilala by Lizette Daluz; Bottom row, from left to right: Poems That Make Grown Men Cry: 100 Men on the Words that Move Them edited by Anthony and Ben Holden; A Field Guide to the Roads of Manila and Other Stories by Dean Francis Alfar; Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill; Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan; Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan; The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan; Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
This is my biggest haul yet. I believe I made every tsundoku out there proud. XD
One more reason why I loved this year’s MIBF: I finally had an answer to what happened to the A-Z publishers, one of my favorites for their hardbound books by the folks of Reader’s Digest and National Geographic Magazine. I have collected a few of their books over the years. My niblings loved those beautiful heavy tomes. One of the guys at the stall gave me a condensed version of what happened and why A-Z disappeared from the scene. I hope the new people and their stall stay this time.
Hope you join us next year at MIBF. And, if you do, prepare for the madness. XD