By REYANNE LOUISSE AMPONG
IT IS not December yet but Christmas came early for book lovers. Bookshelves upon bookshelves in the convention center await visitors. The air is filled with bookworms’ curiosity and excitement over finding an addition to their collection. Sounds of joy are heard when one finds the novel he or she is searching for; murmurs of disappointment linger in the place when a book is not available anymore. It is the perfect time to splurge on different kinds of books.
Now on its 38th year, the annual Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) is a great avenue to look for books to be added in one’s to-be-read-list or to buy books which are out of someone’s comfort zone. The biggest and longest running Philippine book fair runs from Sept. 13 to 17 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.
Paradise for the bibliophile
Savor the scent of books while walking along the space of the convention center. It is a heaven for book lovers—children and adults alike. This year’s MIBF is bigger than ever. Two entire floors are dedicated for exhibit space, unlike the previous ones which only occupied the first floor of the convention center. Walk along the hallways and check out booths of publishing houses and bookstores which are arranged in a maze-like style. However, the experience it offers is unlike that of running through a maze where you want to get to the exit immediately. Here, visitors will want to cherish the moment and linger in the maze as much as possible.
If there is one thing MIBF is known for, it is the sale in every corner. One can hoard books as much as he/she likes! Discounts which range from 10 percent to 50 percent off or more can be availed. It is a definite time to buy books for their own pleasure or to buy books as gifts to their friends. Books which are not released to the public yet are sometimes available, too. The fair also encourages everyone to get out of their shell and explore the unknown. Different genres of books are available—from children’s classics to religious books to crime novels to academic textbooks. It is a place for everyone.
More than books
Despite the event being a book fair, it is not a mere place to find books. The fair also holds special events such as forums on topics ranging from mental health to the role of libraries. There are also product launches, book signings and author meet and greet, quiz bees, and competitions on storytelling and cosplay. The fair is also a place to get everyone’s creative juices running. Some booths hold creative workshops on calligraphy and comic illustration.
School supplies can also be bought at the fair. Exciting deals are offered to those who want to buy colorful pens, calligraphy kits, art sets, and much more.
One for the books
A trip to MIBF is an unforgettable experience. It is one for the books. Even if the fair is held in one convention center, it becomes a portal to enter different worlds—a magical one, a dark one, or one set in a historic era. It is something that every reader wants. The place oozes with imagination and wisdom through the books and through the people who fill the place.
Students, academicians, kids and casual readers stroll the place. Exhibitors who are eager to help run around the fair. Everyone is warm and accommodating. At MIBF, one will be able to meet someone whom he or she can relate to. Exchange book recommendations or book reviews with them. Friendships are made here, too. F