It’s Wednesday, half past ten in the morning when I found myself walking the halls of SMX Convention Center. It was the opening day of the Annual Manila International Book Fair and, awash with ardent bibliophiles, one can almost see and feel the verve in the air. I absolutely saw and felt it.
“For me, a vacation means finishing up on our reading list.”
Sen. Bam Aquino IV kicked off the opening ceremonies by relating the first book he can recall ever reading, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hounds of the Baskerville. Then he went on with an anecdote of the days when his wife―then his girlfriend―and he would go to the MIBF and call it dating. It’s so cheesy and nerdy I had to smile.
To those of you who had been paying attention, they would know that it is Fully Booked I’d visit as soon as the opening ceremonies ended. And so I did.
All titles―except the marked-down ones―are on 20% discount and who can decline, right? The displays are mostly YAs (I didn’t mind) and talked-about new releases. But collections of culinary books and graphic novels and books on art and design aren’t ones to be missed as well.
The Great John Green Shrine, of course.
Rainbow Rowell is ever present, to boot, with 4 published novels.
There’s also Lang Leav with her fast-becoming household name (at least in the bookish community.)
And Uncle Rick Riordan!
And Pierre Hermé and his ketchup macaron. Yum!
After indulging in the smell of ink and paper and getting my loot, I roamed some more and checked out the academic-inclined booths.
If Sen. Bam can recall his very first book, I sure can evoke mine too. And here it is! Alamat ng Amplaya (Legend of Bitter Gourd) from Adarna House. Oh, the fond memories!
The next one piqued my curiosity: a 3-D printer in action!
Can you guess what is it? Yeah, the exhibitor is a Game of Thrones fan!
Some robot on display.
My friend, which I realize just now I haven’t mentioned earlier, and I were almost heading home when we stumbled upon this: the smallest book in the world! It isn’t much in my shot but it is a wonder to behold in flash.
And I met and chatted with fellow blogger-and-bookworm Hazel of Stay Bookish, which happened to also be one of my 2nd bloggiversay winners. It was nice meeting you, Hazel!
I even received a free Lucy bookmark from Fully Booked. Hooray!
In the end, I got Gaiman’s Coraline, Stohl’s Idols (Icons made me stay up until the wee hours!), London’s Proxy, Sáenz's Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (for my winner) and Starlin’s Infinity Gauntlet (talk about expanding your reading horizon).
A beloved author of mine, Lev Grossman, wrote in The Magician’s Land, “it didn't matter where you were, if you were in a room full of books you were at least halfway home.” And you are.
Last year I promised myself that I wouldn’t miss another book fair.. so yeah here I am!! I made it huhuhu!! Thank you dad for accompanying me and for following me around (kahit alam kong you need to go home early) I love you dad!!
Bought three books for 1k!!
Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods (must buy all rick riordan books)
Yes, I made it up to the Manila International Book Fair in spite of the raging storm.. even I have no camera at hand to capture my long awaited haven. While I’m on the train, seeing how strong the storm was, I was checking my feelings whether I’m in fear or any negative vibes for still pushing my way to the fair.. and there was no hint of fear. There was a little regret by the time because I realized my parents won’t love to hear my plan but there was no fear that something bad might happen on me due to the unsafe rain. There’s no turning back. I was also checking my feelings if I’m getting sentimental or any melodramatic vibes were creeping in.. but there was none again. What I feel seems so realistic. It’s like ‘I am heading to the fair, will buy some books, stay in a cafe if the rain gets inconsiderate of my going home, then soon leave, period.' That very straightforward feeling, no hints of nostalgic-ism, was very new to me. That is not so me because the Jane that I know is sentimental and melancholic especially during rains and unusual adventures. And that was the moment I knew God has really changed a great portion of my heart. Healing, I guess.
So I made it safe to MOA. Funny because on that rainy peak point of time I crossed path with 2 familiar faces, one was Ella (my college classmate) and the other was Viel (elementary classmate, high schoolmate and a cousin, haha). I saw BAYO was on sale so I had a sneak peek of what’s inside and ended up buying some stuffs. Then I finally went in SMX for the fair.
There were only few people when I came. The place was on a quiet ambiance maybe because of the rain and the few enthusiasts inside. It was so different from the fair my friend and I attended last year. But I know, it was just because of the rain. I also had read a blog post about 35th MIBF’s first day and the blog said it’s nothing but exciting. So the quiet mood is just so caused by the heavy downpour of rain. Haaaay. But of course, a book lover will always be a book lover regardless of the mood, so I ended up buying half a dozen of books. I’ll recall to myself why I grabbed these books later when I come back because right now, my sister is getting pushy to leave home and attend our ministry prayer so bye for now.