It's just five days until the 1st Filipino ReaderCon and The 32nd Manila International Book Fair (Words Without Borders)! The MIBF is an annual event that brings local and foreign exhibitors together, all striving to help cultivate a love for reading. It is organized by Primetrade Asia, which is also one of ReaderCon's sponsors.
I've always loved going to the MIBF. It is often held during the first few weeks of September (which is good for me because I get extra shopping money this time of the year). I often start my Christmas shopping here: children's books for my godchildren, recipe books for my aunts, rarer titles for luckier friends. Over the years I've discovered unexpected treasures here. Once I bought a good number of secondhand manga in original Japanese (nearly completing my collection of Hana Yori Dango). Another time I loaded up on Perry Mason mysteries that were being sold at the Goodwill Bookstore booth for about P35 each. Still another I found a booth selling Discworld novels with original Josh Kirby art. Score!
When my favorite uncle was still alive, we would always make a trip to the MIBF. After he passed away, I began visiting it by myself, which is not always such a good thing. Even with the throng of people around the booths, I find that it's always nice to share your finds with someone. Last year, I came with my cousin but we were only able to spend a few hours there. Still, I went home with a few copies of local children's stories (including Palanca winner Irene Sarmiento's Spinning) while my cousin bought an Ambeth Ocampo book. Maybe this time around, I'll be bringing home a larger stash of books.
Aside from being a venue for publishing companies and book distributors, MIBF also plays host to a variety of events, the ReaderCon being just one of many. It's a great place to gather educators, students, publishers, authors, and every size and shape of reader there is. Hope to see you there!