7 reasons to go to the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF)

Manla International Book Fair (photo inquirer.net)
Manla International Book Fair (photo inquirer.net)

It’s book fair time again, and book lovers from all over the metro (and beyond!) are counting the days until the 35th Manila International Book Fair, slated on Sept. 17-21, 10 am to 8 pm at the SMX Convention Center. In its 35 years of celebrating the love for the written word, the MIBF has become an annual tradition for several generations of Filipino book lovers.

Here are the top 7 reasons to head to this spectacular literary event:

1. Books, books, and more books!

As the biggest book event in the Philippines, the MIBF gathers bookstores, publishers, university presses, distributors, publishers’ representatives, cultural institutions, and other exhibitors showcasing their latest wares. The five-day event houses the largest and most varied collection of books all under one roof: textbooks, educational supplements, general references, religious and inspirational titles, self-help books, management books, Filipiniana, coffeetable books, popular novels, children’s books, art books, comics and graphic novels, rare and hard-to-find titles, novelties, magazines, audio and e-books, multimedia, teaching supplies and services, publishers’ technology, and travel materials.

Set aside a good part of the day to wander through the literary labyrinth that is the MIBF, and you’re sure to find a book (or two, or ten!) to match your tastes.

2. Literary sightings

The MIBF presents a wonderful opportunity for readers to meet the people behind the books. Authors and illustrators, both local and international are scheduled for appearances and special events throughout the five days of the book fair, making it the best venue to get a stack of books signed.

Even when they’re not signing books, literary celebrities – sometimes no less than a National Artist – can be spotted roaming the halls of the book fair doing their own book shopping. Eagle-eyed fans can take advantage of the opportunity to strike up a conversation with an illustrious author or illustrator and take a peek at what books they’re reading!

3. New releases

Local publishers and distributors often plan their calendars around the MIBF, and you can count on major releases to make their debut at the book fair. Book launches are aplenty, and book fair visitors can be among the first to get their hands on a copy of the book, often at a special discount.

4. The best deals

Speaking of discounts, you’ll find them aplenty at the book fair, as each exhibitor will have special book fair offerings, such as discounted prices, bundled packages, freebies, and other promotions. Schools and other institutions buying in bulk can score big in savings, while shoppers doing early Christmas shopping will surely be able to find the perfect gifts for the special people on their list, all at the right price.

5. Special events

On top of book signings and book launches, a host of other special events await readers: round the clock giveaways, cooking demonstrations, fandom gatherings, special readings, quiz bee competitions, interactive displays, and other activities that enrich and extend the reading experience and contribute to the reading awareness of the Filipino public.

6. Kid-friendly entertainment

Parents looking to keep their kids entertained need not worry, as there is a wide range of wholesome activities for young book fair goers. Storytelling sessions, art workshops, mascot meet and greet, contests, interschool quizzes, even robotic demonstrations, all await youngsters at the book fair.

7. Co-located events

Top off your book fair experience with co-located events designed for professional, academic, and personal interests.

35th Manila International Book Fair MIBF Poster
35th Manila International Book Fair MIBF Poster

English educators, academic policy makers, and students of language and literature programs are set to discuss educational reforms in light of the new education system and the ASEAN 2015 Integration at the National Summit on Language and Literature on Sept. 16-18, 8 am to 5 pm at Meeting Rooms 7 & 8.

For librarians, teachers, and school administrators, issues on intellectual property in relation with the education sector are set to be discussed in “Copy & Repro: The International Conference on IP Policies and Copyright ,” on Sept. 19, 9 am to 5pm at Function Room 2.

Students, parents, teachers and the academe can keep abreast of the latest digital and technological innovations in education at the first DigiTech Manila Conference and Expo, slated on Sept. 19 and 20 at Function Room 1.

Meanwhile, otakus gather once more for the Best of Anime (BOA) convention on Sept. 20-21 at Function Rooms 3 and 4, featuring cosplay events, anime and cosplay suppliers, special concerts, guest appearances, and fun-filled activities designed to draw and delight cosplayers, artists, figure collectors, photographers, and other Japanese culture enthusiasts.

The Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) runs from Sept. 17-21, 10 am to 8pm at the SMX Convention Center, Seashell Drive, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. MIBF is organized by Primetrade Asia, Inc. in partnership with Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc., Book Development Association of the Philippines, Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc., and the Overseas  Publishers Representatives Organization of the Philippines. For details, call 896-0661 or 896-0682, or e-mail bookfair at primetradeasia.com.

(photo: inquirer.net)

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