I paid homage to the 33rd Manila International Bookfair today. For three solid hours, I went around the SMX Convention Center visiting booths. This year’s visit felt a little tight, really. I skipped what could have been great buys because my buying power is a little weak this year, our apartment is literally losing space for books [unless I leave them lying around which I don’t ever do], and my unread books are embarrassingly high [not that the last two reasons have stopped me before!].
Anyway, I still did not allow myself to come out of the centre empty-handed — after all, I was holding out, not killing myself. 🙂 I bought 7 books, and 4 of them are from local authors, so it makes me prouder.
Gratuitous shot of my modest loot from this year’s international book fair
1. Clash of the Demons by Joseph Delaney (P99, NBS bargain bin) – The sixth book in The Last Apprentice series. I have books 1 through 4, so I’m missing books five and seven to ten to complete the series. Note that I have read only the first book. You think completing the books would entice me to finish the series? 😉
2. Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen (P99, NBS bargain bin) – I have an e-book version of this and it got me interested after one chapter so I decided to look for it. Glad I found it and for 99 pesos, no less.
3. The White King by Gyorgy Dragonian (P99, NBS bargain bin) – The story sounds interesting.
4. Rizal: Without the Overcoat by Ambeth R. Ocampo (P236, Anvil) – I long wanted to buy anything from Mr. Ocampo, one of the prominent historians of the country. Picked this one among all of his Rizal books. He was signing books when I was at the Anvil booth but the line was too long, I decided to skip it so it would not cut through my short book fair time. Some other time in some other event, sir.
5. Si Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata by Ricky Lee (P240, Anvil) – I wanted to have this since it came out. Coming from a critically-acclaimed screenwriter, I’m sure I will like this as much as Para Kay B.
6. That Kind of Guy by Mina V. Esguerra (P175, Summit) – After My Imaginary Ex, I am looking forward to reading Mina’s other books. This is the only one of hers left in the Summit Media booth when I came so I grabbed a copy.
7. Fan Girl by Marla Miniano (P78, Summit) – Another Summit publication which I wanted to try. This one and #6 were the only titles available, sayang nga, for I also wanted to try her Table for Two. Some other time! I actually finished this one already because I read it while having dinner and when I fell in line for a long time for some J.Co donut fix. I really liked it. The book. And the donuts, too.
I am also happy with three non-book purchases I made today: a pencil set of five and a metal pencil/pen case featuring artist Damian Domingo’s painting Una Mestiza de Manila Vestida de Gala. They’re so beautiful! For 80 pesos for both, it’s a steal. I also bought a set of Filipiniana notecards for P50. Awesome finds.
So there, my book fair finds. It’s a far cry from last year [and I considered that one very subdued], and even farther beneath three years ago. See, I have changed. 😉 There are TONS of books I wanted to buy but didn’t, and more booths I wanted to visit and buy books from but I ran out of time and sadly, patience. In a way, it makes me genuinely happy that people still flock to bookfairs and buy books. My age is getting to me because I could hardly take maddening crowds anymore. I get dizzy and disoriented easily. At any rate, on top of my head, the booths of Goodwill, PsiCom, OMF Lit, UP Press, and Lampara were the ones I regret missing. I’m sure there’s more. Anyway, there’s still the next book fair! Until then!