The 34th Manila International Book Fair, slated on September 11 to 15, 10AM to 8PM at the SMX Convention Center, has become an annual tradition for book lovers. With five days devoted to celebrating the love for the written word, here are the top reasons why you shouldn’t miss this spectacular literary event:
A labyrinth of books

The MIBF is the biggest bookselling venue in the Philippines, gathering bookstores, publishers, university presses, distributors, publishers’ representatives, cultural institutions, and other exhibitors showcasing their latest wares. The event showcases 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, coffee table books, popular novels, children’s books, art books, graphic novels, rare and hard-to-find titles, novelties, magazines, audio and e-books, multimedia, teaching supplies and services, publishers’ technology, and travel materials.

Exploring MIBF’s sprawling aisles, it’s pretty much impossible not to find a book to match your tastes, whether it’s the latest bestseller or a prized title you’ve always wanted for your collection.

Literary sightings

Much like a literary Woodstock, the MIBF is the best place for literary celebrity sightings: local and international authors and illustrators are scheduled to make appearances all throughout the five days of the book fair, and making it the best venue for stocking up on signed copies. Not only will these add literary cred to your book shelf, they’ll also appreciate in value in the years to come.

Even when they’re not at book signing events, these literary celebrities will often be spotted roaming the halls of the book fair – doing their own book shopping, of course! Eagle-eyed fans can take advantage of the opportunity to strike up a conversation with an illustrious author or illustrator, even a National Artist for literature, while trawling through a bargain bin or waiting in line at the checkout counter.

New releases

Local publishers and importers often plan their yearly calendars around the MIBF, and you can count on major releases to make their debut at the book fair. Book launches are aplenty, most of them open to the public right in the exhibitor’s booth, granting visitors the opportunity to be among the first to get their hands on a copy of the book, often at a special discount.

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 make their way through their lists.

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.

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.

Booklovers unite

Round up your book lovin’ gang for a pleasurable outing: weave your way through the aisles, get the hottest books, get your books signed at the biggest book event of the year. All alone? Strike up a conversation with a fellow book lover in line at the checkout counter, or while randomly browsing – who knows, it might be a love match in the making!

Co-located events

Top off your book fair experience with a host of co-located events designed for professional, academic, and personal interests. Keep abreast of the issues and challenges affecting the disciplines of language and literature, in light of the Enhanced Basic Education Act, at the National Conference on Language and Literature (NCLL) on Sept. 10-12. Explore the use of social media in spreading the Good News in the conference “Using Social Media for Evangelization” on Sept. 12. Learn the latest in early childhood education, including improving Math and Science competency, financial literacy for children, and classroom management sessions in the young child conference Educare on Sept. 13-14.

Meanwhile, otakus gather once more for the Best of Anime (BOA) convention, 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 MIBF runs from Sept. 11-15, 10 am to pm 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

Blooey Singson

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