It was that time of the year once again. And for bibliophiles like the Urban Roamer, it was an event not to be missed as always. Yup, it’s the Manila International Book Fair once more, held once again at the SMX Convention Center.
The 35th edition of this one-of-a-kind trade fair showcased literature in various formats, from traditional print to the modern digital format from a number of publishers and book sellers in the country. Being a regular visitor and having covered previous editions of this event on this site, I suppose there’s no need to write about what to see there. Rather, I’ll share here some of the highlights and sidelights from the event.
As it has been the trend in recent years, digital publishing is becoming more and more popular, more so now with online bookstores like Buqo and sites like Wattpad becoming more entrenched in the Philippine market. In the case of Wattpad, the box office success of the stories it published that were adapted into the big screen, namely “She’s Dating the Gangster” and “Talk to Me and You’re Dead” the tie-up with broadcaster TV5 has boosted the site’s popularity and has taken it to another level.
Wattpad’s success has somehow boosted Filipino popular literature as well as some publishers adapted a number of stories on Wattpad to be published in print format, as well as some who decided to take on the site by boosting its own popular literature.
There were some interesting items on display at the fair, namely the biggest and smallest books in the world, displayed side by side courtesy of Rex Bookstore.
Some new products and innovations were also introduced in the fair, like the Wikahon, which is designed to help children become literate in Filipino with a series of activity pamphlets and cards grouped according to the level of proficiency, and a planetarium in a dome tent.
As always, the event is a good opportunity to meet in person a number of authors and other famous personalities.
And of course, the bargains which is what the fair is about. In fact one exhibitor had a sale in which all titles there were being sold for only P100.
Overall, it has been another successful Manila International Book Fair. Already, we can’t wait for next year’s event and get to see new trends, meet new personalities, and get more bargains as well.
You can check out my Flickr for the rest of the photos taken from the event.