Why I Keep Coming Back to MIBF: My Day at the Manila International Book Fair 2017

The Manila International Book Fair – I’ve always considered it an annual pilgrimage. A Hajj towards a portal to a thousand worlds. I always thought of books as gateways to other worlds; places of adventure and excitement. Sometimes, a fortress of refuge. And most of the time, a haven of knowledge and ideas. For the past five years, I’ve never missed going to the MIBF. I know I’m not the only one who looks forward to the fair every time the ber months begin.

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As a celebration of another anniversary of my fellowship with books, here are 4 reasons why I keep coming back to the Manila International Book Fair.

4. It’s my day to buy a LOT of books!

Here’s a confession: I usually buy books, at most, twice a year. I save up money the whole year round just to spend a year’s worth of books at MIBF. I learned to have restraint when I go to bookstores because I usually go there to make a list of will-buys at the fair. The returns are great though! At the book fair, I can get books for at least 10% off!

This year, I bought a book that usually costs Php 2,400. When I got to the fair, they were 20%off! That’s a Php 480 saving in which I used to buy books for my niece and godchildren.

This year, I ended up buying 16 books and comic books. Cheers to another year of reading and a new set of friends!

“You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy books and that’s kind of the same thing.”

3. I learn more about myself and strive to be better through reading

There were a lot of times in my life I learned about myself through the characters I can identify and empathize with. Because of books, my ideals were given form, my moral compass was inclined towards a direction, and my identity is continually revealed.

In the spectrum of moral alignments, I’ve seen myself as neutral good. I’ve identified with book characters that share the same sentiments as mine like Jon Snow of the A Song of Fire and Ice series. My moral compass about society is given direction by the comic book character DareDevil when his ideals came clashing with the Punisher’s own sense of justice.

Also I never let the chance to buy books that enrich myself go. I’ve bought books about a foreign language (hoping to be a tri-lingual before the end of the year), investments, health, and faith.

“We lose ourselves in books. We find ourselves there too.”

2. Different worlds brought to life

I love the commitment of readers that bring to life their love of books. This year’s book fair gave them the opportunity to showcase their fandom. Different universes met at the book fair. From the kingdoms of Westeros to the lands of Tatooine, every fan was made welcome at the Manila International Book Fair.

“I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.”
–Neil Gaiman

1. Getting excited for the future generation of readers

It always brings a smile to my face every time I see kids sit down on the floor, with a book on their lap and their eyes navigating around the pages. I do believe that even in this time that children are always glued to their gadgets, nothing could replace the excitement that a printed page could offer. Kudos to the parents, uncles, aunts, and grandparents that made the book fair their avenue to bond with their kids.

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.”
–Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Are you a fan of the Manila International Book Fair as well? Tell us why you keep coming back, too. 🙂


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