Since learning about the Manila International Book Fair happening this month and me being a first timer, I did my research on previous years’ events, great buys and best time to go. I created a check list on my phone that includes the booth number of the publishers I am planning to visit, the titles that I will be buying and number of books that I needed to buy.
I filed a half day leave from work on Friday, September 13, for this because I know that going on the first day and the weekend will be absolutely chaotic since people will be so excited to get in on the first day and will be frantic to finish their list on the weekend before the fair closes.
Day before my scheduled trip, I was looking around for someone to go with me because, I know you’ll all agree, shopping is more fun if you have company. My sisters can’t go because of work and mommy duties, my husband is definitely out since he hates lines, crowd and not really fond of books and there’s only one person with very low EQ and very easy to convince to go on a shopping trip. Let’s call this person one-who-must-not-be-named. Lol!
So, on the day, we met at the SMX Convention Center where the book fair is being held at around 1:30 pm. There was very little crowd that day and we easily entered the halls using the MIBF passes that I got from Fully Booked.
I have my list ready but once you’re inside, it was very easy to get distracted because there were a lot of booths with lots of great deals! Buti na lang, I have one-who-must-not-be-named and reminded me to get those on our list first before we look around and buy books that we don’t actually need.
We went first to CSM Publishing, the house that prints Veggietales Devotional that my boys and I read every night. I posted that on my IG and Facebook page. Their devotionals were originally priced at P280.00 but they were selling them for only P100.00 at the book fair! I highly recommend this devotional because aside from daily devotions, there are also prayers and tips on how my boys can be more compassionate towards others and have stronger faith in God. While we were at the CSM booth, I was able to buy two more books, Think on These Things by John C. Maxwell and Something to Smile About by Zig Ziglar, both books were on B1T1 for only P100.00.
Next, we went upstairs to the second floor to the Adarna House booth because there were a lot that I wanted to buy here, including my sister’s pasabuy for her daughters. I tell you, the Adarna booth is so much fun! I love their books, most were printed bilingually – both in Filipino and English, the stories and lessons are very easy to explain to kids and the illustrations are spot on. Their books make reading more fun for kids. When we were there, we were assisted by Haydar. He is amazing! He knows every Adarna book there is, the story, the lesson. He suggested great titles and when I asked him if they have a book about bullying and sibling rivalry, he left for a minute and came back to me with the books. Ang galing nya talaga so kudos to him and to Adarna for having him!
At the Adarna booth, almost unnoticeable, were bins placed on the floor filled with books. I gave it a glance and seeing that inside are titles that I was planning to buy, I plopped down on the floor and browsed. I was able to buy these at even more discounted prices. These were priced lower because some have minor stains and folded pages.
Adarna’s picture books were being sold at only P80 from their regular price of P99 each but they even have a better offer, P50 for each book if you buy 25 pcs and more! So, one-who-must-not-be-named, my sisters and I combined all our purchases to meet the 25 book requirement and we’re able to get these at only P50 each!
I was one of the Aldub fans back when they were still doing their stint in Eat Bulaga so imagine how glad I was when I saw their books being sold at discounted prices by Summit Books. I was also able to buy Ampalaya Monologues and the series by Rod Marmol.
While at the Summit Books booth, we were told that they were also selling past editions of K-Zone Magazine for kids. These were such a steal at only P20 each! I bought a lot to give away to Johan’s classmates during birthdays.
I also bought the following from the Learning is Fun booth. These activity books were priced at P30 each and inside were a lot of drawing lessons, connect the dots, coloring sheets and find the difference activities. Jeron loved the dinosaurs one!
While walking through the aisles, I spotted these word hunt books that Johan enjoys answering. These were priced at only P50 for three books!
I was also looking for art supplies but most of the booths have a lot of people so I was only able to buy these pack for P120.
Too bad, I was not able to buy The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein at Fully Booked. I asked the staff and it was confirmed that they have 40 in stock but the guys who assisted me weren’t able to find the book anywhere in the booth. I was also looking forward to the National Bookstore Book Binge but I can’t seem to find an NBS staff that could help me.
Anyway, do you still see bookmarks being sold at bookstores? I haven’t seen any for the longest time and it is great that some booths at the MIBF gave away free bookmarks!
What’s even great is I got free books from Summit Books! They were giving these away for every purchase from their booth.
When we were done shopping, I came home with three bags full of books and all of these inside!
Are you wondering how many books I brought home and how much I spent for everything?
Total number of books: 81 bought + 12 free
Total spent: P3,470 only!
So, was it worthy it? Absolutely! I am already looking forward to next year’s Manila International Book Fair! And I will make sure to bring a maleta with me next time!