The Manila International Book Fair held last September 12-16 is not merely an event for book sellers to do their business. It’s a celebration of our love for books. You see fellow book lovers frantically grabbing this and that book, but they do bother to say hello, so long as their faces are not covered by the stack of books they are carrying. I think this communion with bookish people from everywhere is a reasonable cause for celebration.
The MIBF also has book talks, author signings, and of course, discounted books. I didn’t bother with the former two; I’m actually too lazy to go to the venue (the convention center at SM Mall of Asia). But of course, any lazy book lover will be able to energize himself by merely thinking of those books lined aisle after aisle.
There are a lot of participating book sellers but I mostly roamed around the aisles of National Book Store and Fully Booked. Had Book Sale participated, I would have filed for a three-day leave and spent each day scouring its shelves and bins for great books. Okay, let’s not dwell on that. Let’s check out what I got.
September 12 – First day. For some reason, I was not in the mood to buy anything. Some of the books that I’ve been looking for are just there on the shelves, each screaming for my attention. The thrill of hunting and turning over the sale bins was lost, but anyway, I set my eyes on The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu. I saw two editions with different translators so I went home to do an assignment: search for the best translation.
September 13 – My research told me that Royall Tyler’s translation is the one to get. I went back to SM MOA despite the heavy traffic. Yes, there are still available Tyler translations. Two of them. But both of them have damaged bindings. I am not willing to spend money on damaged new books. I asked one of the staff if they have a better copy. Not my luck.
But wait. My gaze landed on the literary winners shelves. I spotted House of Leaves (Php 835.25) and Only Revolutions (Php 572), both by Mark Z. Danielewski. I was going to borrow the former, but when I browsed through it, I figured this is the kind of book that one should own. I decided on impulse to buy this writer’s works.
September 16 – Last day. I went back to meet some of my bookish friends. I am not sure if I still want to buy more books. I was just merely looking around when I saw a stray copy of This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz (Php 500). Very fresh! I think this was only released last week. I am so eager to read it, like tonight, maybe?
I also got What the World Is Reading. It’s a free sampler of Penguin’s recent releases.
Other books that I got are The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead and Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry. The former was given to me by our friend Aldrin (really, I used my psychic powers to make him give it to me). The latter I bought at the end of last month for Php 75 at Book Sale – Alphaland South Gate Mall.
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And now, from the Department of Shameless Promotion:
I was featured by our dear friend Tina on her blog for the fifth installment of her What I Read feature. Please visit that link and feed my ego. :D
Seriously, thanks Tina for selecting me. It’s an honor, and I’m so humbled by it. I know I have already said that everywhere, but I really mean it. :)