By Edwin D. Arceo

Book lovers in Manila are preparing for the single biggest event worthy of slogging through the torturous EDSA traffic—the 37th Manila International Book Fair, or just MIBF.

I have in fact been going there continuously for the last five (or is it six?) years. I try not to miss it even if I only have a few agonizing hours to spend there. I just need to be there. And you need to be there. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. The books! From the newest release to the rare gems and everything in between. This is the place where there will literally be books for all ages and persuasion. All the topics you can think of, it’s going to be there.
  2. There will definitely be promos and discounts. Last year, I and my wife bought quite a few books at the Emerald Headway booth where almost everything was on sale! If you have ever read a copy of the Reader’s Digest, then you would know that they sell quite a number of books on crafts, health, general information, history, and how-tos. I hope they’ll be there again this year.
  3. There will be a lot of new books that will launch. If you are eagerly waiting for the next sequel to your favorite series, chances are it will be launched at the MIBF. And the next one the following year.
  4. Authors will be doing book signings. Who doesn’t enjoy having their books signed by the very person who wrote the book? I do! And so are the hundreds of screaming teens lined up for hours at the book signing of their favorite cheesy book. Believe me, these kids will line up screaming eery minute they here on the PA system the announcement.
  5. For the Christian book lover, all the major Christian publishers like OMF Literature, Church Strengthening Ministries, Lighthouse Books, the Philippine Bible Society will be there too! Many Christian writers will also be there to meet and greet their readers.
  6. You are supporting the publication of more books. I am an advocate of printed books. The tactile experience cannot compare with an ebook. Sure, you can have hundreds, if not thousands, of books on your digital device. But it does not compare to the tactile experience of flipping through pages upon inked pages. Your fingers going through book paper and newsprint. The smell of fried chicken and paper mixed in your fingers. Ebooks do not, and will not, compare with printed books. Dare I say, that if your device is not charged, how will one read their book. Printed books do not need batteries. We cannot allow the printed book to die any form of death. That is why we need to be at the MIBF to buy books so that more books will be published.

The MIBF should not be missed. It’s going to start on September 14 running all the way up to the 18th at the SMX at the SM Mall of Asia, which for me, is the worst place to hold the event in terms of the great difficulty going in and out. The great majority will be commuting and need I say again, slogging through the worst traffic that has been cited by mobile navigation app Waze as the worst in the world. Well, if you are a commuter, traffic is the greatest boon to read books. Just keep feeling your pockets.

Download the MIBF Fact Sheet HERE.