All is Fair... | PART I



   As always, I manage to squeeze this particular post of my experience at this year's 36th Manila International Book Fair, before the month ends! But as I've mentioned on the previous Music Monday, I had an incredibly busy weekend that time that it was fortunate enough for me to actually drop by and grab a couple of books there! Now, if you've been following this blog for quite some time now, then you guys would've known that this is not my first time at the Book Fair. In fact, it's actually my fourth time! So I figured I should post some tips too, if you happen to decide to come next year! ;)
   But first, let's go back to that Friday, September 18. I had an early morning since I accompanied my mum to her class that day (she teaches Animation). It didn't end until after lunch, and it was only then when we finally went to the SMX Convention Center - where the Book Fair was held, along with the other event that was going to take place that weekend, the Best of Anime Convention. I had to help her set up a booth there (too much details would go along with this, so I'm just gonna keep it short) for that weekend's event, so that was what we did first.
   We didn't arrive until three in the afternoon there, and unfortunately, that was when I learned that Dane wouldn't be able to make it, since we were supposed to meet each other to go to the Book Fair together. Though, it was alright, because I was very much preoccupied with the booth, and we didn't finish until around six PM. Plus, we even caught this Japanese band, UchuSentai:Noiz's rehearsals, and we couldn't help but take the chance to have a photo with them. ;P  My sister however, who was also supposed to come along, got stuck at work with a deadline, so she couldn't make it either. But I was more than willing to head on to the Book Fair, since y'know, I was already there and I allotted that day specifically for it. My mum was there so, t'was all good. :)

With their amazing vocalist, Angel-Taka ;)
   Soon enough, I entered my little heaven with as much excitement as I do every year! I had more than a few tickets from FullyBooked since they gladly gave it to me (you can always ask for some at the customer service, free of charge ;P). Like I've said before, it's my favorite event of the year besides Christmas and the New Year, so yeah. ;P Needless to say, however, I was more than prepared for this day! I entered at the second gate, that was apparently, right in the middle, only to see the National Bookstore section standing more than a few yards away. But, I turned towards the left, and headed to the FullyBooked section instead. Somehow though, I didn't know exactly which aisle they were (you'll see the signs hanging above in red banners, indicating letters of each section), but I sort of remember them mentioning them on Twitter, and had my guess that they were around in aisle I. Now that I checked, they were actually in aisles F, G, and H.
   At least, I tried.
   I found them either way. ;P

A blurry photo of the FullyBooked section.
   I took my time roaming around the FullyBooked section, even if tons of people were swarming around, checking out books that they were looking for or have caught their interests. At first, I tried searching for what I was looking for, only to end up finding it before putting it back - trying to decide whether I should buy it or not. So I went around yet again, finding these wonderful, leather bound, editions of the classics, and I was so in love with them that I could imagine them sitting perfectly on a book shelf as collectible items! Unfortunately however, the price was also a collectible item, ha! ;P
   And it was no surprise too, that as I've mentioned on my previous personal post that there were shelves filled with the Harry Potter series!!
   I solemnly swear that I shall start (finally) collecting them... Next time.


Don't they look amazing?
Definitely need this for Hogwarts. ;P
My top favorite!!


They're all soooo tempting!!!
   After a while, I made my way towards the National Bookstore section. That was where I was very much intent on searching for "Witches of East End" by Melissa Dela Cruz (since I bought a hardbound copy of the third book of the trilogy last year at a FullyBooked sale for a hundred bucks, lol), since most of her works were sold out at FullyBooked. I know, because I asked, of course. ;P I decided that I should focus on completing that trilogy first, so I can begin reading - even if I've already read the first one years ago, since Dane had a copy. But now that I bought the third book, it was only fair to finally complete them for my collection. Besides, I've been a fan of Melissa Dela Cruz's works, considering that Dane completed the Blue Bloods series, which made me read them all as well (Martin Kingsley, pls). Now however, that I decided to get some of her books, I knew I also had to get her new novels, "Vampires of Manhattan" (which is a continuation of the Blue Bloods series, yippee!!) and "The Ring and the Crown." 
   Somehow, amongst the chaos and the excitement, I couldn't find it. So naturally, I asked the customer service to see whether they have some in stock. Some of the books I was looking for wasn't - which wasn't a surprise, of course - but they did tell me where to find Witches of East End (at the 'General Fiction' section, if you happen to wonder). While I was searching through the 'Young Adult' section though, I found the second book of another series that I was looking for, which was "A Beautiful Evil" by Kelly Keaton. 
    A month ago, I've caught another sale at FullyBooked in Bonifacio High Street, and saw the third book of "Gods and Monsters" series. It was called, "The Wicked Within," and I was so intrigued that for a hardbound copy, it only costs a hundred bucks. I knew I shouldn't let go of it and just find the first two books! Well, easier said than done, apparently. I was looking for the first book, "Darkness Becomes Her" but I couldn't, and as I've mentioned, only found the second one. It was alright though, because I knew that I could find the first book some other time (if all else fails, I can just request an order, lol). 
   That was when things became easier, and I finally decided to get those two books - "Witches of East End" and "A Beautiful Evil" - the moment I found them! Thus, two books had been crossed off my list! 



   Afterwards, I made a little detour back to the FullyBooked section. Mind you, I was in a terrible rush this time, since my mother was looking for me, just so we could finally leave and have dinner. I found the book I was eyeing earlier, and that was "Shatter Me" by Tahereh Mafi. Now, I mentioned earlier that I bought "Winds of Salem" (the third and last book of "Witches of East End" trilogy) on a sale at FullyBooked last year. Along with that, a few months ago, I caught a sale at National Bookstore and found the second book of the "Shatter Me" series, "Unravel Me."  It was a paperback copy for only fifty bucks (compared to its original three hundred plus price, I think this was a great steal), and I immediately bought it after I saw the good reviews on Goodreads. 
   So there it was... I found a few copies waiting around on shelves, along with the third book, "Ignite Me." And that was when I finally decided to buy both of them! 
   Yep, I went a little crazy this year...
   After that, we left and finally had dinner. Here's a selfie of me starving... ;P



Now we go on for my tips when going to the Book Fair...

TIPS/BOOK FAIR 101:

  1. Prepare a list. - I think it's always convenient to know what you're actually looking for once you get there. So if you have been coveting some book for quite some time, now's your chance to find it and finally have it! Trust me, amidst all the chaos and the overwhelming excitement, it'll be more convenient for you. ;)
  2. Get tickets - You can get some from the internet, like from Adarna Publishing House's website, where they post their printable tickets and you can just print them (make sure to visit their booth, of course)! Or like I always do, I ask for some from FullyBooked's customer service and they'll give them to you, free of charge. ;) Otherwise, you can always allot 20php for your ticket there at the gates of SMX.
  3. Plan a day for it - If you can go on a weekday (since the Book Fair usually starts on a Wednesday and ends on a Sunday), the better. Why? Well, not only are you avoiding the vast sea of people (I don't know about you, but I'm not exactly all too much of a fan of crowds), but you're also going to breathe in the vast availability of stocks - especially the bargain sales - easier. Usually, on weekends, you'll run out of them (as I've experienced first-hand before), so if you really want to experience that overwhelming awesomeness of the Book Fair, I personally recommend coming on the second day - to avoid the first day rush - or on the third day, just like I did this year. If it can be avoided, don't come on weekends, unless there's a guest author or a program you want to catch.
  4. Come at an uncertain time - Specifically avoiding rush hours (8AM, 12NN, 5-7PM), You'll want to be there around 10AM - 4PM, and you'll avoid most people. This year, I went there around 6PM and it already swarmed with tons of people! 
  5. Wear comfortable shoes - Once you get there, not only will you be roaming around a function room, but three huge function rooms! So if you're used to wearing high heels, then fine. But if you aren't so confident in them, as much as possible wear flats or sneakers. Your feet will thank you for it!
  6. Don't forget to get hydrated - Bring a bottle of water, just in case you have not eaten yet. 
  7. Don't forget to eat - But as much as possible, try to have something first before you do go. After all, food is our fuel for energy, and once you get there, you'll need tons.
  8. Bring a powerbank - Just in case you use your phone as your camera, and of course, you don't want your phone to die while you're there! 
  9. Know where to find your books - When you do finally get there, make it your first aim before you go and roam around. And of course, know which aisle it is situated in, so that'll make things easier for you. Then refer to your handy book list.
  10. Ask customer service - If you have not found some of the books from your list, you can always try and ask the customer service. Maybe even give them your list! One time, I did that with FullyBooked's, and they sent me a text message which ones were available just so I wouldn't wait around. Talk about great service! 
  11. Allot time for yourself to relish it all in - Normally, I like to give myself an hour or so (two hours maximum) to roam around after I'm done shopping for some books. You'll find pretty cool stuff there in some booths. 
  12. Take photos - Remember what they say, if it doesn't have a picture, then it didn't happen! Record memories as much as you can!
  13. Bring a tote bag - If you're more than ready to shop tons, then save by using a tote bag instead. However, if you happen to be like me - who's fond of carrying a big bag all the time - then that'll be convenient as well. ;P
  14. *Optional* Bring company - If it's your first time, then it's definitely recommended (trust me, you wouldn't want to get lost there all by yourself). But if it isn't and you want to brave it all by yourself, then do so! Just make sure you do know where you're going, and you've prepared all of the above!
  15. Have fun - Whether you have found some of your coveted books from your list or not, have fun! The whole experience is what you want to take in, and having fun is a huge part of it, so make sure to do so!
   And there goes my tips and tricks! Also, this ends the first part of this post! Now, if you happen to wonder why I haven't shown you my book haul just yet, well... That's because if you think I've gone a bit crazy that day, well the next day (that Saturday, September 19), I may or may not have gone crazier! Haha! I hope you enjoyed this, and tune in tomorrow for the next! ;)

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