A Very (Epic) Bookish Christmas Party

There are parties.

There are epic parties.

And there are epic bookish parties. Those are the best kind, you know. ;)

So my friends in Goodreads and I have been planning our third meet-up / Christmas party since November. The last official meet-up was in July and while there has been many smaller meet-ups and dinners and movies and drinking sessions in between, it’s been a long time since we all saw each other and met some newbies together as a group. However, everyone seemed to be busy up until December (my brother’s wedding and NaNoWriMo ate my life late October to early December), so we settled on the weekend right before Christmas.

And man did that day take too long to arrive. I was excited because it’s been a long time since I had a very bookish meet-up, and I’ve just really missed my friends from Goodreads. I missed them so much that I committed to spend the entire day with them, declining invitations to five other parties on that same day. Yes, five, and yes, our parties/meet-ups in Goodreads tend to last the entire day. :P

So despite the stress of the shopping, exhaustion from commuting and all that, I arrived at UP Ayala Technohub all chipper and excited to see old and new faces from our band of bookworms. :)

And imagine the smile of those bookworms with these many books are up for grabs:

And more:

Book heaven? Probably. :D

Continue Reading →

Holiday Swap

As of this writing, there are only 46 days till Christmas. Again: where did time go? Why is it going too fast? Before we know it, November (and NaNoWriMo) is over, and it’s December! And it’s Christmas!

Okay, so I think everyone can see that I love Christmas, and Christmas always makes things better for me, no matter how bad my mood is. Plus, Christmas automatically makes me more generous for some reason (must be the spirit of giving!). When I saw posts from Holly and Chachic about the Book Blogger Holiday Swap, I decided to join in for the fun!

I love exchanging gifts during Christmas (I am almost always the mastermind for other exchange gifts/Secret Santa/Kris Kringle plans among my friends) so a book swap is definitely something I’d love to do. I know international shipping is going to make a dent in my wallet, but still I chose that option, because it’s fun! And it’s just once a year anyway, so why not go all out? I’m already starting to think of ideas to put in the package like bookmarks and trinkets and rings, and maybe add a couple of local books that I like in it, to share local literature. :)

Hm. That reminds me, I think I shall suggest something like this to my friends now. :D And maybe think of a Christmas giveaway too? Hmmm.

Ah, Christmas. I love it. It’s the most wonderful time of the year… :)

Blogging and Books

I am starting to love all these bookish weekends. It’s probably because I’ve never really had them before. Sure, NaNoWriMo weekends are also times where we discuss books, but we discuss writing and our plots more than we discuss our books, plus my Wrimos and I only see each other a lot during November, so for the rest of the year, I’m pretty much dry with book talk. Thank goodness for making bookish friends. :)

Last Saturday was the first Filipino Book Bloggers meet-up, organized by Chachic who is also the admin of the site. I’m not one to pass up an event like this, and I even dragged some of my friends over to join us (who weren’t really as big of a reader as I am and they don’t keep a book blog…so they were really just there so they could meet and accompany me — my friends are sweet haha). When I got to Starbucks at Shang, I was already a bit late, so there were already three tables of people talking. Pretty soon, more people came, including some of the new bloggers from our Goodreads group. I guess existing bloggers in the group can be pretty influential. ;)

There were lots of discussions everywhere, and as expected, people broke into little groups based on who sat with who. I mostly talked with the people around my side: Aaron, Ace, Jason (nice to finally meet you!), Rezel, Aldrin and Celina. Like what everyone else who’s blogged about the event, there was a major concern/brainstorming done at the other side of the table about publishers and local books and how bloggers can be involved. I didn’t get to hear all of them, but from what I gathered, it was pretty interesting.

I’m no expert with how the local publishing business works or how they market their books, I do have the same woes about not having enough local stuff that I’d want to read. It’s the same woes we have in NaNoWriMo — there just doesn’t seem to be enough local works to read for us to write about local stuff. If there were, then I’d probably have more than 10 in my Project 20:10 list. I hardly read anything local because I feel like they’re all too serious, or in the case of our chick lit, they’re too thin and not worth the price. Most of the Filipino books I see are about dysfunctional families, revolutions, and some socio-political whatever issue that I could read in the newspaper. Thanks, but no thanks. They’re the kind of stuff I’d read in school because it was required of me, but I’m not in school anymore. :|

Why not submit the stuff that I write, then? Well, I would, if they were finished. ^^; Okay, that’s my fault, then, but I know from some friends who have tried to submit their works here from what I hear, it’s kind of hard. I don’t think there is much room for the stuff that my Wrimos usually write here, at least, not that I know of. So if no one’s accepting (or at least, even looking at) the things Filipinos dare to write, what else would we read, right?

I’m not sure I made sense there, and it may need another post to fully clarify. But the idea goes the same for book bloggers. In the US and UK, book bloggers get their share of advanced copies because of the buzz they create before the book is officially out in the market. Based from experience, I think only Summit Books do the same thing, since their marketing person (sorry, I forgot the exact position!) is a blogger, as well. The proof is in the press release I received for Table for Two. Of course I already read and reviewed the book when I received the package, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

Like Michelle, though, I also believe that “good books will promote themselves“. The most recent example I could think of is Mina V. Esguerra‘s My Imaginary Ex. It started with Mina just saying hi to our Filipino Goodreads group, and some reviews of her book and then a lot more people are reading her book from our group. It may not seem big, but it’s a start, right?

Anyway, off with the serious stuff. The other posts I linked below were far more articulate with this issue. It was still a fun afternoon that extended all the way up to night because we had some bookstore hopping to do. This is why I ended up with such a big stash of books yesterday — I was in the presence of very effective book pushers. ;)

Dinner at Sango -- me with the bloggers and my two friends, Toni and Cors


I missed meeting Jasper of Avalon.ph and Carl Javier, author of The Kobayashi Maru of Love, because I was late, but I did win a Php 500 GC from Avalon.ph, which means I can still buy the Carl’s book from them. :)

It was a fun Saturday, and a pretty successful meet up. I think everyone would agree. :)

Related posts:

Comic Books and Launches

So it’s been a pretty eventful week for me, but not in blogging because I didn’t really post that much this week compared to last. For a change, I was busy reading, squeeing about certain books, and talking to people face to face.

Yes, I still have a social life, thankyouverymuch. :)

So, what’s been happening the past week (and a day)?

Metro Comicon

Saturday last week, I ventured into the city and out of my comfort zone to tag along with some of the boys from my Goodreads group to attend the Metro Comicon at SM Megamall. Now, I’m really not a comic person, but I recently bought Happyface before that Saturday, so I thought…why not look around? Plus, I was also hoping I’d find a copy of AEIOU or An Easy Intimacy of Us by Jeff Brown (one that I started to want to have after I read the review at Pinoy Pop) there. I have zero knowledge about other comics, but I figure it shouldn’t be that different from when I go and look at books, right?

Well, it wasn’t, really. I didn’t find AEIOU, and I ended up not buying anything after. I still had fun, though, if only because I got to watch some of the boys look like kids on Christmas morning as they had their favorite comic books signed by the writers and the artists. Ace and I were just watching them, then — he was just there to have his friend’s copy of Trese signed, and we were amused at how Jzhun and Ariel looked like how we do when we see books we love and all that. Ah, bookworm quirks. :)

This picture is a bit blurry, but trust me, their eyes were sparkling. ;)

Continue Reading →

When Book Lovers Meet

That sounded like a title for a love story.

But it’s not. Okay, there were “lovers”, but not in the romantic sense. More like a group of people who love one thing, and would stay talking for almost nine hours just talking about that thing.

Wait, let me backtrack.

A few months ago, after I started posting more in this blog, I also started to posting in the Filipino groups in Goodreads. I have to admit that I only started posting because I saw Chachic was active, and I was curious with the local group. So I started posting. And posting. And posting.

Then I got an invite for the second meet up. I really wasn’t planning to attend because the venue wasn’t where I usually go to. But when I learned that the invites were for selected people only (and there was free lunch)…I can’t not go, right? So I said yes.

Fast forward to a few weeks later, after lots of excited posts in the Goodreads group, it was time for the meet up. I realized as I made my way to the far away restaurant that I have no idea who these people were, and I’m putting blind faith into the posts I read in Goodreads. I’d have to assume they’re nice people because there wouldn’t be a second meet-up if the first one wasn’t fun and they didn’t get along, right?

And besides, how violent can a group of book-lovers be?

Apparently, for this particular book, they can be pretty violent. ;)

Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman

How many people were fighting for this book again?

But I’m getting ahead of myself again. They were really nice people, and I felt at home with them after just a few minutes of talk. They reminded me so much of my Wrimos, only with more passion for books than writing. I mean, the PinoyWrimos obviously love books, too, but whenever we meet, all we talk about are plots, word counts, novels, Chuck Norris and how bad Twilight is. With the Goodreads people (how do we call ourselves? Goodreaders?), there’s lots of book talk, and…well, discussions on how bad Twilight is. Heh.

Continue Reading →