In My Mailbox (18): MIBF (or, okay, not really)

It’s been a very bookish week since I arrived from Europe, and I am definitely not complaining. This week was special for Filipino readers because The First Filipino Reader Conference happened last Wednesday, and it was also the 32nd Manila International Book Fair (it’s still happening at SMX now, so if you haven’t been there, you still have time!). If you missed the ReaderCon, you can read what happened at the @PinoyReaderCon twitter (tweeted by yours truly :) ).

However, despite my two-day attendance at the Book Fair (the most I’ve did since I started attending), I did not get any book from the fair itself! I was supposed to, but I was terribly late yesterday and I was just too tired to look for a book (or beads for jewelry making), and most of what I wanted was gone. So this week’s (and last week, actually) stash includes some books I got from Book Depository, a book I borrowed and a book I bought during but outside the Book Fair. :P

The loot

Oh, and a lot of bookmarks, too, from the ReaderCon.

Anyway, the books:

The books

  1. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin – yes, I’m jumping into the bandwagon. I got this from National Bookstore in Mall of Asia. I wanted to get the boxed set, but I ran out of them in the Book Fair. I was supposed to get all four books, but man, they’re thick. So I decided to get just the first book for now and I’ll decide later on if I want the others. Again: man, this book is thick. 835 pages!
  2. Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood – borrowed from Chachic! And her personal Aussie library book tour continues. :)
  3. A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner – yay paperback! And thanks, Book Depository. :) I had this pre-ordered a few weeks back.
  4. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta – pre-ordered this from Book Depository a few months back, too. :) Thanks to Nomes for the heads up of the paperback edition. Plus, I heard its sequel is coming out soon, so I should bump this up my TBR. :)

Oh, and I also got my blog business cards, which I had printed in a rush just for the ReaderCon. Features Steve Emond‘s drawing, and designed by my lovely friend Jana from Jana Styles. :)

Blog business card!

Talk about taking all the book blogging thing seriously. But hey, this is good for networking, and making friends. :)

I remember those days when I’d go crazy during Book Fair season, but I think I’ve mellowed out. That, and after paying for some Europe bills, I need to be more prudent with my book spending. That, and I really still have too many books in my TBR pile, and I really want to whittle it down further. Is this me maturing as a book hoarder? Gasp.

What did you get in your mailbox this week? :)

Filipino Friday on a Sunday: Catch Up Post!

This is a massive catch-up post for all ReaderCon Filipino Friday posts I missed in the past weeks. I meant to answer each question individually with scheduled posts and all, but you know how sometimes we mean things but never really end up doing them? Yeah, that. But better late than never, even if it means doing a Filipino Friday post on a Sunday. :)

So here’s a massive Filipino Friday catch-up post, answering all four questions that I missed. I promise will try not to be too talkative!

Filipino Friday

...on a Sunday! :)

Week 2: How did you become a reader? Why do you read?

The Best Thanksgiving Ever - SVK # 34[/caption]

I mentioned in my intro post that my dad used to read Pepito the Catfish to me when I was young, and I’d like to think that that was the thing that started me reading. My mom often told me that she was afraid I had problems with reading when I was a kid because it took a while for me to learn how to read. She’d tell me that I used to “pretend” to read, lying on bed with a book open, even if I can’t actually read. I remember in Grade 1, I’d borrow these Bible story books from my classmate and pore over them everyday while it was with me. But I think the time I really started to pick up books on my own was in Grade 3 (when scanner software was practically nonexistent), when a classmate brought some of her Sweet Valley Kids books to school. The colorful covers intrigued me and I borrowed one. I never finished that borrowed copy, but I begged my mom to buy me one book (back then it was only Php 59.75!), and that started everything. That started it all, and since then, the bookstore became my haven. :)

Why do I read? Well, that’s a harder question to answer. I could go on and on about how stories shape our lives and how books provide knowledge and all…but I think my real reason is this: I love words. English has always been my best subject (Science also was one, until the Math part of it kind of made it hard for me), and I have always found comfort in words. There’s just something beautiful about a words coming together to form a story, and I dream of being able to have my own story out there in the wild (no matter how scary that thought is :D).

Week 3: How hard or easy it is to become a book lover in the Philippines?

Okay, this is kind of a big question. Truth be told, I’ve only been looking at how different it is to be a book lover in our country lately, when I started getting more active in book blogger activities. Before I started blogging about books, I was only concerned about the books I find in the local bookstores. I don’t know if I’m lucky or I just don’t want too many books back then, but every time I look for a book I want, I find it. I guess I just happen to look in the right places? Or I just didn’t subscribe much to hype.

Now that I’m more aware…I’m kind of on the fence here. Yes, it’s hard to be a book lover in the Philippines because not all the books I want get here on time, and it’s hard to find some of the books I want, but like I said, for some reason, I always find ways. I guess I could count myself blessed enough to have the resources (and patience!) to get the books I want. Here’s my usual game plan in getting books:

  • I look for it first in local bookstores, usually a few days to a month after it gets released. If I’m lucky, I find it there and get it. Fully Booked (especially Eastwood) has never failed me with their reservation and transfer system, so they’re pretty good for me.
  • Before Book Depository and before I got my Kindle, I also often ask my dad to order some books for me from Amazon and for him to bring it when he goes home. I used to do this for Christian fiction books I want because that is harder to find here!
  • When I got my Kindle for iPhone, I had to weigh the option if I really want that book in ebook form or print form. Now my criteria of getting an ebook is if (1) I absolutely can’t wait for the book, (2) I don’t mind not having a print copy and (3) I love the author so much that I don’t mind buying a print copy after I read the ebook.
  • If it’s not there and I have extra cash in my Paypal account and I really want the book and I feel that it would be cheaper, I’ll order it on Book Depository. (Lately, though, I reserve BD for pre-orders).
  • And just lately: borrow from fellow book lovers. I don’t need to acquire every book I want to read, right?

So I guess I’m just really blessed to find ways. I still wish there are good libraries here, though, because I think it will help a lot of people, but I can’t really complain much since I still get to read what I want to read. :)

Week 4: Do I read Filipino literature?

I love that I can say yes to this. :) Yes, I do! Of course, I only started reading them last year, thanks to Project 20:10, and even if I’ve never met my reading challenge, I still try to read more. As an aspiring Filipino novelist, I think reading local fiction is required. I’m no expert with local fiction, and I must admit that I’m still choosy with local fiction (sorry, the books I used to read in school are the things I still avoid — I can’t handle reading too much social ills and dysfunctional families). I am very glad that local fiction is growing, even if it’s not in the usual channels. Some notable reads:

I look forward to reading more Filipino literature, and I dream for one of our Filipino NaNoWriMo novelists to publish their own novels and send it out in the wild. :)

Week 5: What do you hope will happen in the Filipino ReaderCon?

Filipino Readers Make it Social!Oh expectations. I’ve learned not to set expectations because it often leads to…

Oh wait, sorry, I’m not in my personal blog. =D

Kidding. Anyway, I don’t really have set expectations for the 1st Filipino Reader Conference (it’s only 3 DAYS AWAY! :D). I am looking forward to an afternoon filled with book talk, seeing old friends and meeting new ones, too. I expect to be busy on that day, being a volunteer and all, but I also expect it’s a good kind of busy because it’s for something that I am passionate about. :)

Whew, sorry for the long post! :) I hope that even if I blabbed on and on here, this would convince you to join us in the first ever Filipino Reader Conference on the first day of the 32nd Manila International Book Fair, September 14, 1-6pm at SMX MOA Meeting Room 2! If you can’t make it, then I hope to be able to talk to you over at the @PinoyReaderCon twitter — I’ll be the live Twitter-er for the event. :)

See you there! :D

Filipino Readers Make it Social!

My blogger friends have been posting about it since last month, so this is a late post…but you know what they say: better late than never! I christened the months of August and September as “book months” because of all the bookstores that go on sale during this month. It’s changed this year but around this time, all major bookstores in the country go on sale, and all of the sales culminate with the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF), where I have been known to go crazy a couple of times because of all the books on sale in one place. :)

There’s more reason to be excited for this year’s Manila International Book Fair because of this:

The 1st Filipino Reader ConferenceIt’s the first ever Filipino Reader Conference! It will be on the first day of the book fair, September 14, 1-6pm at Meeting Room 2 of SMX Mall of Asia. I know, it’s a week day, but if there was any time to use a vacation leave for work, this is a good one! I already filed my leave! :) This is the first ever gathering of Filipino readers, bigger than all those meet-ups and book club meetings that we’ve been blogging about in the past year! There will be panel discussions on different topics like blogging and book clubs, social media and bookishness, and all sorts of fun activities made especially for Filipino readers.

And did I mention some cool prizes up for grabs? :)

My blogger friends have been making a lot of noise with this event in the past few weeks, so if you haven’t heard about it…well, now you have! I’ll be the live Twitter-er for the event, so follow @PinoyReaderCon for updates! More fun stuff and information on the official website for the conference, too :)

Ten days to go until this event, friends! Are you going? If so, I hope to see you guys there! :)