Sep 13, 2018

It’s September, which means it’s book fair season again. From Sept 12 to 16 is the 39th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF), the biggest one in the country. If you’re out of money, don’t let that send you into a panic. Maybe it’s petsa de peligro for you or you’ve already promised away your money. I can relate; I’m broke as hell too. That’s why I’ve made this handy guide for how you can spend 500 or less at the fair.

Bookstore sales

nolisoli mibf 2018 budget guide
Golden Books Services is at the first floor 

I mean, this is a no-brainer. It’s MIBF, so expect all the participating bookstores to pull off all the stops. Golden Books Services, for example, practically summons you into their booth with a huge red tarpaulin saying “bargain” in all caps. You just need to be a bit savvy—don’t get a book just because it’s within your budget. Hunt around.

I personally made a beeline towards the National Bookstore and Fullybooked booths (they’re both on the first floor) since I knew the two bookstore chains were doing 20 percent off discounts on their books.

nolisoli mibf 2018 budget guide
Virginia Woolf’s Flush is up for 96 pesos
nolisoli mibf 2018 budget guide
You can get this Oscar Wilde classic for 64

If you can only bear to spend a hundred on a book, check out the Penguin classics in Fullybooked. Normally they’re around 70 to 120 pesos, but at the fair they cost as low as 56 pesos.

nolisoli mibf 2018 budget guide
I got this postmodern classic for a steal at the NBS booth on the first floor

I also splurged just a little bit on this book from NBS. Its usual price is 649, but at the fair it costed me just 500, just right in my budget range.

 

Head over to the university presses

nolisoli mibf 2018 budget guide
I got this book from the Ateneo de Manila University Press booth on the first floor

So bookstores can give really good discounts, but you know what can give even better ones? The book publishers themselves. It pays to go straight to the source because they can afford to go crazy. Case in point: this book on Paz Marquez Benitez from the Ateneo de Manila University Press was 80 percent off, selling for only 100 when its regular sales price is 600 (I may or may not have stopped breathing when I saw it).

nolisoli mibf 2018 budget guide
This poetry book from the Ateneo Press was also under 200

Miscellaneous stuff

nolisoli mibf 2018 budget guide
The National Geographic bundles can be bought from Alphastream Marketing Inc. on the first floor

Walk around the fair. You don’t have to buy a book to have a good book fair haul, and a ton of booths offer really good deals for things like magazines. For example, you might find that you’d rather buy three copies of the National Geographic magazine for 250 pesos.

nolisoli mibf 2018 budget guide
You can buy local comics from Visprint on the second floor. Right next to it is the Meganon Comics booth, so you have double the choices of comics
nolisoli mibf 2018 budget guide
This pretty comic costs only 395

You might even discover a love for comic books at the fair. All these comics are under 500, for example (some even cost only 100). If you’ve always wanted to dip your toes into the local comic book scene but never got around to it, now’s a good time as any to try.

I know it’s a pain to go to fairs with barely any money, but it’s still possible to have a sizeable haul if you know what to look out for. Happy book shopping, y’all.

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