Thursday, September 01, 2005

Book fair and cheap Filipiniana Books

Today is the start of the annual book fair. A friend of mine sent me a text message saying that he was at the book fair. According to him there were several good buys. Now the first thing on my mind was, what was he doing in the middle of the week in the book fair?

My friend has the advantage of being University professor, a denizen of the ivory tower. And as one of the elite educators he has a flexible work schedule. Or he was able to reason to his department chairman the reason he has to be there. Its the same reason he once bought a magazine with nearly half-clad women and chalked it up to academic study. I think he even got reimbursed for that magazine. Another advantage my friend has is a cash flow Midas would even envy. Such is life.

Veering away from my friend slightly and focusing on the book fair, he told me that there were several books on sale and almost half their price. Not suprisingly because it is a book fair. Undeniably, my friend had a good time. I wonder how many sacks of books he bought?

One thing he did tell me that was interesting is that several historical books published by the National Historical Institute (NHI) were selling at almost a steal. I was not surprised with this since even without the book fair these books are regularly sold at a steal. I remember buying a couple of NHI books at Popular Book Store a year ago and they were of good quality - hardbound and nice paper. And of course for me good reads. Several were translations into english of Filipiana books written in French, Spanish, German and Italian. Most were journals or travel tales of Europeans during the Spanish Colonial Period. The books were insightful.

I wonder, why do these books do not sell well?

Another friend of mine commented that nobody buys NHI books because they were boring. Its a pity. There are several interesting tales in these NHI books. I remember the tale of a French farmer in Laguna who journey from his farm in order to avoid the ennui of a Spanish Christmas only to be part of another Christmas celebration in another town, along the way he talks about bandits and indios with his man friday. Or the tale of fiestas in Pasig, the limestone of Guadalupe and the murder and execution of Augustinians priests inside the walled city. Interesting tales.

My friend will be dropping by Makati later, actually in a few minutes. The advantages of millionaire academic.

12 Comments:

Blogger Sidney said...

I really need to make time to visit the bookfair. I love books !

8:51 AM  
Blogger juned said...

:)

3:01 PM  
Anonymous dante said...

Nakakainggit. Hehehe.

I wish I'm there. I live in Cebu so...

Sana punta din sila dito. :)

1:26 AM  
Blogger juned said...

Dante, I am sure may event na ganya diyan in the near future. :)

1:24 PM  
Blogger juned said...

Dante, Wait! baka mayroon na diyan kulang lang sa pag promote :)

3:12 PM  
Anonymous dante said...

Baka nga ano? :)

I am aware of only one book fair here that is held every year, but it is only a small event. It is participated in by various publishers in the country, such as Ateneo Press, UP Press, De La Salle, IBON, and many others. It's a relatively small event, but I look forward to it every year. And it's actually intended for the many schools here. They order huge numbers of titles for their libraries. :)

11:34 PM  
Blogger monanoke said...

Hi Juned! I miss the old book fairs at Megamall, they were so much more accessible. Anyhow, what happens is that National Bookstore and other bookstores schedule their sales at the same time (threatened ba).

There's a yearly textbook book fair, I remember attending one which was held at UP Bahay ng Alumni.

About the NHI books, I can imagine the only books selling well (as in popular reading) would be Ambeth Ocampo's. Isn't he the head of the NHI as well?

6:31 PM  
Blogger juned said...

Mona, Life is full of surprises, NBS and Powerbooks were there! Could that be the reason they held it at the Wolrd Trade Center this year?

A lot NHI books worth reading, at least for me, were the translated Filipiniana books from German, French and Spanish sources. Also worthwhile was the Tristes Recuerdos an album book of the Philippine Revolution taken by the Spanish. And at a reasonable price, with discount.

Yes, Ambeth Ocampo is the present Chairman.

7:33 AM  
Blogger juned said...

Dante, I am quite the event will grow bigger each year. :)

7:36 AM  
Anonymous bugsybee said...

This is one big disadvantage of not living in Manila. Like Dante, I can only read about the Book Fair and gnash my teeth.
I wanted to buy Ambeth's books because there are none at the National Book Store here in our place. Grrr!

6:04 PM  
Blogger juned said...

bugsybee, I think you can try ordering that from your local National Bookstore.

7:12 AM  
Blogger juned said...

bugsybee, I think you can try ordering that from your local National Bookstore.

7:12 AM  

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