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Thanks for the passes Fully Booked!
I remember the last time I went to the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF), we just watched the premier of Ben 10’s TV movie and decided to drop by SMX to check out the fair. That time I didn’t have any book in mind and I was in one of my reading slumps, none of the books in both FullyBooked and National really interested me. So for that year I decided to forego buying or attending. Fast forward to the present and I am hyped up with sheer excitement. I made a mental list of the books I wanted to buy and I was willing to brave the crowd.

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Come one and come all to the great MIBF circus
But our mental preparation alone was not enough. I was floored by the sheer immensity of bookworms. Arriving a little after 2, we decided to wing it and hope against all hope that there would still be books left.
I was mistaken. The whole convention area was abuzz of activity. National and Fully Booked looked like it was looted. Books were in disarray and the immensity of the crowd made it hard to really browse for titles I wanted. I spent around 30 minutes in National but I only saw copies of this and that. What made it difficult were the Kiera Cass fans who lined up and made the booth full to the brim. The crowd was unrelenting, every inch gained was another book lost to eager readers.
Moving on to Fully Booked, the experience was the same. The only difference, their shelves were nearing empty. I was beginning to lose any hope of finding Matthew Quick’s “Forgive Me Leonard Peacock” and a non-movie cover of Andy Weir’s “The Martian”. Moving from one shelf to the next I still saw some books that caught my eye, like J.J. Abram’s tome-like novel and Battle Royale.

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My haul for from the fair
After all the weaving in and out I decided to just go back to National and try and make sense of all the madness going on. I purchased a few books (The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden and The Good Luck of Right Now) and decided to call it a day.
After leaving the Divisoria of bookworms, I made a pact with Tricia that we would visit MIBF next year during the weekend. We will not settle for a weekend trip unless we want to go through the same mind numbing experience again, the discount just doesn’t make up for the mental and physical stress.

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So much for the discount
Post script: Later on I would find The Martian and Forgive Me Leonard Peacock in Fullybooked Megamall. 
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