The Manila International Book Fair returns in September

Fellow bibliophiles, see you at the SMX Convention Center from September 11 to 15, 2024.

The Philippines’ biggest and longest book fair is back! From September 11 to 15, 2024 at the SMX Convention Center, the Manila International Book Fair will gather the country’s bookstores, publishers, writers, and creatives for five days of celebrating the love for books and reading.

A much-awaited annual event for bookworms in the country, the MIBF has drawn crowds for its great deals and discounts on titles, insightful talks by publishers and authors, book signings, meet-and-greets, and other exciting events. The fair has been running for over 40 years now—the 2024 edition is the third in-person iteration since the fair’s postponement in 2020 due to the pandemic and its online version in 2021.

Schools and academic presses comprise several of the fair’s demographics, with events and activations tailored toward young learners. Photo from Facebook/MIBF.

While the official lineup has yet to be announced, we can expect another jam-packed roster of university and academic presses, self-published authors, independent and established bookstores, and the latest developments in the local publishing industry.

We’re also looking forward to possible updates and developments from the National Book Development Board on the Philippines’ guest of honor contract with the Frankfurter Buchmesse (FBM) (Frankfurt Book Fair), the world’s largest book fair.

While we’re eagerly waiting for MIBF, check out these other bookstores for your reading fix:

Ateneo University Press Bookshop

The interiors of the Ateneo University Press Bookshop. Photo from Facebook/Ateneo University Press.

It was only in the fourth quarter of 2023 when the Ateneo de Manila University opened its gates again to guests (alumni, non-Ateneans, and the like) sans the online forms and approvals. It was only a matter of time until other facilities such as the University Press followed suit—true enough, last January 15, the bookstore finally had its soft launch, with new titles and refreshed interiors to boot.

Recognized in 2023 as the publisher of the year for the fifth consecutive time at the 40th National Book Awards, the Ateneo Press carries award-winning books and new titles across fiction, non-fiction, and poetry by the country’s seasoned and contemporary authors. Check out Yñiga by Glenn Diaz, winner of the 2022 Philippine National Book Award, and decorated author Vicente Garcia Groyon’s Everything Is Fiction, a collection of essays written over the span of 25 years, showcasing the workings of Groyon’s mind, his perspectives on writing, and the world at large.

Visit the Ateneo University Press Bookshop on the first floor of Bellarmine Hall on Mondays to Thursdays at 10AM-12NN and 1PM-4PM, and Fridays at 10AM-12NN and 1PM-3PM. Non-Ateneans are required to present a valid ID to acquire a gate pass.

Spruce Gallery puts the power back in print. Photo from Facebook/Spruce Gallery.

Self-confessed maghags and print lovers have been raving over Spruce Gallery’s diverse collection of magazines from here and abroad ever since the store soft launched in November 2023. From niche queer titles from Greece, independently-published zines from Manila, to copies of Monocle straight from London, Spruce Gallery is like a microcosm of the global print industry.

Tucked in a busy area within Ortigas, Spruce Gallery offers its readers a quiet escape from the city life, as customers can freely browse and read the magazines on sale. The space also doubles as a gallery, as evidenced by the prints on display above the magazine racks.

Spruce Gallery recently teased that they will officially launch to the public via an art exhibit sometime in February. Stay tuned for more details!

Spruce Gallery is located at the Upper Ground floor of City & Land Mega Plaza at ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Follow Spruce Gallery on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn for more information.

Everything’s Fine

Situated in a quiet corner in Makati, Everything’s Fine is a small press, bookstore, and gallery all in one. Photos from Facebook/Everything’s Fine.

Everything’s Fine has made waves for its efforts in casting the spotlight not only on young writers, but also on artists, small businesses, and relevant advocacies and social issues. As evidenced by their recent book launches, Everything’s Fine creates an atmosphere where the creative minds of Metro Manila can be themselves and, well, feel that everything is indeed fine.

To kick off February, the Makati-based space will launch the title will you tell me what i look like?, featuring the poems and paintings of Raphael Coronel. The event will take place on February 2, 2024, at 7PM. The accompanying exhibition at Everything’s Fine is currently up until February 9, 2024.

The new lifestyle.