People descend in droves at the 30th Manila International Book Fair in Pasay City. Photo Courtesy of Google ImagesWHOEVER said that people nowadays do not read should have checked out the Manila International Books Fair (MIBF).

Primetrade Asia, Inc president Irene Lloren said the increasing number of people that come to MIBF every year proves how successful MIBF has been in promoting reading and increasing literacy.

“[The number of people coming to the fair] shows that many still thirst for books amid [advances in] technology,” Lloren said in her welcome speech during the opening ceremonies of the book fair last September 16. Primetrade is the organizer of MIBF.

Present during the opening was Sen. Francis Pangilinan, who agreed with Lloren.
“This shows how the Filipino values the need for furthering his knowledge, his education,” Pangilinan told the Varsitarian.

During the fair, Eros Atalia, a professor from the Faculty of Arts and Letters, launched his third book, “Ligo na u, Lapit na me.”

Atalia said he writes to be read by people from all walks of life and that publishing is lively in the Philippines, contrary to the perception of people from the academe.

“They (the academe) are thinking that book production in the Philippines is dreary because their basis is the readership of their books,” he said.
“They think that the popular writers are not as good as the ones who have fewer readerships,” he added.

The fair is a good sign that books and reading are not dying in the Philippines, Atalia said.

“I dream of books being sold not only in book stores but also in convenient stores, subways, normal restaurants — that we take books as a daily need,” he said. Lester G. Babiera and Rose-An Jessica M. Dioquino

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