Philippine Daily Inquirer / 04:05 AM September 23, 2016
Have you suffered from a Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) hangover?
In my case, it has been a week since the book fair and I still can’t get over how amazing (and exhausting!) it was. The books I picked up but did not buy are showing up in my nightmares.
I find myself looking at the #MIBF2016 hashtag on Instagram and Twitter, going green with envy when I see other people’s epic book hauls. I just can’t stop thinking and dreaming about books—all the books.
I call it “mega insane bookmageddon fever.” It happens once a year, and, like the common cold, it has no known cure. You just have to let it pass, like an unavoidable belch.
Stage 1: Anticipation
The MIBF dates have finally been posted and you start making preparations. Maybe this year you’ll buy just graphic novels and comic books. But what about those beautiful classics? No matter; you organize your book wish list.
Stage 2: Excitement
The MIBF is here! You’ve emptied your book fund piggybank (we all have this, don’t pretend otherwise), remembered to bring your sturdy eco-bag, and finalized your book fair strategy. There’s nothing else to do but wake up early and go to the SMX Convention Center. Game on!
Stage 3: Negotiation
You’re at the MIBF and, whoa, look at all those beautiful books! As the pile in your basket starts to grow, the dreaded dilemma of choosing which titles to buy rears its ugly head. You can’t buy all these books.
Stage 4: Heartbreak
You close your eyes for a sec, breathe in deeply and start sorting your books. You say goodbye to your impulse picks and those beautiful hardcovers. You keep your tears at bay and promise all your beautiful “babies” that mommy will come back for them soon.
Stage 5: Alarm/Confusion
You’ve computed your expenses on your calculator app and you’re ready to pay. You walk toward the cashier and… holy crap, is that the line? Are you paying for books or meeting One Direction? You have no choice but to line up and soldier on. This is peanuts compared to government red tape and the enrollment process of your university.
Stage 6: Survival
You pay for your purchases and leave the convention center. You metaphorically kiss the cement road outside. Hurrah! You just survived another intense MIBF!
Stage 7: Regret/Agony
You go home; and the reality of your book decisions sets in. Did you make the right decision when you chose that classic over that best seller? What about the comic book illustrated by Fiona Staples? (It was Fiona Staples!)
You agonize over every single decision for a week. Your “babies” start to haunt you as you sleep. Why didn’t you pick them?
Stage 8: Acceptance
It has been two weeks since the MIBF, and you’re no longer having nightmares. You’re finally content with your choices. The sting of not getting all the other books is now just a tiny, dull pain in your chest. And you realize, hey, you can always go again next year. Cake Evangelista, Contributor