I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: being a book lover from a “third-world” country is hard (see our About page for the heartfelt rant), but it’s even harder when you live outside of Manila. With so many things concentrated in Metro Manila, we nerds from other cities like Cebu or Davao either have to stay at home and die with envy…or go on a limb and buy plane ticket(s) to travel to the capital to participate in bookish events or buy a duffel bag’s worth of merch.
Can you feel our pain? The utter desperation??
Haha okay, enough of the drama. Let’s cut to the chase and list down 6 things we non-Manila people would die to have:
More Booksignings From Authors
We love book signings! When Stephanie Perkins set foot on the island, I was ecstatic because an actual book signing was happening. Because of it, I discovered my favorite book tribe, On The Same Page Cebu, which was a great bonus. I know the organizers work really hard to bring these authors to our shores, and circumstances limit these authors to visit Manila exclusively. Like Sarah J Maas a couple of years ago, or Pierce Brown in the recently-concluded Philippine Readers and Writers Festival. Gah, what we wouldn’t give to see these authors, too.
And I’m not just talking about international authors, either. I would really much want the creative culture in the regions to thrive. Can we possibly have local authors and creators to do meet and greets? That would be awesome, wouldn’t it? 🙂
There’s a reason why the Manila International Book Fair is named as such—because it’s only in Manila. This book nerd’s heaven runs for several days and features rooms upon rooms of books, merch, and activities. Can you hear my heart breaking? Some of us do go the extra mile and book plane tickets to go to the said event, but how about the kids who can’t afford a plane ticket on top of the books that they’re going to buy? There are a lot of book lovers who’d want to experience this mega-convention, too, you know. Why are events like this so few and far in between outside of Manila?
Small Bookish Get-Togethers
Case in point: #BookNerdsUnitePH. Can we please make this a regional thing? So that it really would be the entire PH book nerds uniting? Hahahuhu *sniff sniff* Oh well. If I’ve got the time maybe I can just organize this myself. Ha. Any volunteers to make this happen??
Merch, merch, merch. Who doesn’t love bookish merch? What we non-Manila folk hate are shipping fees. Haha, since most merch makers are based in Manila, we always have to spend an extra hundred bucks at the minimum just to get the goods. Well, I’m seriously thinking of a solution to that, so please stay tuned while I get all my merchy ducks in a row. 🙂
This is me. So me. There was a need for second-hand bookshops in my city, so I built one. It lasted for a good year before I decided to call it quits because you know, #adulting and time constraints. Shipping fees were still the bane of my existence as a shop, but it was a very good run. I learned a lot about the market and learned the ropes of buying stuff online. Still, there’s too few second-hand bookshops in the provinces. I’m not talking small shops like me; I mean real, live thrift shops that sell stacks upon stacks of books. Why are these shops so rare???
Well, I don’t know if this is just limited to my city or all other cities in the country, but we do need libraries. Like, libraries that are alive and updated, not just historical ones with old and dusty textbooks. It’s really my dream that someday every city in the country can have a decent library that everyone can enjoy. 🙂
There’s a lot of things book nerds outside of Metro Manila don’t have access to. I guess that’s just one of the funny things about living in an archipelago: you actually have to cross seas to go to places or to organize events. I really hope that one day, we can remedy this so everyone can live happily and nerdy ever after, whether they’re from Manila or elsewhere in the country. 🙂