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Home NEWS Events Book lovers celebrate the joys of reading at 2012 ReaderCon

Book lovers celebrate the joys of reading at 2012 ReaderCon

United We Read: The Second Filipino Reader Convention gathered together readers, writers, illustrators, publishers, and teachers of all ages for a very bookish Saturday on August 18.  

Volunteer bookworms and book bloggers and the Filipinas Heritage Library, in partnership with the National Book Development Board (NBDB), organized the whole-day event.

“We need a reading revolution,” said NBDB Executive Director Andrea Pasion-Flores, in her keynote speech. She stressed the need for a relentless force in the promotion of books and the love of reading in the Philippines.

Her speech was followed by a series of breakout panel discussions. Participants listened to reading advocates in Reading Everywhere: Scanning the Reading Environment and Book Blogging Ethics for the first set of discussions. Representatives from publishing companies talked about the Publishers’ Perspective on Readers, while teachers from private and public schools presented their School Reading Programs That Work for the second set.


 2012 Filipino ReaderCon volunteers are all smiles after the whole-day event (Taken by Danica Cervantes)

After lunch, participants listened to different authors talk about why, what, when, and how they read in the Authors as Readers sessions. Manix Abrera, Mina Esguerra, Abdon Balde Jr., Budjette Tan, Beverly Wico Siy, and Dean Francis Alfar served as panelists in these sessions.

This was followed by a series of book discussions led by various Filipino book clubs. The De La Salle University Literature Circle discussed Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan, while The Filipino Goodreads Group talked about The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Meanwhile, The Mysterious Reading Society tackled E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey while Flips Flipping Pages talked about Rafe Bartholomew’s Pacific Rims. Participants were even able to talk to Bartholomew himself, via Skype, during the discussion.

The 2012 Filipino ReaderCon was highlighted by the first ever Readers’ Choice Book Awards ceremony. Winners were chosen through a three-step process. First, readers nominated their favorite books for each category, followed by the online voting process. Based on the readers’ votes, short-listed entries were deliberated upon by a select panel of book bloggers and readers, until a winner was chosen per category.

A session on book blogging ethics held at the FHL’s Filipinana Library (Taken by Rhett de Jesus)

The winners of the first Readers’ Choice Book Awards were as follows: Annie Lumbao, Anelka Lumbao, and Liza Flores’s But That Won’t Wake Me Up!, children’s picture book category; Mina Esguerra’s Fairy Tale Fail, chick lit category;  Miguel Syjuco’s Ilustrado, novel in English category; and Jun Cruz Reyes’s Ang Huling Dalagang Bukid at ang Autobiography na Mali, novel in Filipino category.

Rounding out the winners were Manix Abrera’s KikoMachine Komiks Blg. 6, comics/graphic novel category; Rocket Kapre and Flipside Publishing’s Alternative Alamat edited by Paolo Chikiamco, short story anthology category; Bebang Siy’s It’s a Mens World, essay anthology category; and Vibal Publishing’s Off the Beaten Track: Tulaan sa Tren 2, poetry anthology category.

The event was supported by Flipreads, Lampara Publishing, Scholastic Philippines, Anvil Publishing, Adarna House, Inc., McDonald’s, Hachette Books, and Amici.

Photo Caption (inset): The FHL Reading Room is filled with 2012 ReaderCon participants (Taken by Rhett de Jesus)