September 2 marked the opening of the Indonesia International Book Fair. To enter, the event is free of charge. It is held in the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC), Senayan and will continue its run of events until Sunday, 6th of September.
I was lucky enough to be able to attend on its first day, which was a Wednesday so I beat the crowds. Hopefully, more people will visit on the weekend because it is a very good event for book lovers. It’s not just an event for publishers to connect and network – although if you are a publisher, this is a very good event too. There is a rights fair going on and there are publishers from Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, and the Netherlands (that’s on the top of my head) hunting for book rights.
But anyway, for the average bibliophile, there are discounts. Lots and lots of discounts from all the major publishers and booksellers. Behold! I have taken photos for your viewing pleasure:
The words “major Indonesian publisher” is synonymous with Gramedia. So what a surprise! They have taken up a lot of real estate to display their books.
All the Gramedia books in JCC have a 20% discount. It may not be all-out bazaar prices but it was made up for with good quality titles. I spied Agustinus Wibowo’s three travel books. Literary fiction by Eka Kurniawan, Ratih Kumala, Sapardi Djoko Damono, and Arswendo Atmowiloto were abound.
Mizan, another major Indonesian publisher, has also set up camp in JCC. I think they also offer 20% discounts off their books. Andrea Hirata’s Laskar Pelangi quartet and new novel Ayah were prominently displayed.
Kompas Penerbit Buku and Periplus were there too. I saw Kompas’ annual short story anthology sold here. Meanwhile, Periplus had a lot of good deals. Some books were sold for 10,000 and 20,000 rupiahs. Of course, you have to do some digging to get to the good titles. I even saw Alice Munro’s The Love of a Good Woman for 40,000 rupiahs.
Kinokuniya had a stand but I must say they are pretty skimpy with their discounts. 10% off regular prices and their regular prices goes upward of 200,000 rupiahs. It’s not enough discount to matter to me personally, but they do have good titles: Steinbeck, Murakami, Ishiguro, etc. The ones with a higher discount are run-off-the-mill, indistinguishable mass market paperbacks.
Back to the Book Fair: South Korea is this year’s Guest of Honor and what a joy it was to flick through the Korean books on display. I was amazed at how well-made they were. I kept rubbing the paper of their children’s books because of their high quality. Some pictures:
General Korean Fiction
The children’s books I was enamored by
Look at this book! Isn’t it gorgeous? I was arrested on my tracks when I spied this book. The beautiful illustration made me take a picture so I can take note of Hong Woo-jeong’s name. Unfortunately, cursory Google searches have failed to find this amazing illustrator.
I hope I have convinced you that the Indonesia International Book Fair is worth visiting. If you need extra incentive, every day they are giving out free trips to South Korea. You might get lucky.
As for myself, I’m trying to be a good girl and not hoard so many books so I only got this:
It was buried deep in Periplus’ pile and it only cost me 20,000 rupiahs (considering our awful currency at the moment, it’s not even $1.50). I really should read more non-fiction. Just books that expand my knowledge of the world, really. And since I know practically nothing about North Korea, this seemed a perfect fit.
Let me know if you have any questions about the Indonesia International Book Fair. I might visit again so if you need extra information, tell me in the comments.