The average book fair is an event designed solely for consumption. You’re presented with shelves of merchandise, you grab as much as you can, and hightail your hyper-introverted self outta there without conversing with a single human soul. We consider it the normal way of doing this, but isn’t it weird that fairs dedicated to the the things that teach us about what it means to be human don’t really make a priority out of human interaction?
One book fair hopes to change that. A collaboration between Warehouse Eight and Kwago Bookstore, sponsored by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Komura; Book Fair aims to be the first “experience-driven” book fair.
Which is to say, you won’t just be throwing paperbacks into shopping carts. Komura; Book Fair is designed to enrich our experience of how we enjoy literature. There’ll be a reading lounge (where you can talk to people!) with coffee and vinyl records, and even live music by acts like Alyana Lea Carmela, Hoochie Coochie Mikkie, and Gentle Universe. And for the theater-heads? Award-winning writer Joachim Antonio aims to turn the Warehouse Eight space into an open-theater for his fourth wall-breaking storytelling project EXESANONYMOUS. We have no idea how that’s gonna look but it sounds crazy enough to work.
Czyka Tumaliuan, founder of Kwago, says it best. “Our main goal is for Komura to be a haven for the deep and honest exchange of curiosities and a platform to showcase and explore the possibilities of a book.” That’s the sort of thing when you recognize the book fair for what it should be — not as a purely commercial affair, but as a place for people to be people.