Bookworms Unite, as I’ve said countless times, is one of the most anticipated bookish events for YA lovers who live in the metro. And last Saturday, July 21st, I, together with my amazing team of hosts Hazel from Stay Bookish, Miel from Bookish and Awesome, Inah from The Bibliophile Confessions, Bianca from The Ultimate Fangirl, and Danica from The Hogsmeade Reader, once again hosted this lovely event, this time at the Rizal Library at the Ateneo de Manila University.
The Rizal Library, inside the Ateneo de Manila University Campus.
As stated in the title, Bookworms Unite celebrates it’s fourth year this 2018. And so I think it’s safe to say that with the successes that came with the events that we’ve hosted for the past 3 years, we felt the same drive and motivation to do it one more time so as to meet with friends, both old and new, talk to them about upcoming and newly-released books, and to share hundreds of books with everyone through games and giveaways.
Since 2015, Bookworms Unite has partnered with several bookstores and publishers to help bring bibliophiles closer to their love for reading. This year, we have once again worked with the ever-generous Penguin Random House International and National Bookstore, and for the first time, Hachette Book Group. They sent us a total of 400+ books, plenty of swags, and tote bags and I, as the organization’s Committee Head for Sponsorship, was floored by their generosity and unrelenting support. And I think I speak for the whole Bookworms Unite team when I say that we are extremely grateful and are looking forward to working with them for more years to come.
This year, our registration kits got an upgrade. When an attendee pays and registers, they automatically get 2 books that we have pre-selected randomly. Together with that, they also get 2 bookmarks, one of which is personalized thanks to Kate, and the other is hand-painted thanks to Sherrinah, Inah’s sister. They also get a set of exclusively designed stickers, also from Kate, and a bunch of pins. Doesn’t that sound cool, or what?
The program started, as always, with an introduction where each of the hosts and attendees were asked to introduce themselves and state their current read. Everyone was reading a variety of books, from YA novels, to graphic novels, and even to classics. It was all just very impressive, in my opinion.
In order to maximize everyone’s time, we immediately kicked off the event with our first game of the day, Truths and a Lie. In this game, players were given 4 different statements about several YA characters and what they all had to do was determine which of the 4 statements was the lie. And all I have to say about this was that it was fun seeing everyone’s reactions to all the characters and their statements. There were looks of confusion, elation, indifference, and so much more, it was all so very entertaining, to be honest. And the four highest-scoring teams were eligible to take a prize from one of our prize pile.
Ya boi talking about one of the 35, upcoming YA books from the #sorrynotsorry, TBR! talk.
Right after the first game, I gave a short (??) talk about some upcoming books in “#sorrynotsorry, TBR! : a Fall 2018 YA Preview”. In this portion of the program, I promoted and featured some exciting titles, ones that are to be published from August to December, from some of our partner publishers like Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan / Fierce Reads, and HarperCollins. And we’ve never worked with them, but I also threw in a few Simon & Schuster titles as well. As the committee head for sponsorship, I wanted to go the extra mile than just by thanking them online. I wanted to make a way to get people excited for their upcoming releases and so I gave everyone a taste of what’s in store for them for the next few months. From thrilling sequels, to heartbreaking reads, and from sci-fi fantasy series starters to future contemporary favorites, I featured them all. *winks*
After that, we scheduled another major game called “Do It for the ‘Gram” which was like a twist to the previous years’ human bingo game. Here, players were given a prompt card during registration. Prompts like “take a selfie with someone who brought their current read,” and “take a picture of someone else’s audiobook library” were there and I think it’s safe to say that after this game, one might have won a stack of 5 books, but everyone, I’m sure, made at least one new friend during that segment. Lunch came right after then.
That’s me, Eliana, our Slam Poetry Participant, and Inah.
After lunch, came the poetry slam and the YA Trivia game called “Young Adulting”. I was also the one responsible for coming up with almost all of the questions for this game so to once again see everyone’s expressions while listening to the questions was EPIC! I loved seeing everyone’s competitive sides and everyone’s enthusiastic participation during this game made me feel like my effort wasn’t put to waste. And the process for choosing the winners for this was the same with the other games. The four highest-scoring teams were the ones who got to choose their prizes from our pile.
Next came the crowd favorite: the Cover Guessing Game. This one is a crowd-pleaser and every year, attendees become more and more knowledgeable and competitive for this game. And so to throw everyone off, we twisted it up a bit. Instead of flashing a cropped image of a cover, we didn’t show anything at all and instead, described it for everyone to guess. Again, this twist made everything more challenging, and all the more entertaining for us game masters. (I’m sorry, it’s not everyday that we get to host enjoyable but torturing YA games, okay?)
That’s Miel, Me, Inah, and Hazel during the “Sharing the Love of YA Since 2015”.
And of course, one of my own personal favorites for this year’s event was the “Sharing the Love of YA Since 2015” talk / discussion. In this portion of the program, we got to backtrack through the past 3 Bookworms Unite events and highlight everything that we’ve done differently. From the registration kit upgrades this year, to the #romanceclass live readings from Year 3, down to the significant increase in terms of attendees. This was the part where we got to reminisce and remember all the fun times that we’ve all shared every event. This was also the part where we made the announcement that we are officially turning Bookworms Unite PH into an inclusive, full-functioning community of readers! (But more about that in a future post, maybe?)
And the last two parts of the program were the Book Blind Date and the Grand Raffle. For years, we have struggled to implement a systematic and harm-free (?) way in going through the BBD, and so we did something different this year. The piles were separated into 4 tables and everyone, without looking at the piles, were asked to choose a side. If they were to choose side A, they will not be allowed to go and get any book from side B, and vice versa. Albeit everyone was still frantic at first, everyone still got the same number of books that they brought and for us hosts? Well, let’s just say that we opted out of this one and we’ll just do our own BBD. So we can better monitor the program. *laughs*
As for the raffle, I mean… What’s left to say? All I can say at this point is that everyone went home carrying a minimum of 2-5 books. What better way could this event end than everyone owning more books than before they came to Bookworms Unite? (Maybe I’ll just mention that, like last year, everyone went wild over the raffle prizes. Some got more than their fair share, and others, I believe, didn’t get anything at all. Sigh. There’s more room for improvement, I guess.)
Bookworms Unite Class of 2018
And oh, I think I forgot to mention that we got special author videos from Becky Albertalli (!!!), Arvin Ahmadi (!!!), Sandhya Menon (!!!), Randy Ribay (!!!), Mark Oshiro (!!!), and Kara Thomas (!!!) (Wow, those are plenty of exclamation points.)
Will update this part of the recap once other videos are uploaded!
And hey! Before I end this part of my recap, here are more photos from the event:
Overall, this year’s Bookworms Unite will surely be a memorable one, not just for me and the BU team, but also for those who finally came for the first time, and just for everyone in general. People literally came from different parts of the country, and we are insanely floored by everyone’s support, enthusiasm, and excitement! So thank you, you guys, for everything.
Now for the haul!
- Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid – Thank you to Hazel for selling this to me, in preparation for Adi’s signing this August at the Philippine Readers and Writers’ Festival.
- Check, Please! Book #1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu – Thank you, again, to Hazel, and Mish from Chasing Faerytales for snagging this one for me from Book Expo and also for getting it signed by the author. I already read this graphic novel as an eGalley thanks to Fierce Reads but I adore this copy so, so much!
- A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab – Thank you to my friend Jiru for selling this to me. This completes my Shades of Magic series and I seriously can’t wait to binge!
- Adrift by Tami Oldham Ashcraft – This one’s a step out of my genre comfort zone but I was intrigued by the film adaptation trailer for this and so I was seriously excited to get my hands on this book.
- Exclusive swag pack from Kate containing a personalized bookmark, a fabulous, exclusively designed sticker set, and a bunch of cool freebies. (Thanks, Kate!)
- Bookstagramers PH bookmarks care of Yumi, a.k.a. one of the community admins. These will be included in a giveaway so stay tuned to know more details as to how y’all could get your hands on these.
- Hand-painted bookmark from Inah’s sister. (Thanks, Sherrinah!)
- Children of Blood and Bone art print, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before stickers, and a Harry Potter magnetic bookmark care of Jayson a.k.a. the generous owner of Pandam PH. (Thanks, Jayson!)
- The Rose and the Dagger pins from Penguin Random House International. (Thanks, PRH!)
- A Love, Simon sticker from Hazel. (Thanks again, Hazel!)
- And three Bookworms Unite PH pins.
Now for the thanks!
- To Pandam PH, Marauder’s Dispatch, Penguin Random House International, Hachette Book Group, and National Book Store, thank you so, so much for sponsoring us this year! I say this every year, but it’s true: Bookworms Unite events won’t be as fun without your support, and generosity. So thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
- To Ms. Honey de Peralta and Ms. Jennifer Javier, thank you for gracing our event with your presence. We always love getting the chance to talk to you, whether we be at bookish events, or not, and most of our motivation and drive in hosting BU comes from your unwavering support towards our advocacy. I cannot express just how thankful we are.
- To Karina and her team of hardworking people from The Oikonomos Nexus, thank you for willingly covering Bookworms Unite. For your resilience, openness, and for the fabulous photos you took for everyone, thank you so much.
- To Mr. Vernon Totanes, the Rizal Library Director, and Krystel Iris de Castro, the President of the Rizal Library Ambassadors, thank you for taking a chance on Bookworms Unite. Thank you for opening your doors to us bibliophiles, and for housing us this year. And Iris, we wish you and your organization the best of luck, and we can’t wait to work with you again in the future.
- To my co-hosts Inah, Miel, Hazel, Danica, and Bianca, congratulations to us for once again pulling this off! It’s not always easy, and in plenty of ways, this year has been extremely challenging for me, but you make this experience worth while, and I will never forget just how well we all work together. Thank you.
- And to all of our attendees, for braving the heavy rains, and the strong winds, thank you for coming to our shindig. Your excitement towards Bookworms Unite have always powered us to come up with the most unique, memorable, and enjoyable events and we are extremely thankful to have you as our attendees.
If you haven’t heard of it yet, we’re teaming up with Marauders Dispatch to give away one (1) exciting bookish crate perfectly tailored for a YA reader! All you have to do to enter is check out the tweet embedded below, and follow the mechanics listed there.
🗣 GIVEAWAY TIME! Since we want to bring #BookwormsUnitePH to every Filipino bibliophile, including those who weren’t able to attend the event, we’re teaming up with @MaraudDispatch to give away one exciting bookish crate! So RT + Follow us for a chance to win! 🎉 Mechanics 👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/YGMs49TGsR
— Bookworms Unite PH (@bookwrmsuniteph) July 23, 2018
Did you attend Bookworms Unite: Year 4? How was it for you, and what books did you end up getting? Let me know via the comment section down below!
And if you have the time, please do check out these other recaps:
- Leslie’s recap at The Bibliophile Kid
- Ailla’s recap at White Rose Baron
- Kyra and Nikki’s recap at Book Allure
- Shealea’s recap at That Bookshelf Bitch
Until the next one!
Follow me around the internet!