31 August 2006

Rosario Book Fair

Feria del libro.
Originally uploaded by lu6fpj.

I hadn't been to any of the annual Book Fairs in a long time. Why didn't I stay like that? The 2006 Rosario Book Fair was a true disappointment. I was so mad that I had a poetic seizure and started composing a lament in alliterative verse. I forgot most of it, but I distinctly remember pairing "book" with "bloated" and "boring", and "fair" with "fiasco" and "fools' trap". It's not that the fair sucked. There were some interesting things, for the children mostly, besides the books. There even was a sandbox, and a big book with old editions of a defunct newspaper for the curious reader to peruse. But the books!

I reckon that 50% of the fair was taken up by books on one of the following topics: astrology, reiki, chakras, dream interpretation, angels (lore and/or summoning thereof), and how to make yourself believe that you're happy. Almost everything was outrageously expensive, though not more than in the average bookstore. Overvalued bestsellers (popularized history, scandals, novels by pseudo-philosopher Paulo Coelho) competed for space with textbooks on hyper-specialized topics. The horror!

The picture above was taken by a fellow photographer and blogger, independently from me. Me, I'd taken my camera along, but after one round of fruitless searching for a good affordable book, I was so anxious to leave that I forgot to take pictures, and almost ran over a mime that was signaling the way for the people who had just come in. (Mimes freak me out.)

[On second thought, the fair does nothing but reflect the sorry state of today's literature and social discourse (95% crap, 5% gems -- to be found amid the crap).]

Don't take this as anything but personal subjective commentary. By all means, visit the fair if you're in or near Rosario. If you love overpriced feel-good books or have nowhere else to drop your kids at, it's wonderful!

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