Today I had my first glimpse of the Buenos Aires Book Fair (Feria del Libro). I’ve never attended a book fair, so it was very exciting to see the rows and rows of publishers and other information providers with their booths and offerings. It is similar to an ALA conference exhibit, but the focus here is truly on books! Publishers have shelves and boxes of printed books for sale during the book fair and are expecting over 1 million visitors during the 3 week event. According to my local host, Jorge Rodriguez, Director of the Information Resource Center (IRC) at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires, the fair attracts the people of Argentina and surrounding areas, not just publishers. It is such a cultural event for the people of Argentina, who are very attached to reading and books. The love of books is apparent while walking around the city of Buenos Aires – independent bookstores are on every street!
The IRC of the US Embassy in Buenos Aires also has a booth at the fair and their theme is the evolution of the book. They have a variety of print sources, but are also displaying ebook readers and tablet devices as well. Their booth is all white, with flowing white canvas pieces hanging from floor to ceiling. From a distance, it reminds me of book pages turning in the breeze.
More to follow, including pictures!