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No Books for Lily at the Book Fair

It might be a weird thing to say, but as a writing student, I didn’t look at many books during the Feria de Libros. La Feria is a giant festival for books, with stands for booksellers, publishers, anyone who wants to sell something tangentially related to books or reading. There are signings and talks from authors. Though most fairs of this kind are only open to business insiders, the second week of the Buenos Aires fair is open to the public and the porteño people flock to it, even if they’re not generally readers. You could spend all day at the Feria, maybe even two or three. I had only one hour.

My Methodolgy of Literature class decided to go to the FeriaMethodologia is already the shortest class I have here (two hours) and even though we added on an extra hour to learn and see the Feria, transportation cut us short on time. When I arived I had two missions: see as much of the fair as possible and take some good photos.

I succeeded in both. I set a quick pace to cover the huge expanse of stands in the old bull fighting stadium where the fair is located. The stands are all interesting and intricately designed. The one for the city itself is covered in plants with open lab spaces for students groups to come and learn. One publisher created a giant open cube of cubes.

There are stands for different publishers, but also ones for certain areas. Patagonia, Jujuy, San Luis, and other areas all over sell books from local authors. There are also a few more surprising stands such as one to advertise Los Angeles and two more for the big futbol clubs in the city – these ones sell branded notebooks and let you take photos with players. My favorite booth was dedicated to the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Cien años de soledad written by the great Gabriel García Márquez. You could listen to audio of the story while being surrounded by various covers.

Now it seems like I might have missed the point of the fair by not looking at books, but I want to make it clear that I had a good reason. I love to read. It’s easy to say that I positively devour books. A few months ago I realized that my to read list was over a thousand books. And while one can dream of reading all those books, and any older books I discover that I want to read, and all the future books, it is not a realistic dream. So I deleted books for various reasons and got the list down to just over 500. What a difference! but recently I had another freakout that it was still too much and got it to under 400. So I entered into the Feria de Libros and didn’t let myself get too attached to any of them. On top of that, I’m usually reading three different books for class at a time and, as much as I love Spanish, adding another book on top of that, would just be too much.

— Lily

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