Monday, May 16, 2011

La Feria del Libro

La Feria del Libro is basically book lover's hell. You pay money to get in, battle with thousands of slow-moving people to see the merchandise, then pay for overpriced books. And I went for three days. In a row. Am I a masochist?

Nope. I was just attending the “Congreso Internacional de Promoción de la Lectura y el Libro.” If anyone wants to go to the Feria del Libro for a few days in a row, I recommend signing up for a conference. It costs about $35 pesos for a three days ($15 pesos/day is the usual rate if you aren’t a student), you don’t have to wait in line to get a ticket (the wait can be up to 45 minutes), and you get a 20% discount on everything because with the special conference pass, people mistake you for a teacher. And, besides all those benefits, some of the talks are quite interesting. One talk, “La publicidad y sus herramientas para conquistar lectores,” was about using advertising methods to encourage readership. The lecturer, Ariel Abadi, advised moving away from tired clichés about reading to new techniques that incorporate other types of media. One example he suggested was having publishing companies create playlists for certain books. It might be interesting to see how these advertising techniques could be applied to promoting readership of comics.

Quite a few comics events took place that weekend. Gustavo Sala presented his book Bife Angosto 2 and then played a few songs with his band Los Dentistas Tristes. We were able to see a projection of his initial sketches and then the final, finished comic strip. He is also a pretty amazing singer. After that, I went to a presentation of De Amor, De Locura y De Muerte, a graphic adaptation of Horacio Quiroga’s book.

Anyway, just writing about this fair makes me feel tired, so I’m going to end with some pictures of the event. No matter how much I complain about the fair, I recommend going. It is the third largest book fair in the world and is an interesting topic of conversation.

The Feria del Libro took place at La Rural, a place where most large fairs are held.

A lecture given by librarians.

Some of the comics stands at the Feria

All the books I bought

Gustavo Sala signing my book.

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