Buenos Aires International Book Fair : Reading

Last evening, 30 April, I read from my novel “Blossom” at the Buenos Aires Book Fair. It was my fourth appearance reading at this annual event, which is one of the largest book fairs in the Spanish-language world.

It is also my last reading at this fair. We will, after more than 3 1/2 years here, be moving from Buenos Aires in about three weeks. (Who can say, maybe my final reading anywhere.)

A few photos. I will (eventually) post many more on my Flickr page, which can be accessed from the bottom panel of this blog.

Reading at the 2012 Buenos Aires Book Fair

Part of the fine and flattering audience

The Embassy stand where the readings take place, taken before the fair opened and the mobs of book lovers descended.

There were other sponsored readings by American citizens currently living in Buenos Aires, among them, a poet, a memoirist, a journalist, and me, the novelist. Below are photos from those readings.

Directly following the highly successful reading by poet Stephen Page, center rear.

Cherie Magnus, author of the compelling memoir, "The Church of Tango."

Ian Mount, author of "The Vineyard at the End of the World," a history of Argentina's maverick winemakers and the story of Argentina's premier grape - Malbec.

Finally, the mob! This book fair fills the convention center, spreading over four buildings, requiring large maps to get around inside. More than a million people attend each year, and it is growing. The evening of my reading, streets for many blocks around La Rural (the name of the convention center) were totally gridlocked, and the lines of people waiting to buy tickets stretched out from four separate entrances, filling the sidewalks, and extending many blocks. The wait time for tickets was measured in hours.

FOR BOOKS! TO LISTEN TO WRITERS! Of all the ways Buenos Aires can look like a fine city, this is its finest moment.

Buenos Aires book lovers

The above photo shows one “street” through one pavilion. This scene is duplicated on dozens of streets within the fair, throughout all the pavilions.

We’re going to miss this city.


12 replies »

  1. Don, I enjoyed your reading a lot, even though I already read your book a month ago or so. You selected my favorite parts to read–I just love “islands in the pines.” And what a good turnout you had! It was a wonderful event, and I was extremely proud to have been a part of it. Will miss you in BsAs. Vaya con Dios!

  2. It was a good evening all around. I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it, plus, you brought in some folks I hadn’t seen in a very long time and it was good to catch up a little. By the way, would you email me a photo of our books on the table at KEL if you have one. I took two, and then somehow stupidly deleted them before downloading to my computer. I am looking forward to your next book, so let’s keep in touch.

  3. Nice photo of my friend Cherie. Her joie de vivre glows. Sadly, ComicCon seems to be the U.S. equivalent of a Book Fair.

  4. It always fills me with hope when you post the photos to that book fair. Then I think about publishing and well–you know. Looked like a great crowd.

    • There are a lot of outside the USA countries where it is a common sight to see people reading books, and Buenos Aires is most definitely a city of readers. It is hard to walk a few blocks without coming across a bookstore, there must be hundreds in the city, and none are part of a chain, they are all private book shops. Bratislava was the same when we lived there. Possibly one can account for this by the high, very high, price of all electronics, including pixel readers, so maybe they are just a decade or so behind the US in getting rid of the culture of the book. I posted more than 100 photos from the book fair on my Flickr account, and a link to it was posted on my Twat page. Thanks for stopping by to read and leave a comment, Brad.