We finally made it out to the Book Fair at La Rural. If you’re in town and not yet been, then there are still a few more days. If you like books, then you should check it out.

The fair has been going on for the past couple of weeks and there have been a number of lectures, discussions, and readings. Being a librarian and would-be writer, I should have been attending a lot of these but I’ve not been getting out much lately.

Anyway, the fair offers a good selection of books, mostly in Spanish, of course. The prices are nothing special. There are a few discount selections but really nothing that can’t be found in the used bookstores along Av Corrientes. Still, it’s fun to go and browse.

We particularly liked the international booths sponsored by local embassies that featured books in a range of other languages – Armenian, Russian, Greek, Japanese, Chinese. A number of countries are exhibiting. Italy featured a number of nice selections.

As with last year, Grupo Clarín has the largest display just within the entrance. Essentially, you can’t get into the book fair without walking through the Clarín exhibition area. But that’s ok. They publish a lot of interesting things. However, they obviously hired models to work the Clarín booths, which seemed to lower the intellectual quality of the whole thing. I didn’t wander through the competing La Nación area, but – from what I could tell from a distance – they seemed to have hired models also … not sure why they thought they had to do that.

Clarín also has a radio station broadcasting live. Someday I need to blog about the enormous popularity of talk radio here. There were a number of spectators standing around the glass walls of the station listening to the commentators. It’s always interesting to put a face with the voice you hear everyday. About one of the talk radio hosts, someone near us said, “He doesn’t sound so fat on the radio.”

There are also a lot of specialty publishing houses that featured works in a variety of areas, such as architecture and design or children’s works.

Again, it’s worth going to the book fair just to browse around. If you read Spanish, then you’re surely to find something. Even if you’re not planning to purchase anything, just wandering among the large number of international exhibitions is interesting.