39a Feria del Libro

On the 30th of April, my mom got home in a hurry, telling us to quickly shape up, cause we were going out. Where to, you ask? My, where any normal super-nerd and bookworm family like mine would be excited to attend -except for my 16-yo sister, but she was away-, the Book Fair!

So, we dressed up, brushed our teeth, went out, and took the subway line over to La Rural, which is the enormous place where, every year, for three weeks, one of the most important cultural events and gatherings in the continent is held.
The only way to make this thing more perfect, in my opinion, is if they, I don’t know, gave out free chocolate at the entrance or something.

So, let me take you with me in the little part of the convention I got to visit before visiting hour deadline arrived. Don’t worry, though, I AM planning to go again one of these days.
And, what better way to show you around, than with my crappy cellphone’s camera, and my lack of photographic ability? …seriously though, sorry about the horrible pictures. I promise you it looks much better in person.

The fair has the same distribution as the last couple of years: first you enter a saloon where there are stands and activities representing every province, and a few countries; most people pass right through this part of the event, but I like to look around, see what’s up.
Right before the exit my dad spotted the “National College of Lawyers” stand, and asked us to take a photo of him standing in front of it. He then asked for a free pen there.
My father is a lawyer with a sense of humor.

Now, that part of the event is in a separated building, so, to get to where the books are, you have to walk under the night sky the distance of about a block. Or you would have to, if there weren’t completely useless tunnels you are obligated to pass through to get there.
There are two. The Buenos Aires’ Government’s:

A pretty unfocused photo of BA's Government's tunnel. Sorry, I was walking.

It was basically a line of banners trying to hype you about the city’s current government’s enthusiasm towards the culture.
Yeah, of course.


Clarin's tunnel

Secondly, Clarin’s tunnel, of course.

And if you thought a whole tunnel just for Clarín was kind of fishy, then you ain’t seen nothing yet:

Ñ building

‘Ñ’ is the cultural section of Clarín’s newspapers. And they have a whole building just for themselves.

You know what? I’ll get into that topic in another post.
Right now, I want to focus on the good stuff.

So we got out and immediately headed over to the building with the editorials and such.


“Books as Bridges” was the concept chosen to represent the Book Fair this year.

The place is enormous and filled with stands offering books for sale, everywhere.


Naturally, the proper definition of paradise.

More sales


And books

And people

And cool stuff

There were more stands, and people, and, most certainly, books, that I could count. Are you into classical literature? Sure, right up. Theater? Why, yes indeed. Children’s books? Fantasy? Sci-fi? Self-help? Essays? School books? Suspense? Puzzle? Mysteries? Romance? Novels? Short Stories? Teen paranormal romance?? …ew, no, I’m going overboard.

And, did anyone say COMICS?


Oh yeah. My kind of shopping spree.

Before you ask, I bought “All New X-Men” #1, and I plan on going back to buy “Avenger vs. X-Men: consequences” and the first volumes of “New 52’s Aquaman”. And as much Spiderman as I can.
I also bought a book by Martín Kohan, a writer my dad really likes.
My mom bought a book for herself, and Paloma, my 9-yo sister, convinced her to buy one for her too. So everyone was happy!

Anyways, the event isn’t just about books. Many intellectuals and interesting people come by this time of the year to give conferences on different subjects (usually relating to each year’s motto for the fair), and there are many writers signing copies of their books every day. Not to mention activities regarding art and writing.

The Ministry of Culture has its own (and incredibly big) stand, which surprised me:


You could walk up to any of those computers to consult where to look for a specific book, the different activities, the history of the fair, and much more.


The other side of the stand has a platform; sometimes used for talks and conferences, you can go up and rest and have a nice talk about the books you bought with your friends when it’s not being used… You know, as long as they don’t catch you.
Joke, I joke.


It’s too blurry. But that, inside the same stand? Yeah, they have their own reading café. How cool is that?

I really think they nailed it.

And, as the place is just TOO BIG, most people get exhausted after a while, and need to sit down and have a drink, or something to eat. For that matter, there are a lot of different café-ish places, and restaurants, usually against the walls of the hall.


This is the one where my parents waited as my sister and I took our time checking out comic books and mangas.

It really is a nice place to visit. If any of you happen to be thinking of coming to Buenos Aires next year, be sure to do so when the Book Fair is active. You won’t regret it.

Anyways, next time we’ll talk about La Rural, the place where this event is usually held, and its current owners, La Sociedad Rural. They both have interesting, and quite shady histories.

Thanks for reading!