sábado, 7 de mayo de 2011

Buenos Aires Book Fair 2011. The Bible is crying next to a water heater.

Yesterday I went to de Buenos Aires' Book Fair.
On a personal level I was very glad to find with Dani, a former coworker of exploitation at IBM and on a communication level several things call my attention.

It seems that publishing industry is increasingly solid. Seem to me that this fair had more expositors, new stands that weren't last year and some of the traditional with greater space. Not only publishers stands, but also many booksellers encourage themselves to exhibit their products.
At a glance this seems a cultural incentive, although I wouldn't catalog all the fair as cultural... I don't mean the food places, but some replays that seem more like people's fishing to own profit instead of culture.

Let's see, I count like 3 places of miniature books. Are a classic from a long time, but now it seems that have multiplied and anything is published in miniature. I'm waiting for the premiere of the magazines. When will the mini Newsweek or the mini Cosmopolitan be issued? It would be a good option for the train readers in rush hour.
The classic "find out the meaning of your name" that was in several stands could cost from $1.5 to $2.10 USD. I didn't approach to ask why the price difference... especially for something that thanks to Internet one can find out for free.
There was a novelty, "know your astral reading". In a corner of a stand, there was a lady - I suppose she was astrologer, though I couldn't see any diploma or certificate to back her up - that with her computer did the reading and interpretation of the clients astral chart. At least is something interesting and innovative.

Buenos Aires World Book Capital 2011 by UNESCO
Generally, beyond the publishers and specialized booksellers, the more exposed books in the stands were the Public Interest and Self-help books, although in many cases the second category is included in the first. So, Public Interest can be "Learn Linux," "How to overcome a marital infidelity" or Martin Redrado's "No Reserve"... and here I thought several things.
On the one hand, advertising. It seems that selling is the only important thing, consumerism over literary content of a book that is being selling. So, for example, in the press conference that the Chief of Staff, Anibal Fernandez presented his book "Argentine Stupidity and other herbs," that could be a revised version of the Arturo Jauretche's original, made a sort of political campaign pro-reelection of CFK. Or the economy book of Martin Lousteau that takes advantage of the media promotion about the conjugal infidelity scandal with Juana Viale.
On the other hand, anyone can become author of a book and write of absolutely anything. Specially in the "Self-help" category... it's true that I'm not fan to spend $20 USD for someone to tell me how to feel happy, I prefer to do my own experience and in short discover life, it's cheaper, more fun - though could be painful - and satisfying.
So I find that the radio speaker that I used to listen as teenager at "Top 40" from FM Hit, has now become a spiritual guru and wrote the book "Spiritual Sins"... anyone writes about anything, without going any further here I am writing a review about my visit to the Fair Book. :-)
The only positive thing I see is that makes reading and books more accessible for anyone. It was full of teenagers looking for Justin Bieber biographies, but reading isn't synonym of literature. And I think that any book isn't either culture, more like a complex junk shop.

Other flashy curiosity is the variety of topics and subtopics about what's writing. Example, one huge subject could be labor relations, then there are huge subtopics depending of different points of view: legal, social, economical, religious, etc. So, in almost all the science's branches there are manuals of anything one want to learn and even daily situations. "Manual of Records Management," "How to make cross-stitch" or "Learn the better positions to reach the orgasm".

At the end called my attention the prices' difference between editions and publishers. I come up with an idea that could develop a web page, although I don't think I get rich I do think that could be useful. An editions' and prices' comparator. There are pages that compare prices of general products, for whom is searching the best cost-benefit relation, but actually I don't know if that concept was brought to the publishing world.
So, I think that could be a useful tool to compare price and publishing quality of the same literary work and get informed of the causes of that difference in materials, illustrations, invited collaborators, etc. and help that reading massiveness could also be useful for a massification of quality literature too.
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