The Printers Row Book Fair was all that I expected. Stalls from independent booksellers to publishing houses were set up to showcase comics, hardbacks, antiques, ephemera and lots of new fiction books.
The set up was great; however, next year whoever thought that the porta-potties belonged next to the main reading stage needs to not be in charge of that. Authors had to compete for attention what with all the comings and goings and doors banging shut.
I was in the audience for readings from Nick Hornby, Lisa Scottoline and a panel of poets. I was most impressed by Lisa Scottoline. She’s so funny and tells the wildest stories about her family. If she hadn’t told us that she was Italian I would have sworn she was Mexicana. I’ve never read her books but I’m going to remedy that soon.
I enjoyed talking to a bookseller from Coffee House Books. She was so engaging and talked me into buying a book. I met Laura Caldwell, who is one of my favorite chick lit writers and who is now branching off into mystery. I also met Libby Fischer Hellmann who talked me into buying her latest book. Normally I don’t start mysteries mid-series but she promised it would be good. So I’m breaking my rules for her.
What books did I buy? Autopsy of an Engine by Lolita Hernandez, Look Closely by Laura Caldwell, An Image of Death by Libby Fischer Hellmann, Gonzalez & Daughter Trucking Co. by Maria Amparo Escandon, The Monk Downstairs by Tim Farrington, The Essential Rilke, Ruby River by Lynn Pruett, Buddha Da by Anne Donovan and Real People by Alison Lurie.
Other things I enjoyed in Chicago were:
- Prairie Avenue Bookshop is a fantastic bookstore for architecture and design books. Not what I read, but my husband the web designer bought a couple of books.
- For my bookbinding pleasure I went to Paper Source. It is nirvana for the lover of all things paper. Check them out if you are ever near them. Friendly staff and so many pretty things to look at.
- Myopic Books is the place for used books in the Wicker Park area. They’ve got a musty basement filled with mysteries. Too bad they wouldn’t let me take pictures because I would have loved to brag about them more.
- Visited the Center for the Book & Paper Arts and dream of taking a class there one day.
- Enjoyed breakfast at the Rain Dog Café. There’s nothing like starting your morning with scones and a latte surrounded by books.
- Chicago has an H&M. I love this shop. Actually the only mishap on this trip happened here. I lost a book! If anyone finds Room With A Clue by Kate Kingsbury can you tell me how it ends. I was just about to find out whodunit.
So when’s the next book fair?