I had a lovely and quite fun time visiting the Small Press Fair that was held this year in NYC. A friend and I decided to combine our interest in seeing each other and seeing books by meeting at the fair and perusing the booths together.
Entering the Fair:
All the booths were really great and had some really awesome swag that I have yet to go through thoroughly. My friend got a free cookbook among the other free books/journals that we both received.
Bag o' Swag:
One booth that was especially interesting though was the PEN one. Not only was the gentleman manning the booth contagiously enthusiastic about the organization, but Pen really did sound amazing. Their goal is to protect free speech and "celebrate literature." Both my friend and I agreed we should get involved somehow, although I know my busy schedule of work and Library School has made me lazy on taking any action so far...one more thing to do this summer! Anyone interested should definitely check out the PEN site though!
Sign from PEN booth:
Another really great booth was the Biblioteca Jorge Luis Borges from the Instituto Cervantes New York. The two men at this booth were really nice people and were more than happy to fill us in on the center and library itself. I unfortunately don't speak Spanish and I let this slip and they both said I should check out the library at least as an MLS student. They also showed us that the Institute offers classes to learn Spanish, so this place sounds really great! I would say everyone should check out both the Institute and Library, even if you don't know Spanish you are sure to be greeted by some really spectacular people who are super willing to help...they even gave us bags for our swag!
On top of the great people and swag that this fair had to offer it also had some really unique and quality books for sale. I got the coolest book that I thought at the time perhaps I should get for my niece and later found out that a friend had gotten for her niece...but I am sorry to say I can't let this one go, it is all for me!
One of the Super Duperist books ever!:
The lovely woman that I have been lucky enough to get to work with and who has been teaching me the hands-on talents of Letterpress and Book Arts, Mindy Belloff, was also there. She was selling great stationary and the like from her company Letterpress Designs and promoting the awe-inspiring reprint of the Declaration of Independence that she has done (you should check it out on her Studio on the Square site). I bought one for my dad who is a history buff and if I could have I would have bought one for myself too. She also offers classes at Studio on the Square that - if it isn't already totally obvious - I highly recommend.
So, overall this was a pleasant Fair experience and I really enjoyed learning so much about different organizations, libraries, and printing houses. I can't wait until the next one...and I will leave you with the guns of steel that guard the staircase in the building in which the fair was held.
Guns of Steel...or perhaps Iron...or Copper...or Whatever: