To be honest, I found this year’s April Book Fest rather underwhelming. Why? Well, there were a number of reasons but none of them seemed to be strong enough to induce such a feeling… Maybe it’s their sum that was doing it…
As every year, I have been looking forward to the Book Fest. I planned to leave work ten or at least five minutes early – to avoid buying a tram ticket (because I would rather give that money for one or two secondhand books), meet Joanna at 4.15 pm and happily step into the adventure of digging our way through the books till the closing hour, more precisely 7 pm… As it often happens, things were not working out according to the plan. My two pupils were extra naughty and worked very reluctantly. Consequently, I didn’t manage to leave early and it all left me in a state of mild anger and high annoyance. As if it wasn’t enough, I had to buy the ticket, the tram was unusually slow and I was running late. However, I tried to leave it all behind as we walked through the door – the entrance was free of charge – finally, something to cheer me up a bit!
There was a question whether the Fair would be held at all, economical situation in the country not being favorable to anyone involved in the book business in any way. As a result, there was a smaller number of exhibitors and the fair area was notably smaller. Personally, this was not so disturbing, since I had to restrain myself from spending much because of the fast approaching visit to Göteborg. In the end, I chose only four titles – some of them loved, some long awaited, but none to make me jump so very high with joy as it sometimes happens:
- Oracle Night. Paul Auster
- Around the World in 80 Days. Jules Verne
- Lord Jim. Joseph Conrad
- Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter. Mario Vagas Llosa
There’s a flea market, with several well-stacked book stalls, my friends have been telling me about for years. I have never made it a proper visit (hard to understand how this could be!) and decided to finally do it this weekend.. Although it was a rainy day, my sister and I were determined to go and we were appropriately rewarded for our determination. We were hands and heads into the dusty shelves and boxes and piles of books. I was on my toes, stretching to reach and examine every book there is – in order not to miss a potential heart-rate-increaser. It was heavenly exciting and all worth it:
- The Long Ships. Frans Gunnar Bengtsson
- The Cloven Viscount. Italo Calvino
- Tender is the Night. F.S. Fitzgerald
- A Memory (A Reputation Left Behind). Olav Duun
- The Garin Death Ray (The Hyperboloid of Enineer Garin). Aleksey Tolstoy
And! my sister got me Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with the weirdest illustrations of Alice I have seen so far. Plus, a Moomin-book! – Comet in Moominland; not a very good translation, with lot of original text cut out (why would anyone do that?!), but, somehow I’m OK with that, at the moment.