a highly biased opinion
Or that’s what it felt like this weekend at the Miami International Book Fair. After a couple of mediocre fairs during the late 2000s, the 2013 Fair redeemed itself with awesomeness and a wide array of events and vendors. This year it failed to meet any of my expectations. Missing were the used book sellers (I went around 3 times and only found used Spanish or mystery book vendors, and the one Bookleggers tent, which had a very limited selection), the Friends of the Library tent, and the cultural pavilions. In their place, a proliferation of Books and Books tents, a whole lane of self-pubbed pseudo-science and new age quackery, and what I like to call Hipster Central (otherwise known as the Swamp). We had lunch and snow cones, wandered around for two hours, and left after buying a pack of strawberry-scented pencils and an eraser at the Scholastic tent. That is all. Never have I entered a book sale and not purchased a book. I was that disappointed by the lack of variety. Unless you were looking for the latest bestseller, the selection left a lot to be desired. Can’t wait for the annual Library Friends sale. I can usually count on them for a rare find or two, and a nice bag full of paperbacks.