The annual Rockcliffe Park Book Fair is on this weekend here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It started Friday morning (November 4th) and runs until Sunday. The Rockcliffe Park area is where we keep our mansions and the book fair is right in the middle of it all. With the exception of the collectables, prices range from $0.50 for paperback fiction to $4 for some hard cover fiction. I once bought a delightful, massive tome entitled the Encyclopedia of Space for $1 - bargoon!
Judging by this book fair, paper books are decidedly not dead. I went early Friday morning so as to not miss out on any of the books I'd been waiting all year to buy cheap. The doors opened at 10:00am but I showed up around 11:00. Approaching the area I encountered large numbers of people headed the other way laden with heavy bags and boxes. Talking to one of the volunteers I learned that some had lined up at 8:30am.
As expected, inside was crowded, but not so crowded that I couldn't spend enough time in front of each bookcase by myself or one other person before moving on to the next. I guess the real enthusiasts had already been and gone.
The checkout line was around twenty buyers long but went fast due partly to the five hard working yet friendly cashiers. However, the speed was also because some volunteers moved along the line singling out people who had a lot of books and totalling them up ahead of time. My short stack of nine books didn't nearly qualify as a lot. In fact it was well below average. It was normal for at least two or three people in line to have two boxes containing an estimated 40 books each. Industrial strength bags were available.
Today I went back with my camera but some bookcases had empty bottom shelves and the crowd was much smaller, probably due to the glorious sunshine outside and golden fall leaves carpeting the ground everywhere. But I took the photo above anyway.
After a year with this Books! world leading to think that maybe the enthusiasm for paper books was on it's way out in favour of e-books, I am heartened to know that the enthusiasm is alive and well and shows it's face every year at the wonderful Rockcliffe Park Book Fair.
Leave a comment below about any juicy book fairs you've been to lately. Be sure to say where so others in your area will know about it.
Here's my small haul - yummm, can't wait to dig in!