The Miami International Book Fair is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and seems to have drawn quite a lot of book lovers if the “Sold Out” bookstalls that I saw yesterday are any indication.
I started going to the fair four years ago, so I knew that I had to set a budget for myself unless I wanted to end up overspending on books. I told myself I would only spend $25 – enough to pay my entrance, have something to eat, and buy one gotta-have-it book. Did I go over? Yes… but I couldn’t let the opportunity pass!
My trip downtown started with a train ride and one happy little green grasshopper.
I got to the fair and nearly got in for free because the lady at the ticket booth thought I was underage 😛 , but I am an honest bibliophile and paid my way.
I did some browsing first, after all, I needed to be choosy if I was limiting myself to one book, then I took a stroll through the International Village, which was hosting Egypt, Argentina, Brazil, and Spain this year.
I spent some of my lunch money in Egypt, on a tiny glass perfume bottle and some baklava, and went in for a surprise impulse buy in Brazil – it was a surprise because I don’t understand a word of Portuguese, and the lady only knew how to say “Three dollars.”
What was inside the mystery parcel? A cookie. I have to admit, I was totally suckered in by the wrapping.
Eventually, I found my one book at a used book stall, a collection of Colette’s Claudine novels that was in decent condition, though it obviously spent way too much time in someone’s car.
And then I found the book that undermined my tight budget… a 1936 copy of Gone with the Wind that I found for $35 in the Antiquarian section of the fair. Admittedly, it’s not a first printing, and it doesn’t have a dust-jacket, but it’s GwTW! And it’s in great condition for such an old text – no obvious signs of damage, the spin is intact, the pages are not loose, just the usual signs of age.
So here are my carefully selected buys…