Book fairs and book fayres

A couple of months ago, the local council approached authors in the area with a view to putting on a Christmas book Fayre. The date was set and it took place this Saturday afternoon with I believe seventeen authors altogether in attendance. I read and write fiction, but it was interesting to see the number of non-fiction writers and the range of subjects. Several of them related to personal struggles in overcoming prejudice of various kinds and being a survivor.

I’m sure bullying and abuse happened when I was a child/teenager, but it made me wonder whether it has become more prevalent or is just spoken about more freely. I rarely watch television but have noticed recently a spate of short trailers on using a certain hand signal to let strangers know you need help. It’s rather a sad reflection of our times.

The venue for the fair was a local library, a beautiful old building on the edge of a park and was where I had my first book signing several years ago. The place has so much potential but is badly in need of restoration, although the fayre itself was well organised and the library even has a little café onsite. I remember as a child going to the local sub-library to look up things as part of my homework. It still holds the same fascination, although admittedly these days I do my research online through a computer.

Several friends turned up to the fayre to offer support, and as an added bonus bought some of my books. With my mobility issues and the problems caused by the virus I rarely manage to get out, so it was the perfect opportunity for a catch-up chat. The footfall from the general public was light, and I’m not sure whether this was due to lack of publicity, a general indifference or apprehension at being in crowds.

Some questions for you.

Do you read paperbacks or only on a kindle or other device?

Would you give, or be pleased to receive a book as a Christmas present?

Do you have a local library? If so, is it well attended?

Do you think physical libraries should be scrapped and everything done online?

Think carefully about the answer to the last question. Santa has asked me to make a list of anyone who answers yes. You have been warned.

As always, thanks for your company and see you next week.

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7 thoughts on “Book fairs and book fayres

  1. I think a dislike of crowds is a big factor at the moment. But in answer to your questions:

    Do you read paperbacks or only on a kindle or other device?
    I read on both. I love the kindle for its portability making it perfect for holidays and bus/train journeys and I can read it at night in the dark without disturbing my husband. I read a lot of light fiction (light in subject/genre not quality – I include Agatha Christie here) on the kindle app on my iPad. The kindle app is also on my phone so if I’m stuck somewhere with nothing to do (waiting in a waiting room for a late appointment etc) it’s handy especially now when there are no magazines lying about. BUT I also love paperbacks and if for the books I want to read slowly or research from or just love so much I want to own them physically or lend them – I’ll buy a paperback or hardback.

    Would you give, or be pleased to receive a book as a Christmas present?
    I would on both fronts! And I’d be delighted to receive one. Always my favourite present.

    Do you have a local library? If so, is it well attended?
    I do. I think it’s fairly well attended. It certainly tries very hard to engage with the public. It’s fairly well placed in town. I confess though that I don’t use it as much as I once did (especially when the children were small and I’d borrow books for them). However when they run author events I go if I can.

    Do you think physical libraries should be scrapped and everything done online?
    No. I think well run libraries provide an essential service for readers who can’t afford to buy books or don’t want to or researchers or parents of small children who may not want to buy new books all the time (when their child will grow out of them quickly) and for presentations etc. I think a lot of things should be done on line and libraries offer these options too. But I think in the main, for the vast majority of things, people should have the option. (Will Santa visit me now?? Please pretty please?)

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  2. I love having my Kindle to read in bed, but downstairs I have loads of paperbacks. I also like seeing you my books in paperback. Our local libraries do a lot including craft mornings and organise using book clubs. A friend got me to join the library’s zoom book club as I was stuck at home with chemotherapy. I am enjoying it more than I expected. The library chooses the books, but that is good to read something we haven’t chosen. It is salutary that one of the group I used to visit with RVS books on wheels. Some volunteers are still taking books, but have to leave them on the doorstep, sad as the main point of our visits was to go an and have a nice chat. No, libraries should not be scraped, but I hardly ever visit to get a book out as I read lots of Indie authors on my Kindle and have many paperbacks at home.writing and blogging also takes time away from reading.

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    1. Thanks for your reply, Janet. I knew of your recent health problems and hope you are continuing to improve – keep your crazy photos coming. 😀 I’ve not heard of a library Zoom book club- sounds like a great idea.

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  3. Our local library not only needs some renovation work, it has not changed the opening times on its website, or have a human being able to answer the telephone which clearly doesn’t help with anyone wishing to visit.
    Looking at the lady with large pectoral embellisments four times, I wondered if you’ve gone under the knife, Val. As my auntie always said when I was a teenager. ‘Ricky, you’ll go blind if you carry on staring at girls with large boswooms. Lucky old me; nothing has changed.
    On a serious note, and I hope you don’t mind me asking this, but do you get paid for the advert, and if you do, would you kindly advise me how to proceed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting, Rick, and a little bit spooky. I don’t see any adverts but there is a small notice saying others might, which I could get removed by upgrading my site (which would cost me!) No, I don’t get paid for any ads visitors might see. The spooky bit was to do with other photos taken on the day of the fayre which I’ll explain privately. 😀

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