Madrid Book Fair. Chronicle of a journey

Photographs of the article: (c) Mariola Díaz-Cano.

La Edition 80 of the Madrid Book Fair has taken place between the 10 and the September 26. After the past year in white due to the global pandemic that affects us, the most anticipated annual appointment with books and writers in the capital of Spain has managed to return by virtue of its jurisdiction. It has been in its usual enclosure, the park of the Pick up, although in reduced and concentrated version, but with the same or more success perhaps than on previous occasions. I visited her on the 25th and this is my chronicle.

80th edition of the Madrid Book Fair

With Colombia and guest country, the Fair has more or less regained both momentum and success. It has been with good figures not only of visitors, who have completed the restricted capacity many times, but in sales, or so an editor told me yesterday, and in the presence of great names in national literature and the occasional international one such as, for example, Italian Federico Moccia.

Have also been 17 days of activities, acts and signatures. With closure at noon, only the last weekend has it been open from 10:30 a.m. to 21:00 p.m. With spikes of long lines to enter mid-morning, that capacity reduced to 75% like the space and the number of booths have sometimes made more than one stop going or entering. But, in general, the balance is assumed positive.

Furthermore, the anticovid measures have been maintained at all times with the mandatory use of the mask throughout the premises. However, the social distance has been more difficult.

Report - FLM, 25/9/2021

A las 10 am there was already one queue of about 50 meters more or less waiting to enter the south door and the audience was of the most diverse and all ages. Only an hour later the capacity was filling vertiginously and several activities —Conferences, talks, recitals… - in the different pavilions arranged on the central promenade. In him this year was the novelty of having put more booths to compensate for the reduction in space, in addition to having also removed centimeters from the width of the booths.

In my opinion, maybe it would have been better the other way around: give, if not all the space from before along the Paseo de Carros, at least a little more to be able to keep it between booths and not narrow the passage, as has happened with them in the central promenade. Just like they could have install more restoration sites to have a drink, because only with two I don't think he has enough. And of free tables to be able to sit down and we don't even talk. But it's just my opinion.

More queues

For author signatures, let's say the largest, naturally. Because some were logistically well planned to divert them to the controlled sides, but others had to be limited on the opposite side so as not to interrupt the passage of visitors. And some formed right in parallel in the center. So sometimes they were difficult to avoid or had to be traversed.

Writers, figures and other characters

I went with fixed goals on my favorite authors obviously and according to the signatures of the day. Also obviously it is not possible to attend or get to see and greet everyone the ones that I would have liked. So, making time between signing and signing, I toured the Fair a few times.

Among the hundreds of authors we already know that there are unknown, a bit best known, with name, by pull and as, those who are beyond good and evil. Among the latter, they were there Eduardo Mendoza, Javier Fences, Julia Navarro o Santiago Posteguillo, with endless queues of stalwarts. And I want to think that perhaps they were specific moments or that it coincided when I passed by their booths more than once, but it caught my attention that Mendoza, Cercas and Navarro were without a mask signing and serving readers. Of course, and for the usual photo, we all took them off at the time, but it gave me the impression that they were not his cases.

They had a lot of pull too Carme Chaparro, Elisa Victoria, Rodrigo Cortes, Amarna Miller o Esther gilli. And already in the afternoon, in an open house and special for signatures, Elizabeth Benavent gathered a whole crowd.

Characters such as the Dioni or the illustrious Íñigo Errejón and Federico Jiménez Losantos.

My signatures

The ones I wanted. So thank you very much for the kindness, the words, the affection and the dedications of Sunday Villar, Daniel Martin Serrano, Santiago Diaz, Theo Palacios, Javier Pellicer e Inaki Biggi. It was a pleasure and a joy see them all to celebrate not only this book party, but to be able to do it again face to face.

With Iñaki Biggi, Domingo Villar, Daniel Martín Serrano, Santiago Díaz, Javier Pellicer and Teo Palacios.

The phrase

Heard on the flight of a mother or grandmother walking a child in a stroller and that summarizes the essence and desire From all the good readers and those of us who love books in general: «This is your first fair. And you always have to come ».

So ...

... that are many more, as before or as they should be, but let them be.

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