Monterrey International Book Fair

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It’s exciting to see so much interest in books and authors that hundreds of families and couples and individuals descend upon an entire convention center. And for only 20 pesos, (about $1USD), your ticket is good for the whole week. It was so good we went twice.

I’ve only been to used book fairs and was expecting a similar treasure hunt. But the Monterrey International Book Fair filled the first floor of the Cintermex convention center with almost entirely new books from a broad range of distributors. At most booths there were dozens of copies of each new title available. While I’ll never get used to books being individually shrink-wrapped, the selection, price and accessibility of this fair made it a total win.

Although there were some criticisms on the facebook event page I found the prices to be reasonable. The most expensive book I bought was a ~ $6USD full-color compendium from the Musée d’Orsay. And I’m regretting not buying the 7-dollar photographic history of Nuevo Leon, a book I’d enjoyed at the first AirBnB I stayed at here.

Books for sale ranged from cookbooks to pop-up children’s books to hefty full-color coffee table books on photography, history and art. We also found unexpected books like Masaru Emoto’s experiments with water. They were about $2USD each so I bought all three.

There was no shortage of novels, classics, Bibles, how-tos, authors hosting talks and book-signings throughout the week. Gorgeous block-prints from young Oaxacan artists were for sale at a booth across the aisle from a used book booth selling everything from the Kama Sutra to a Nixon biography.

Also of note were the amount of people smiling. There was an enthusiastic energy that made the normally personal invigoration of book-finding feel communal.

If you’re a book lover who finds yourself in Monterrey in October don’t miss this fair. It’s worth the $20 pesos. And if you don’t want to pay $60 for on-site parking just park around the corner and follow the hordes of book lovers walking toward Cintermex.

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