November 16, 2011

Beyond the Shelf - Vienna Book Fair

Here's another Travel Edition of today's feature! Last weekend I went to the Vienna Book Fair and seeing how I don't live far from the capital it wasn't really a long commute, but to most of my readers it will probably mean to go on a long flight to even get here.

Not at all comparably to the big events like the one in Frankfurt, or even more so the holy grail of all book fairs, the Book Expo America, I ended up being far from impressed. The book fair was small, with one big bookstore at the end, and lots of booths where you could subscribe to newspapers or magazines. In between were various publishers, featuring only few books and bored faces, and then I also saw two of those publishing houses that make you pay for getting your book published with them. Their booths were pretty big which made me wonder how much those poor authors had to pay for the honor of being published. To make matters even worse, I am too much interested in authors from the UK and the US, to be thrilled about interviews and readings by Austrian and German authors. Shame on me, I know!

All in all, I am glad I won my tickets and didn't have to pay for the privilege to visit the book fair!
In all my disappointment I didn't snap many photos, but here are a few to prove I was actually there, ha!

Yep, that's my smallish loot! The official Vienna Book Fair magazine, a couple of bookmarks, and matches. I didn't buy anything. Hard to believe, but so very true.


  1. We have at least two book fairs in Bucharest, but since I am hundreds of kms away and not really interested in too much Romanian literature, I only care about their discounts offered on the publishers' sites. Still, I am forbidden from buying anything till next year and I am dying inside since there is going to be one fair next week.. . arggggghhhh!

  2. I take it your book buying ban is not self-imposed? ;-)
    If it's any comfort I am on the best way to go on a book buying ban too, because my book piles are getting out of hand. In fact I think I will put "No book buying for at least six months!" on my New Year's resolutions list! I'm serious!

  3. Such a pity you didn't enjoy it much. We have a similar bookfair in the Netherlands which I went to in September and very much enjoyed. Besides the book stalls there are readings and signings and free books (only a few, though).

    My report in Dutch is here:

    With my loot - bottom pictures: books (left), pre-publications (1st chapters etc.) right, and catalogs, postcards (with book pictures) etc. below.

    I didn't buy any books as I had too much to carry home as it was. :-)

    You (you!) obviously need to go to England for a good fair or festival1

  4. Wah, sounds like a boring event. Probably this could be just like a German book fair as well, with the exception of FRA. My husband went to Leipzig and it was not very exciting either. Told him to bring a bag full of loot. - Nothing!

  5. Well, Judith, it certainly looks like you had a lot more fun on your book fair! And I agree, I should visit one in the UK or even the US as readings and signings there would be a lot more to my taste. Well, maybe one day!

    And boring it was, Rikki! Though at least I brought home more than your husband, haha!

  6. I've never been but briefely considered going this year. That is until I looked at the represented auhors and books that were listed on the homepage, there wasn't anyhting I would have been interested in, so I'd rather go to other book related events.