Fiera del libro 2009

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(Fiera del libro 2009, or drinking at the font of knowledge)
(Fiera del libro 2009, or drinking at the font of knowledge)
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| I didn’t have my own table but hardly had time to rest – so much to see, so little time.
| I didn’t have my own table but hardly had time to rest – so much to see, so little time.
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Some of my favorite new discoveries were: edizionie/o (pictured above), Fazi Editore, Edizoni Casagrande, Edizioni di Pagina, Nutrimenti, Transeuropa Edizioni, Edizioni Nottetempo, Tittivillus Edizioni, Fandango Libri, Neri Pozza Editore, Prospectiva Editrice, Edizioni Pantarei, Sandro Teti Editore, Round Robin, and Ancora del Mediterraneo.
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Some of my favorite new discoveries were: [http://www.edizionieo.it/ edizionie/o] (pictured above), [http://www.fazieditore.it/ Fazi Editore], [http://www.edizionicasagrande.com/ Edizoni Casagrande], [http://www.paginasc.it/libri.php?titolo=novit%C3%A0&novita=1 Edizioni di Pagina], [http://www.nutrimenti.net/ Nutrimenti], [http://www.transeuropaedizioni.it/ Transeuropa Edizioni], [http://home.edizioninottetempo.it/ Edizioni Nottetempo], [http://www.titivillus.it/ Tittivillus Edizioni], [http://www.fandango.it/ Fandango Libri], [http://www.neripozza.it/ Neri Pozza Editore], [http://www.prospettivaeditrice.it/ Prospectiva Editrice], [http://www.edizionipantarei.com/ Edizioni Pantarei], [http://www.sandrotetieditore.it/ Sandro Teti Editore], [http://roundrobineditrice.wordpress.com/ Round Robin], and [http://www.ancoradelmediterraneo.it/ Ancora del Mediterraneo].
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Some tried and trusted included: Bollati Boringhieri Editore, Editori Laterza, Sellerio Editore Palermo, Adelphi Edizioni, Marsilio Editori, Garzanti Libri, Nino Aragno Editore, Baldini-Castoldi Dalai, Viella Casa Editrice, Feltrinelli, and Giulio Einaudi editore.
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Some tried and trusted included: [http://www.bollatiboringhieri.it/ Bollati Boringhieri Editore], [http://www.laterza.it/ Editori Laterza], [http://www.sellerio.it/ Sellerio Editore Palermo], [http://www.adelphi.it/ Adelphi Edizioni], [http://www.marsilioeditori.it/ Marsilio Editori], [http://www.garzantilibri.it/ Garzanti Libri], [http://www.ninoaragnoeditore.it/ Nino Aragno Editore], [http://bcdeditore.it/ Baldini-Castoldi Dalai], [http://www.viella.it/ Viella Casa Editrice], [http://www.feltrinellieditore.it/ Feltrinelli], and [http://www.einaudi.it/ Giulio Einaudi editore].
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WESSWeb > WESS Newsletter > Fall 2009 > Fiera del libro


Fiera del libro 2009, or drinking at the font of knowledge

The 22nd Fiera del Libro was held in Turin, Italy from May 14-18. This was the last Fiera to be held, as henceforth the book fair will be known as the Salone Internazionale del Libro (13 – 17 May 2010), the designation it originally bore at its founding in 1988.

As ever, travel can be a challenge…

Sarah Claude
My trip was a less-than-optimal but un-problematic voyage (3 different planes, run by a total of 4 different airlines, 2 busses, 2 trains). In all, the most difficult part was actually finding the hotel, which was tucked back from the street – but most conveniently located to the Fiera itself. I can’t say same for my own which took 33 hours from door-to-door. The trip from Berkeley to Turin involved 1 bus, 1 subway, 1 airport shuttle, 2 airplanes, 2 trains, and 1 taxi to arrive safely at my hotel in Turin.

Our primary reasons for going to the Fiera were to learn about Italian publishing, see the latest offerings, and to get a sense of trends in the Italian book trade that will impact our acquisitions. We each had our own agendas, as well…

Sarah Claude
In addition to all of the above, as a guest of the Italian Trade Commission & International Book Fair, I also wanted to participate fully in interacting with the other delegates attending the fair. I was able to learn a great deal about European publishing trends and interests, and build upon the knowledge I’d gathered at other fairs. Furthermore, because they were here to buy or sell books and rights, and well prepared, they offered insights into Italian publishing.

I had my own table in the IBF are and met with a variety of interesting people representing presses. [link to pp w/boring (?) details]

I didn’t have my own table but hardly had time to rest – so much to see, so little time.

Some of my favorite new discoveries were: edizionie/o (pictured above), Fazi Editore, Edizoni Casagrande, Edizioni di Pagina, Nutrimenti, Transeuropa Edizioni, Edizioni Nottetempo, Tittivillus Edizioni, Fandango Libri, Neri Pozza Editore, Prospectiva Editrice, Edizioni Pantarei, Sandro Teti Editore, Round Robin, and Ancora del Mediterraneo.

Some tried and trusted included: Bollati Boringhieri Editore, Editori Laterza, Sellerio Editore Palermo, Adelphi Edizioni, Marsilio Editori, Garzanti Libri, Nino Aragno Editore, Baldini-Castoldi Dalai, Viella Casa Editrice, Feltrinelli, and Giulio Einaudi editore.

The Fiera was held in a re-purposed Fiat factory originally designed by Renzo Piano and contained four “pavilions” (51,000 square meters) holding more than 1.400 publishers. At the close of the Fiera, 307,650 visitors had attended, an increase of five percent over 2008.1

(Not counting the distinguished guests at the Caffè letterario)

To give even a vague sense of the numbers of people…

Parking lot (one of 4(?)) at 8am: Parking lot at noon:

The honorary guest of the Fiera was Egypt (offerings included everything from cultural and historical displays to chocolate with hieroglyphs). The theme was “Io, gli altri” [Myself, others]. Reflecting the theme were a large number of speakers and panels, including Salman Rushdie, Vandana Shiva, Ohran Pamuk, Umberto Eco, and Tullio Avoledo. Also associated with the theme of the Fiera was a parallel program entitled “Lingua madre” [Mother tongues] that showcased authors in their original languages from around the world.

Sarah Claude
The stand for Minoranze linguistiche was very interesting to me, and I brought home a selection of materials in Ladino.

I hoped to find graphic novels for the collection, since I find it hard to separate the wheat from the chaff from slips. I was able to compile a list of books to add to the collection, as well as one of authors or publishers to watch.

One of my favorites was Lavieri, and I’ll be adding to our collection La storia di Mara by Paolo Cossi; Bye bye jazz by Scornaienchi + Rak & Scop ; and Yggdrasill by Gianluca Maconi).

Without too much guilt, I must confess that Tittivillus Edizioni‘s live merry-go-round was by far the most enjoyable stand I visited. While someone gently pushed the amusement park relic in circles, I and others would thumb through the publisher’s books on theater, performance, film, and poetry, making note of titles I’d place orders for later. To name a few, Il teatro di strada in Italia (2008), Futuroteatro: saggi sul teatro futurista (2009), Teatro e bambini di guerra (2009) and nearly everything by film/theater scholar Andrea Mancini.

There were a large number of interesting literary presses, with stands, and we both appreciated some of the mystery novels on display, particularly [photo of giallo]  

Also fascinating was the Incubatore, which was a section of tables of very small or very new presses (yes, some graphic novels, but all genres had a presence). The 39 publishers in the Incubatore also had their own section in the exposition catalogue, which served to highlight it even more. It would be good if more fairs showed this sort of attention to the less-well-known or start-up presses.

Sarah Claude
In the Incubatore, I was particularly intrigued by edizioni 18:30, which publishes (very) short essays or fiction, each in its own little volume (and

under Creative Commons license). They gave me a few for the library, in an area of interest for at least one Ph.D. student:

http://gaytags.blogspot.com/

The fair was very definitely oriented toward the general public (thus the lack of a “professional” day), which resulted in low attendance from university presses. While many publishers are listed under the rubric of “editorial universitaria,” only a handful were what Americans consider “university presses:” Centro editorial e librario – Università della Calabria, ISIAO (Istituto italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente), Kore University Press, PLUS (Pisa University Press), Vita e pensiero (pubblicazioni dell’Università Cattolica). More interesting academic titles could be found at the UTET (Unione tipographico editrice torinese) stand or other publishers that have an academic market. In addition to the focus of the fair, the small showing of university presses may also reflect the fact that they are less important in the grand scheme of Italian publishing than are similar entities in other countries.

In fact, the ability to identify Italian “academic” presses and monographs requires a level of knowledge that can only be gained through experience or from attending trade events, such as book fairs (or a combination of the two). Despite travel difficulties, a credit-card being cancelled mid-fair (long story), loss of a tooth (even longer story), and a continual realization that proficiency in Italian biblio-vocabulary doesn’t get one very far in, say, purchasing postage stamps, the opportunity to attend the Fiera del Libro was invaluable. The chance to learn from colleagues in the book world, take in the breadth of contemporary Italian publishing in the space of a few days, discover materials whose value is not well communicated through slips, and glimpse new trends, was well worth the trip.



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