But are you ready?
From my experience as a bookseller at the book fair last year, there are two general types of fair visitors: Listers and Browsers. The Listers prepare intricate lists with what books they want to buy, while Browsers walk around and try to pick books by instinct.
In my experience, both of these two types of readers are sometimes caught unprepared. What can you do if the books in your list are unavailable, or lists of popular books turn out to be wrong for you? What if you browse, and nothing jumps out at you? Worse, what if too many books jump out at you?
Don’t worry, Ammar is here to help!
I’ve devised three simple questions for you to use as a guide at the fair. Using these, you can browse more confidently and curate your list:
1- What are my favorite books? This is a basic question. To answer it, take half an hour to look through your shelves at home, or through your Goodreads account. Pick out 1 or 2 books per year which you loved. At the book fair, you can ask the bookseller to show you similar books.
2- What’s my favorite genre? After completing question 1, you should have a vague outline of what KINDS of books are best for you. Nobody has time to read the wrong book, after all, so you should try to generally pick out things you’d like (although some experimentation is good). Genre can range from being vague (fantasy) to hyper-specific (Grimdark fantasy with developed magic systems). By knowing the right types of books to search for, you’ll make more accurate choices.
3- What are my criteria for choosing books? Last year at the fair, I saw way too many people just looking at book spines, then giving up. When I began talking to them, they grew more confident in picking up a book. That’s because I know that most people choose books based on either the cover, the back blurb, or the first five pages. Find out which of these methods is your go-to, and use it at the fair.
If you got this far in the article, then you now have 3 extra tools to helop you find the right book. Congratulations! You’re now better able to fill out your list beforehand, AND you’ll be able to browse the book fair more effectively.
I hope you have a great experience!