Are book fairs worth it?

Discussion in Books, eBooks & Audio Books started by Strykstar • Aug 6, 2014.

  1. Strykstar

    StrykstarActive Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Threads:
    140
    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    7
    Every year my town organizes a book fair with many different kinds of books.
    While I agree that it's a nice event to get more people to read, the books aren't cheaper than the bookstore at all. Shouldn't they be discounted? Otherwise I can just buy them year-round at the bookstore...
     
  2. prettycolors

    prettycolorsActive Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Threads:
    109
    Messages:
    731
    Likes Received:
    17
    Yeah, they should be discounted. I've been to a few book fairs but from what I notice the prices are the same as in bookstores if you really stay and check. And the sad truth is that by buying online you're almost guaranteed a better price on your purchase. I haven't bought a book from bookstores in years. Still, I like book fairs since I get to check new releases/editions.
     
  3. dustysmommy2013

    dustysmommy2013Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Threads:
    6
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    1
    I haven't bought at bookstores in years either. I get e-books or buy hardcovers online. I only buy physical books that I want to collect, like cookbooks, or books that are part of a series I already one in the physical form. I do go to the local Barnes & Noble about once a week to read in peace without a toddler crawling all over me. I usually get a coffee too. I am not the only one doing this so I don't see ALL bookstores going away anytime soon.

    Anyway, yes I definitely believe that if you're wanting to encourage people to start reading, you need to do discount the books. Before e-books came along, reading could become an expensive hobby. There were so many books I wanted to read but either couldn't afford or were already checked out at the library. God bless cheap e-books and subscription services like Scribd!
     
  4. ACSAPA

    ACSAPAWell-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Threads:
    52
    Messages:
    3,093
    Likes Received:
    240
    Book fairs are not about bargains or saving money. They are about celebrating reading and getting support for small local book shops. My local book fair is a huge event where writers like Stephen King and Amy Tan come to give speeches, do workshops or sign autographs. This year in the kid's section they had some of the writers/artists for Avatar the Last Airbender signing comic books.
    There's also live music and street food against the backdrop of the waters of Biscayne Bay.

    If you wouldn't pay full price for a book to get it autographed in person by a famous writer and support your local mom and pop bookstore, then go to Goodwill or a flea market. A book fair might not be your cup of tea.
     
  5. jdwriter

    jdwriterActive Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Threads:
    25
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    1
    I would have to agree with ACSAPA, local book fairs are not about deals, but they are about supporting the town and the businesses in that town. Unfortunately, in America, we lost idea of supporting local about 20-30 years back and are having to work hard to regain it. I'm all for paying more for something if I know it will benefit a small, local business...and book sales and fairs are perfect for that.
     
  6. dustysmommy2013

    dustysmommy2013Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Threads:
    6
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have never seen a book fair like the one you are describing. The only book fairs I have seen are the ones at schools...and the proceeds don't even go to the school. So no, not worth it. What you describe is an entirely different matter. OF COURSE I would pay full price to get a book signed by someone like Stephen King!

    Now, I have been to book signings but I have never been required to buy a book there. I either bring the ones from home or buy them on Amazon in advance so the author can sign it.
     
  7. ACSAPA

    ACSAPAWell-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Threads:
    52
    Messages:
    3,093
    Likes Received:
    240
    Here's the Wikipedia page for my local book fair called Miami Book Fair International. The guest authors have been major stars from Gloria Steinem to Lemony Snicket AKA Daniel Handler, rock star Iggy Pop, Wally Lamb, Jean Auel, Amy Tan and many more.
    There are also gourmet tasting events by famous cookbook authors that are on Food Network. The whole event takes place in Downtown Miami. It's definitely worth paying full price for the books.

    Please Log In to view this link!



    [​IMG]

    Stephen King was one of the guest authors in 1998. Not sure who the lady is.

    e8372e50468b0fabc6c12b2beaa1f4b7.
     
    #7Aug 7, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
  8. Jessi

    Jessi<a href="http://www.quirkycookery.com">QuirkyCooke

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Threads:
    126
    Messages:
    2,256
    Likes Received:
    78
    No, they definitely aren't worth it!

    Once upon a time, they were a way to discover books that you couldn't get elsewhere....the books your library didn't have or your local bookstore didn't have. But now? We have the internet, if nothing else, and you can find ANYTHING there....not to mention that much of it has gone digital instead of paper books anyway.
     
  9. dustysmommy2013

    dustysmommy2013Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Threads:
    6
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yes, that is completely different than the kind of book fair I was referring to. If I'm willing to guess, it's probably not even what the original poster had in mind. I would love to go to something like what you shared and pay full price to get a book signed by such famous authors.
     
  10. Dora M

    Dora MWell-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
    Threads:
    164
    Messages:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    139
    I like book fairs because I never know what I will find. Here, there is often a second-hand section at fairs, and I have found some real treasures, especially books on arts and crafts that are difficult to get. Generally I don't pay that much attention to the price of a book that I really want or need. But discounts are always nice.
     
  11. jdwriter

    jdwriterActive Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Threads:
    25
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    1
    Our events that have the book fairs internal to them are called "tastes of [the town name]", so it isn't just books, but a lot of other sellers. The best one for books was The Taste of Northampton, which has about 5 indie booksellers still, its excellent. It's not even about finding new authors though, it is about supporting the town.
     
  12. Strykstar

    StrykstarActive Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Threads:
    140
    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    7
    The prices of the books online are always better than on bookfairs by my experience, I honestly now just go to the to give books a quick browse and see if I'm interested.
    If I am, I make a note of it and buy them online when I get home, it might not be fair but that's my only option since bookfaires don't offer discounted prices.
     
  13. ACSAPA

    ACSAPAWell-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Threads:
    52
    Messages:
    3,093
    Likes Received:
    240
    Bargain hunting online for books doesn't support the small businesses in your town. I think a large part of the reason that both of Miami's Books & Books locations are still open is because of the Miami Book Fair International. If everyone decided that they only wanted to pay $5 for a hardcover book on Half.com, all the hometown bookstores would shut down.

    There's a time to be frugal and there's a time to support small businesses. When the book fair is in town, I go support small bookstores.
    I also buy a few comic books at full price on Free Comic Book Day because those stores are giving away free comic books to get people interested in their local small comic book stores.

    Besides, if you're sitting at home shopping on Amazon, you miss the cooking demonstrations and wine tastings hosted by Food Network authors at the Miami Book Fair International.
     
    #13Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  14. Denis Hard

    Denis HardWell-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2013
    Threads:
    991
    Messages:
    4,335
    Likes Received:
    790
    I was once invited to a book fair in Plano, Texas. Circumstances couldn't permit me to attend making me miss my big day because I was to meet authors and their fans . . .

    Book fairs are great mostly for the writers because they at least get to sell some books as opposed to waiting for customers get them as some bookstore. I've been involved in helping around at a book fair so I know from experience that though the prices are the same ones you'd pay at the store, going to a book fair is worth your time and money.
     
  15. Forall

    ForallMember

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Threads:
    2
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    1
    Most people prefer to buy books online these days,
    either for the bigger discounts or to avoid the crowds and the traffic.

    But this is hitting the retail book stores really hard, and I don't know
    if there's a solution to this worldwide problem.
     
  16. sidney

    sidneyWell-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Threads:
    110
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    378
    We used to have book fairs in school, and most of the books and magazines are discounted since some are 2nd hand or old editions of magazines. They also sell other toys and school supplies too. I remember buying from them every year.
     
  17. 003

    003Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Threads:
    174
    Messages:
    1,148
    Likes Received:
    36
    It really depends. I have gone to tons of book fairs, and a lot of them, I was able to get a lot of books worthy to spend time on, and where I get a lot of sensible books. There are also some where my time just got wasted because there are not many books that fit my taste. I think it also depends on which is having a book fair; if the book fair is about the textbooks or if it is about the fiction books. It really depends on the categories. And also, it's always best to keep coming on the fair as in different days, different books are coming out.
     
  18. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2014
    Threads:
    308
    Messages:
    2,880
    Likes Received:
    727
    Book fairs are great to find books you hadn't thought about buying and to meet the authors. You can get discounts if you ask and some would give them away if you are very charming or want to write a review for them.

    I used to work at a book fair, it was a trade one and at the end most people didn't want to ship the books back and used to give them away or leave them for people to take. I used to bring a suitcase to take them home in and it built up my library, but I did give some of them away.
     
  19. xTinx

    xTinxWell-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Threads:
    8
    Messages:
    1,793
    Likes Received:
    191
    I can't say for sure whether book fairs are worth it but sometimes you can get rare or books you thought were already phased out. There are book fairs that tend to display books tagged as "collector items." They also invite renowned authors who either give an inspirational talk or do some book-signing. What's good about book fairs too is that there are times when they sell books for a relatively affordable cost than usual.