We love: The Printers Row Lit Fest
We don't love getting wet while browsing books.
Of the past two years, it has rained TWO of the FOUR days the fair has taken place.
Every year in early June, we head down to the Printers Row book fair to browse endless tables of bargain classics, leaf through ornately bound antiquarian tomes and pick up $1 vintage postcards. When the sun is shining, it’s a lit lover’s dream to linger around the 140 vendor stalls and catch appearances by 200-plus writers such as Dave Eggers and Tracy Letts. But if there’s even a touch of rain, the day is ruined: Vendors scramble to protect their stock—even a few drops of water will turn a full-price book into a discount—while visitors huddle around tables covered in tarps and lonely authors read to nonexistent crowds in nearby tents. So why no contingency plan for lousy weather? “While some events are held inside, the sheer volume of exhibitors, activities, tastings and demos won’t allow for everything to be moved to indoor venues in the event of rain,” says Kate Mersman, communication coordinator for the Chicago Tribune, which sponsors the event. Better bring a poncho.
In the meantime The Newberry Library Book Fair takes place entirely indoors in mid-July. You’ll miss out on all the great author readings Printers Row offers, but consider the old-fashioned public soapboxing at the accompanying Bughouse Square Debates your consolation prize.