Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ann Arbor Book Festival 2015

June 17th through the 20th was the annual Ann Arbor Book Festival! Or, as we like to call it (or write it, because it's shorter), AABF. I worked only the street fair this year, not both the writers conference and the street fair like I did last year, when Crazy Wisdom was given a Leader in the Literary Arts Award (LILA). 

Though it started off raining this year, I much preferred the cooler weather to last year's 5ish hours in direct sunlight. I was so exhausted and red by the end of the day, even with my sunscreen. This year, we were given tents, a true blessing. Sharing my tent with me was a nifty lady named Wendy painting faces for a modest fee. She did mine for free because she is cool like that, and we were spending the entire day together. A few folks associated with both the festival and Crazy Wisdom also had their faces painted because we're cool like that.

One of the new additions this year was thought up by our clever manager Rachel: Make a Date With a Bookstore! Twelve independent bookstores from Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti participated. The idea was (sorry, it's over now - maybe next year you can participate), you pick up a game card from one of the participating locations, buy something, and get a sticker on your card. Visit the other stores and receive a sticker from them along with your purchase. Not only do you get the thrill of the game, but you get to check out the local bookstores!

I was familiar with all of the Ann Arbor locations, though I still haven't been to all of them. (Bookbound, I promise, I'll make a date soon to get together. I've heard nothing but good things. And I've enjoyed our time at the street fairs together!) I am really happy that Vault of Midnight was included. Comics are books, too!

It turns out Ypsilanti has only one independent bookstore, Black Stone Bookstore & Cultural Center. It's located right downtown, which means it is within walking distance of my new house. I actually drove by last week, but didn't have time to stop because I was on my way to work. I heard that although it is a small space (like much of downtown Ypsi), they make great use of it with clever displays and less cumbersome shelves. From their pictures on Facebook, it looks like much of their shelves accommodate face-outs (books that are displayed with their covers showing rather than their spines), which is pretty much a booksellers dream since people respond to covers much more than spines. (Pro-tip to bookmakers: design colorful and interesting spines with bold, easy to read titles. People will notice them more.) I can't wait to check them out! When is my next day off? 

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