Thursday, July 27, 2006

Where did June Go?

Summer is slipping by much too fast for me. And it's been a while since I've blogged. Yikes. First, let me report about the Harlem Book Fair. Such a dark and gloomy day with "intermittent" deluges! I popped about in two places. I joined my publisher's booth for signing and free giveaways of my book. I was happy to see people accepted them, even though they looked at me warily. Like, there had to be a catch!

That went fine, and then I popped back to join my Harlem Writers Guild
set. Confusion, confusion, everywhere, and not one drop to drink. Book vendors were playing musical chairs. A vendor had taken over our booth--I was afraid blows would be exchanged by some of our more passionate members. Me, I was repeating, "Can't we all just get along?" while I watched people with foam on their mouths.

The end result? We shared a booth, which I suggested in the beginning but no one listened to me. The staff of Harlem Book Fair couldn't resolve it because they had given the nestors permission to nest in our paid-for area. I don't want to resort to the old--mah peoples, mah peoples, but there were aspects of coordinating and organization that sorely needed more attention. You would think after seven years they would get it together. The good news? Thousands of African-American brothers and sisters (and others) visited 135th Street between 5th-7th Avenues to a plethora of book vendors. I personally passed out about 500 postcards and sold quite a few books. It has quite a carnivale atmosphere, but there were books on sale of all kinds.

The Harlem Writers Guild now is a participating publisher through I-Universe, and several of the members had their books published and ready for sale that day. People came in droves--although I suspect during the latter part of the day the "illiterates" came. I even got--"Who me? Naw, I don't read." I just blessed them and wondered why they even came. I don't want to stereotype and say it was the younger crowd out cruising cuz there were some old dudes and dames who came to eat? for the music? and because they were curious, I guess.
It is quite something though, to see that many black people foraging for books. Remarkable. Love it.



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