Guadalajara International Book Fair 2017 – Notes from Book Shepherd Wendy

Over 700 authors participated in this year’s Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL-Feria Internacional del Libro), considered the second largest book fair in the world following the world’s oldest literary gathering, the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Honored authors were Paul Auster of the U.S. (nominated for this year’s Booker Prize), and French born social justice journalist and author Elena Poniatowska of Mexico, now 88 years old but looking 50-60 years young.

French author and filmmaker Emmanuel Carrere received this year’s Premio FIL de Literature en Lenguas Romances (Literary Prize for Romance Languages), Latin America’s most important literary prize worth $150,000 USD.

Chilean author and actress Nona Fernandez won the Premio de Literatura Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz for her novel set during the Pinochet dictatorship which, according to the jury, expressed “emotions of an entire nation with respect to a dark and shameful past.”

I attended the FIL to view non-fiction Body/Mind/Spirit and wellness books, the area I devote myself to as a book shepherd. Again this year I represented Spanish language book rights for authors and met with various publishing houses.

Here below is a quick view of some stands and titles I saw for my work…

Yoga books from Prana (Lectorum), Mexico City

Yoga books from Prana (Lectorum) Mexico City

Nirvana Libros mindfulness titles

Nirvana Libros mindfulness titles

Ediciones Urano wellness titles

Ediciones Urano wellness titles

Dr. Paul Kalanthi’s poetic and memorable When Breath Becomes Air got a bashing when its Spanish title became The Good Doctor with a cover that doesn’t seem to match its sensitive and meaningful content.  Both title and cover are examples of cultural differences showing how much I have yet to learn. ?#@!!! See the Spanish version below which was well featured during the FIL.

The Spanish version of When Breath Becomes Air

The Spanish-language version of the NY Times best seller When Breath Becomes Air

I was pleased to see Zen Hospice founder Frank Osteseski’s The Five Invitations, a healing Buddhist approach to death and dying published by Oceano.

Oceano featured Ostaseski's The Five Invitationss

Oceano featured Ostaseski’s The Five Invitations

Wendy Jane Carrel at Oceano stand meeting with Editorial Coordinator Guadalupe Ordaz

Wendy Jane Carrel at Oceano stand meeting with Editorial Coordinator Guadalupe Ordaz

The fair took place Saturday, November 25 thru December 3.  The nine days will included more than 750,000 visitors (several days are open to the public at minimal cost), 1,900 publishing houses from 41 countries, and 700+ hours of cultural programming.  This year’s honored guest was the City of Madrid with exhibits and activities sharing its art, cinema, literature, music.

See http://www.fil.com,mx  or https://www.fil.com.mx/ingles/i_info/i_info_fil.asp   The FIL is held at the Guadalajara Expo.

 

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Amazon Opens Brick & Mortar Bookstore in Los Angeles; Bodhi Tree LA On-Line Instead

Amazon.com opened its first brick & mortar store at Century City’s Westfield Mall in Los Angeles on October 3, 2017. The over 5,000 square foot wood-floored space is at 10250 Santa Monica Blvd. Tel. (310)734-5949  Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

I managed to visit the store October 7 to scout for psychology and social science books as comps for a book I am shepherding that will be published in late spring 2018.

Amazon bookstore Century City, Los Angeles

Amazon bookstore Century City, Los Angeles

It was quiet for a Saturday. Young guides asked if it was my first visit and then prompted me to use an Amazon.com app to identify book prices as no costs are marked.

New books were promoted  beside long-time best sellers in spaces organized by genre – fiction, psychology, etc.

Once you’ve chosen your merchandise – books, cards, coloring books, knickknacks, you proceed to the cashier.

Check-out line Amazon Books, Century City

Check-out line Amazon Books, Century City

I have only been to the Century City store once. I find I’m still ordering from Amazon on-line even if I have to pay for postage.

Note: Amazon recently hired Steve Kessel as VP in charge of all brick and mortar operations including Amazon Books, Whole Foods, etc. with the goal of re-inventing how customers shop in stores.  Let’s see how this will evolve in a space currently without much eye candy.  Or do we absolutely have to have eye candy and more choices?!!

I still miss my all-time favorite LA bookstore, the Bodhi Tree, formerly housed on Melrose Avenue. It closed five years ago.

The Bodhi Tree first opened in 1970 and quickly became a haven for spiritual seekers. Over the years it hosted well-known writers and thought leaders from the Body/Mind/Spirit world.

The new venture, incubating since the store closure, is completely on-line with new and antiquarian books.  The experience is not quite the same without incense burning and hot cinnamon tea to sip. But let’s see how this will evolve. Every new invention requires time.

The on-line store also offers sacred Buddhist and Hindu treasures for the home, wellness beauty products, and healing items. You can find the metaphysical mercantile at http://www.BodhiTree.com  or by writing  hello@bodhitree.com.