Printers Row Book Fair

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Saturday, June 9, 2007

Printer's Row Book Fair
I started Saturday off by heading to downtown south loop for the annual Printer's Row Book Fair.  The Printer's Row section of South Loop in the past was an area of Chicago that housed printing and publishing companies.  Over the years the area feel to decay and urban blight, but recently has seen a change.  New housing and business have turned the south loop and printers row into a lively extension of downtown.  In a tribute to its past, the Printer's Row section of Chicago hosts a book fair that runs down Dearborn starting at Congress Parkway and stretching down to historic Dearborn station on Polk St.

The book fair consists of row after row of white tents each housing a different book store or author from Chicago and the surrounding area.  I was able to find everything from rare books to recent best sellers.  The whole book fair atmosphere reminded me of the book fairs my elementary school used to host.  The teachers would walk all the kids to the Gymnasium and we would hover around 2 tables filled with books.  I remember the excitement that "book fair days" would create.  The Printer's Row book fair is similar, except instead of 2 have your pick of over 3 blocks of tables.

I was able to pick up 4 great books for just under 25 dollars.  The first book that I bought was from a local publishing company, Lakeside Press.  The book, Excursion Through America, is a journal account of Nicolaus Mohr.  The book documents his journey across the country in celebration of the completion of a rail line from the east coast to the west coast of Oregon in 1883.   I think the book fits well into the whole travel theme and gives some interesting insight of what traveling along rail lines was like in the 1800's. 

The second book is a locals guide to Chicago titled, Not For Tourists.  The book gives insight and advice on well known...and not so well known establishments throughout Chicago.  The third book I picked up was by my favorite author Elmore Leonard.  If anyone has ever tried to write dialogue that sounds real and genuine, you will quickly realize why Leonard is a literary genius.  The book is a collection of stories The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard.  The 4th and final book is about Bob Dylan called Chronicles volume 1.  I have been wanting to read this book for a while now.  And at 5 dollars...the price can't be beat.
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