2004 06 05 Book Fair


While Jen spent the day hiking 26 miles through the streets of Chicago doing the Avon Walk for Cancer, I spent the day with my brother at the Chicago Printer’s Row Book Fair. Five blocks of booksellers, food, and live readings. It was amazing to see the streets packed with folks with that much interest in reading.

We got to see Chuck Palahniuk perform ‘Guts’. Only three people fainted during the reading, bringing the total on his reading tour up to 43 people who have passed out during the performance. The paramedics came and took them away. It was quite a visceral experience. Chuck was giving out coupons to folks who asked questions during the Q&A session to receive gifts from him in the mail He really seems to make an honest attempt to connect to his readers rather than just pimping his books.

After walking around a bit, we tried to catch David Eggers. I’ve been a fan of his writing for the last few years. His McSweeney’s publications has brought attention to quite a number of interesting authors. The place was packed and bursting with heat. We ended up bailing and walked around a bit. I managed to add another book to my Richard Yates collection (A Good School) and nearly completed my T. Coraghessan Boyle collection (If the River Was Whiskey and Budding Prospects) for $5 each.

We also managed to meet briefly with John McNally, but didn’t stick around for the panel. It had been a long day of books and far too much food. The day of food savagery concluded with Gino’s East and a White Sox game.

Jen successfully completely the first round of the walk, all the way from Soldier’s Field to a park near our apartment. She was a bit shaky, but sounded better after I left. Tomorrow is another 14 miles, and after that, lots of sleep. It was pretty impressive to be around all these folks who contributed so much time and effort to a cause. I believe they raised something like 6 million dollars for breast cancer research and support.

Quite a wonderful day. It’s fantastic to be living so close to the city, so many opportunities that I’ve been looking forward to enjoying. I still get excited just seeing that amazing skyline coming into view through the windshield.