International Book Fair of the Palacio de Minería 2024

Feria de Minería 2024

The ancient Palacio de Minería is an architectural marvel from the early 19th century with a neoclassical style, refined for its time and imposing today. Walking through it on a Friday afternoon is a stroll that can be very enjoyable if one is open to perceiving and observing every corner. And that’s what happens to me, as I try to observe as much as I can while my coworkers go from booth to booth looking for books with such precision and urgency that I can’t keep up with them and get lost in the crowd. Because this, besides being an emblematic building of the Historic Center, is also the venue for the renowned International Book Fair of the Palacio de Minería.

A few days ago, I was walking through these streets and saw that they had set up some booths that, at that moment, I ignored, which would serve as ticket booths for entry to the Minería Book Fair in its 45th year. With a cost of $20 (pesos) on weekdays and $25 (pesos) on weekends, one can access the fair. All of this is organized by UNAM, through the Faculty of Engineering, with the state of Sinaloa as a guest. Efforts were made to provide signage to locate the publishers, but also for civil protection measures, handing out flyers that guide what to do in the event of earthquakes or fires; as well as making it accessible by providing ramps for people with wheelchairs. This event lasts for 2 weeks, which is quite logical and prudent considering all the activities it offers: workshops, conferences, book presentations, talks, readings aloud, and youth sessions.

Exploring the fair thoroughly and attentively in just one day seems like an endless task, just as it is impossible to participate in everything it offers. Distributed over several floors of the palace, in this venue, there are books for everyone and on many topics. Among the mazes that the booths become, arranged one after the other, I was pleasantly surprised to find some books that had been pending on my list at a slightly lower price than usual. It is gratifying to find such a variety of topics and so many titles, like at the Nirvana Ediciones booth, where I found some imported titles that I thought I could never get. Similarly, I discovered other publishers that fascinated me with their content; like Ediciones Tecolote, which has a collection of illustrated books designed for children but can also be enjoyed by adults, as they are inspired by texts by Neruda, Saramago, and Galeano.

Among many booths, the one that caught my attention especially was the Faculty of Art and Design, UNAM, which specializes in creating alternative books. What makes this publisher stand out is that its books are characterized by unique textures, shapes, and reliefs, and are the product of the work of students and teachers of the FAD. “Agua de Tabasco” is the creation of Elsa Madrigal, one of the exhibitors, who explains that her book tries to evoke water in all its facets: rivers, rain, lakes, seas. It is a voluminous copy, with a cost of $20,000 (pesos), which is understandable considering that it is a unique copy, painted with ink and hand-bound.

This fair is one of the most important not only in the country but also in Latin America, and although it leans towards the traditional standards of what a book fair is, it is no less interesting for that. There is so much to explore that you don’t know where to look first. Attending this type of event always leaves an interesting experience, especially if done accompanied, as it will be inevitable to find something to discuss upon leaving. But even more so, it will be difficult to leave without having found a title that you want to take home.

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