What will become of the bound book in the age of Kindles and Nooks? Will pages disappear alongside the scroll and clay tablets? If the citizens behind the Austin Book Arts Fair have anything to say about it, the answer is a defiant, printed and bound, “No!”
This weekend, the Austin Book Arts Fair will celebrate one of mankind’s greatest inventions: the humble book. Taking place on the beautiful grounds of the Villa at Laguna Gloria, owned and operated by the Austin Museum of Art, the Austin Book Workers promote books and book arts throughout Central Texas. This is the perfect event for children and adults who believe in the power of books to transform and enrich life.
This Austin book fair is free, and you’ll find many fun demonstrations and events for you to enjoy. You will engage in the process of making books, from creating your own paper to binding seams. In addition, you’ll try your hand at calligraphy, enjoy leather working and hear a great deal of storytelling. Basically, the Austin Book Arts fair is a blend of history, craftiness and art that takes place within a community of book lovers from all walks of life.
Kids will definitely have a blast at this event. From moment one, they’ll have opportunities to interact hands-on with bookmaking. Two fun opportunities stand out in particular for young-ins. First, kids and adults will have the opportunity to create their own miniature books, complete with personalized pages, printed words and bound covers. So if you have any miniature hands in your house to keep occupied, bring ’em down.
My second favorite facet of the event is the book hospital, where children can bring in damaged books to be repaired. After all, there are few things in life more sorrowful than throwing away a long-owned book because it fell apart.
The Austin Book Workers are a highly-skilled, passionate and creative group of people. Spend some time with them and you’ll be sure to learn something and enjoy yourself. They are a group of diverse writers, bookmakers, collectors, calligraphers, students, artists, and people who just love books.
Celebrate books at the Austin Book Arts Fair this Sunday, at 3809 W. 35th St., Austin, TX, 78763. Also, check out The Austin Book Workers’ website for more details.
What is your favorite book?
Photos courtesy of Jerome Collins and Emmanuelle Bourgue.