Apologies and The Tale of the Book Fair

First of all, I want to apologize to you all – I haven’t had time to read any of your wonderful posts yesterday and today, and I feel awful about it. I always do, you know. I feel such a respect and appreciation for all of you who post so faithfully and who make me laugh, think, weep, and smile in turns – and I hate not having the time both to comment and to read your posts for my own pleasure. I do, however, have a good reason for not having had time yesterday and today to catch up.

I’ve had a rush of doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds [stomach and throat – I’m not pregnant or anything!] and errands in the past two days. On top of all that, starting yesterday, June 2, I’ve been working at the Hebrew Book Fair, which has been one of my goals since I was tiny tot.

Now, I don’t want to be too discriminatory, nor too prejudiced, but Israelis are often not the easiest crowd to deal with. This is common knowledge amongst Israelis, too, and as I am one, I’m allowed to say it. But Hebrew Book Week is ten full days in which fairs go up all over the country – fairs dedicated to BOOKS [yeah, I know, why call it a week when it’s ten days? It’s one of the grand mysteries of the world.] If you don’t know already, books are my life in more than one sense. They’ve been calming, comforting presences, friends when I needed them, entertainers when I needed a laugh and teachers when I wanted to learn. I love books. I love their smell, their feel, the crack in the spine when you first start reading a book… I love books.

So finally, this year, I’m working at the biggest of the fairs – the one that goes up right in the center of Tel Aviv – and I’m working for one of the major publishers. I never thought that I’d actually manage to work there, and I’m so glad that I have! I was tiny when I started going to the annual book fair, and I remember the excitement of leaving with bags laden with books [there’s 20% off all books during this time, of course, plus numerous other deals] and reading one of the books right that night. I remember going to the children’s corner to hear storytellers or writers reading their books.

And now I’m there, looking at it all from the other side. It’s an interesting experience, seeing famous Israeli writers or not so famous ones; seeing the way different writers deal with their own books [some, for instance, promote them shamelessly and aggressively. I can’t imagine ever being able to do that with anything I’d create…] ; seeing the different buyers, whether they’re families or couples or friends; meeting the people who work with me who are just as into books as I am… It’s an education, and the time flies.

The fair is in the evenings and into the night. I just managed to get out tonight by fifteen after midnight, and I’m exhausted. This may explain the non-existent eloquence of the post, as well as the not-so-pervading neatness and flow. Forgive me, for I’ve been on my feet for seven hours, and I think my brain might have dripped down meanwhile. Tomorrow, and Saturday, I will have freer days and will finally get back on track with y’all.

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14 thoughts on “Apologies and The Tale of the Book Fair

  1. Erin M says:

    That’s so exciting! Thank you for updating and sharing what you’ve been up to! Wow. Yay books!

    Also I need to take this opportunity to have a fangirl moment: “Oh my gaaaaaawd, Oded Fehr was born in Tel Aviv . . . he is SOOO HAAAWWT! ♥♥♥” . . . . . uhm. Sorry about that. Inner rabid teen briefly unleashed. ^_^’

    On a more serious note, I really hope that everything’s ok with you or that the doctors’ appointments help.

    And I hope you have a really amazing time at the rest of the book fair!

  2. Hadassah says:

    Live life girl…we’ll be here. I’m thrilled for you, please let us know all about it..after you’re finished having fun though..

  3. Enjoy the fair. How often do you get this opportunity. And don’t worry about the eloquence of the post. The eloquence comes from the excitement and happiness that every reader can sense in your words.

  4. It is so great that you are getting to do something that you have always wanted to do. I love books too. We go to this used book store every time we go see my daughter in Nashville (called McKays) and I’m always the last one ready to leave! They ahve to drage me away and I always spend WAY too much money.

    On a serious note…. I hope everything is okay physically and all your tests come back in a good way! You’ll def be in my thoughts and prayers.
    {{{{Emily}}}}

  5. I love book fairs too Ilana. Don’t worry about being busy. We all are at times. I hope all your doctor appointments go well. Keep us informed okay?

    Wanna hear something funny? Years ago, I never cracked the spine of a book when I read it. Yup. It was a goal of mine to see if I could read the whole book without making one. It was sure hard to read some books like that and now I don’t care but they looked so much better to me on a shelf without the cracks in them. Silly me…….

  6. What a fun project to be working on! Best of luck with it.
    And I know exactly what you mean about not having any time. It’s that whole being emplpyed thing and having to work for my money that keeps getting in the way …

  7. Yay for book fairs! It sounds like so much fun. 🙂

    Scholastic (a huge children’s book publisher in the US) used to put on book fairs at all the grade schools when I was a kid, and I LIVED for those three days. Just awesome. I wish they continued stuff like that into college and beyond….

  8. unabridgedgirl says:

    What fun! I am major jealous of you, for sure! I’d be tired, too, though. 🙂

    I hope everything is okay with you, health wise. And everything else wise. Have a lovely weekend!

  9. What a wonderful experience! “I love books. I love their smell, their feel, the crack in the spine when you first start reading a book… I love books.” I couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂

    Hope everything in your world is well.

  10. Don’t apologize for having a life! There are bigger things than the internet! (For some of us, I mean, I have a pretty torrid love affair going with the internet, so… you know.)

    Seriously, though, that’s a freakin’ dream. You’re so lucky! I’ve been settling for applying at Barnes & Noble every 30 days, hoping for the best. XD Make the most of it, and enjoy it!!

  11. Lua says:

    Oh how I envy you! I can’t imagine how amazing it must be to be working at the book fair, I’m sure seeing things from the other side will provide you with lots of stories to tell! 🙂

  12. Wow, this sounds like a dream! Ten days of authors and books – and some of the best people-watching you can imagine. And what an exciting accomplishment for you, to work at the fair you loved as a girl. Kudos!

    Look forward to hearing more about it when you recover!

  13. J. W. says:

    That’s funny, I just came across another lit-blogger who’s writing about the israeli book fair, but from the reader/buyer perspective. The blog’s name is “Ars Prosa”, might be up you alley.

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