Lost scripts, rare editions and serials at Santiago’s used-book fair

By Emily McHugh
Published On : Mon, Feb 3rd, 2014

Photo essay: Avid collectors and students rummage through towers of second-hand books and magazines at the Fería de Libros Usados.

Lost scripts, rare editions and serials at Santiago’s used-book fair

More than 40 used-book vendors have packed up shop and made the annual pilgrimage to the Universidad Mayor’s beautiful art campus for the 22nd rendition of the city’s Fería de Libros Usados.

Collector editions indiscriminately intermixed with castaway serial novels — thousands of books fill the art campus, drawing book enthusiasts from all over the city to mill lazily through the jumbled stacks.

Sleeping Vendor

Given the nation’s high tax on new books, the fair comes as a relief to readers who relish the chance to stock up on books without the high costs.

Even more than providing a haven for readers, the book fair brings Santiago’s used-book vendors together, swapping wares for two weeks that, in the words of local book vendor Marcel Rodriguez, “makes for a lot of fun.”

Lost scripts, rare editions and serials at Santiago’s used-book fair

Among the precarious stacks, determined customers can find all manner of the peculiar, from discounted bestsellers to magazines from the turn-of-the-century to a rare edition classic.

theater students

Angela Gomez, a theater student at Universidad Mayor, told The Santiago Times she’s been going to the fair every year since she started school.

“The fair is a great way to find old scripts — the ones nobody is using or performing any more — I’ve found some great plays at the fair before that I never would have read otherwise.”

picture of the plaza

In the central open-air plaza, successful customers have a chance to relax, grab a cup of coffee and start turning the pages on their finds.

Vendors will keep shop at this year’s fair, which runs until Feb. 9 at 711 Santo Domingo in Santiago.

Vendor leaning over staircase

Article & photos by Emily McHugh (mchugh@santiagotimes.cl)
Copyright 2014 – The Santiago Times

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