In today’s world of closures for independent book retailers and libraries, the thrill of handling the broken spines and discoloured pages of hidden book gems from the dusty corners of bookshelves is threatening to become a pleasure only of the past. However, now York National Book Fair, the largest rare and antiquarian book fair in Britain, is seeking to give people to chance to discover the books no one knew existed whilst re-establishing the connection between the material nature of the book and the act of reading as an expressive medium.
In order to effect a re-engagement with the printed word, York National Book Fair is welcoming a very special flat-pack guest to their literary festivities next month as the portable reading room rolls into town. A very modern and edgy take on the mobile library, the portable reading room, the brain-child of Simon Lewandowski and Christopher Taylor of Leeds University, is an easy-assembly mobile bookshop, gallery and project space.
An intriguing social sculpture, the portable reading room hopes to encourage reading fans to interact and share stories, literary passions and recommendations in this unique space, in essence, “putting themselves into” the print. This reading haven also offers you the chance to relax and indulge in some little known book-sized treats from Wild Pansy Press, a collective art practice and small publishing house in Leeds, as well as other participating artists and imprints.
To add an interactive and 3D skew to the portable reading room’s offerings, a series of performances, readings and loosely book-related art production will also take place to satisfy your literary longings in both a physical and aural sense.
To delve into this unique and exciting book mine, visit the York National Book Fair at the Knavesmire Suite on York Racecourse on 14 and 15 September 2012. Here the portable reading room will join around 200 of Britain’s leading booksellers as they offer a breathtaking range of books, maps & prints, ranging in price from just a few pounds up to a small fortune.