Vancouver Art Book Fair once again embraces the written word on October 14 and 15

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      Kindles, tablets, and smartphones are great, but there’s still something to be said about the weighty, tangible nature of novels, journals, and a stunningly crafted coffee-table tome.

      Plus, with self-publishing becoming increasingly popular among the digitally inclined, there seems to be a beautifully art-directed indie magazine catering to even the wildest and most obscure of niches these days. (Seriously, just check out your closest Chapters or, if you’re lucky, your friendly neighbourhood independent book store.)

      These one-of-a-kind print materials are only some of the items you can expect to see at the sixth annual Vancouver Art Book Fair, which returns to the Vancouver Art Gallery (750 Hornby Street) on October 14 and 15. Billed as Canada’s longest running international art-book sale, the event will span the venue’s entire three floors where hundreds of artists and publishers will be hawking all sorts of books, magazines, zines and other printed collectibles like art, photography, pins, and notebooks.

      Visitors will also be able to explore a number of artist projects’ spaces and reading rooms; listen in on various talks and artist discussions; and experience “digital, performative, and other experimental forms of publication”. In addition to works by up-and-coming and established writers, publishers, and editors, recognized names such as literary magazine Geist and local indie mag SAD will be onsite. (Click here to see the full list of exhibitors.)

      Attendance to the fair is free. The first 500 visitors on each day will receive a complimentary limited-edition VABF tote bag.

      Founded in 2012 and organized by the nonprofit collective of the same name, VABF shines a spotlight on printed matter produced by a diverse set of local, national, and international artists and publishers. The fair is the culmination of Artists’ Books Week—also hosted by the volunteer-run VABF—which presents a number of talks by artists, curators, publishers, and others about the enduring medium of print.

      The Vancouver Art Book Fair takes place on October 14 and 15, from 12 to 6 p.m., at the Vancouver Art Gallery. See event listing for details.