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Fantastic creatures from the Book Fair

From 9 to 13 May, Turin becomes the capital of the book, attraction for the fantastic creatures of the publishing industry


Publishing is a fantastic world, where rules of engagement and relations between parties deserve a specific ethology treatise. If you were to shoot a documentary, the Turin Book Fair would be the ideal location: which species of homo aeditorialis are roaming the book fair? How do they behave?

The octogenarian publisher

Physiognomically an improbable chimera between the thin face of Corrado Augias and the long white hair of Vittorio Feltri. He’s been running an independent publishing house for over 40 years, specializing in nonfiction, that turns you into an enigmatic type, like if you have it in a bookstore. He flirted with politics in the Nineties (for gallantry he will never tell you the color of his party love), he spends time at the stand with his sessantottini comrades, commenting on the day edition of the Corriere and complaining about how better the Salone was the previous year. Outfit: velvet jacket with patches on the elbows, red scarf despite the extraordinary 30 degrees Turin and the inaccurate beige Saucony feet.

The alternative reader

Tactical mullet, oversize jacket, baggy jeans and off-white Superga; all strictly vintage. The unmissable shopper Sta rottura de cojoni dei fascisti: is the potential buyer of the octogenarian publisher. In front of a spritz with friends, for him the Salone is too mainstream, better the events of the Salone Off, the series of Turin presentations that anticipate the SalTo. But he succumbed, only for a day, to the charm of the forbidden for an autograph of Zerocalcare, his only roman empire. The description of the ideal purchase was made already in a movie, Tre uomini e una gamba: "Minimalist Polish brick of writer died suicidal very young, sold copies: 2".

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Un post condiviso da Zerocalcare Fan Club (@zerocalcarefc)

The patient strategist

For him, the Salone is like a Napoleonic campaign: he obtains a preview of the map, studies the program to optimize the time and to arrive first at each conference. He will be on the run for friends and family from 9 to 13 May but, equipped for five days with the gift of ubiquity, you can find him at every queue and sign copies. How to recognize it? Pass proudly around the neck, shopping trolley and sherpa backpack with everything you need, mindful of the old saying scout, "there is no good or bad weather but good or bad equipment". Legend has it that you carry a sleeping bag, in case you need to camp for more than a day to hear the conference of Alessandro Barbero.

The press office

Grind miles between the five pavilions to shake hands, see people, give interviews. Professional deontology does not allow you to wear anything other than a shirt, strictly with rolled up sleeves, or a fluttering light dress. Airpods as a natural extension of the ears and phone that rings continuously complete the whole: he can’t wait for the fair to end.

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Un post condiviso da Salone del Libro (@salonelibro)

The officer at sea

Enlisted in the Navy, he just finished the academy but has already lost his bearings. As a good soldier he never abandons his position, even if he would like to go and listen to Gianni Morandi in dialogue with Luciana Littizzetto: he looks around confused, sometimes he adjusts his uniform. The stands of the Armed Forces are the real out (context) Salon: which they spot with books is the mystery of each edition.

Which one did you see?



Illustration by Gloria Dozio - Acrimònia Studios