Of Typewriters and Tote-Bags: A Brooklyn Book Festival Retrospective

As first-time vendors at this years Brooklyn Book Festival, we didn’t quite know what to

Borough President, Marty Markowitz, not telling Armchair/Shotgun to pack it in.

expect. Would the day drag by, each minute a painful struggle to lock eyes with passing strangers in order to entice them to come to check out our table? Would the heavens open up, rain pouring down to destroy our magazines, our hand-printed t-shirts and tote-bags, our HAIR? Would Marty Markowitz walk by, frown, and say “Armchair/Shotgun? Who invited them?”

Thankfully, the answer was, “No.” 

Two weeks post-festival we are still amazed at how much fun the whole experience was. Partly, because of the weather — it was a stunningly beautiful day with not a drop of rain to be had. Our magazines (and totes) were safe. But more than anything, the day was amazing because of all of the interesting and interested people that we had the pleasure of meeting.  Of course there were panels and events happening all day — we know because we saw them happening all around us — but really, who has time for panels with insightful, well-respected authors when you can talk all day with awesome Brooklynites about screen printing, small run printing and the merits of the submissions slush pile?

A huge THANK YOU from Armchair/Shotgun to all those who stopped by to chat, peruse, purchase, sign mailing lists, and type…

In traditional Armchair/Shotgun style, our table was anchored at both ends by typewriters, providing delight to passerbys of all ages.

The range of reactions — “I wrote my thesis on one of these,” “I haven’t seen one of these in years (or ever),” “I want a typewriter for Christmas!” — was varied and heartwarming. The most touching sights were parents showing their kids how to use these ancient machines.

  • Some folks went the traditional route:

  • Others professed love:

  • Others, existence:

  • Sheer delight:

Couldn’t have said it better ourselves. See you next year!

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