(Flyer by Nikholis Planck)

This is officially the season where all these people who describe themselves as your friends keep calling (on the actual phone, wtf), beckoning you to join them for some really screwed up stuff like BBQs and Beach Bus Excursions. Whatever happened to text messages? Hiding in your apartment for days on end? Unfortunately during summer, such creature comforts are regarded as anti-social, perhaps even dangerous. But if you can make it to these two events, we promise you’ll have a whole heap of excuses to avoid person-on-person contact for the next few months or perhaps even longer, plenty of time for your friends to wrap up their molly bender and quit being so creepy. Reading materials will save you yet.

First up is the Bushwick Art Book and Zine Fair, now in its third year. The fest — hosted by Signal Gallery running Friday, July 10 through Sunday, July 12 — welcomes over 30 zine makers, small-time publishers, as well as independent artists and book makers of all kinds, really. Most everyone is a local yokel too, so consider this a family affair.

But a party wouldn’t be a party without some out-of-town guests, the funnier the accent the better. The organizers of BABZ Fair, Blonde Art Books, have taken note, and turns out we’re not the only ones all up on Detroit’s art scene these days either. They’ve also been, ha, reading up on Detroit artists. The co-founder of Detroit-based bookstore and small press DittoDitto will bring a small selection of art books, chap books, and other bitty publications to the fest, all made by Detroit artists and writers.

As for book makers repping the home team, just to name a few: Birds LLC (crafters of some seriously attractive publications guaranteed to turn on any book lover), Ugly Duckling Presse (the grandfathers of the Brooklyn small press scene), and Paper Cut Press (a lil’ publisher born in Bushwick back in 2011) will all be participating.

The cool thing about BABZ Fair, though, is the diversity of its programming. That’s right, the weekend won’t consist solely of attempting to appease the curmudgeonly writers grumbling behind their book tables. Of course there will be plenty of readings from folks like Ana Božičević, author of Rise in the Fall an award-winning poetry book published by Birds LLC.

But participants will also be dabbling in some non-traditional forms of reading including a dance-poetry fusion performed by Katie Gaydos to poems written by her sister, Rebecca Gaydos. There’s even going to be standup and something called a “sonic euphoric set.” Hm. We’re guessing that won’t be boring.

A preview of what Paper Cut Press will have on offer (Photo via Paper Cut Press Facebook)

A preview of what Paper Cut Press will have on offer (Photo via Paper Cut Press Facebook)

While BABZ Fair is more about the programming, Brooklyn Small Press Flea, being a more traditional market situation, will have plenty of tables crammed with small press books, zines, chapbooks, and more. This is definitely one for the book fetishists out there. BOMB Magazine organizes this yearly affair, which has only grown in size while Big Publishing has been on the wane– great freaking news for small presses. In fact the organizers had to turn away some indie press latecomers due to lack of space. Books aren’t dead, yay!

Readers can browse offerings from 30 small presses at an outdoor market next to the Brooklyn Public Library. The book makers come from all over Brooklyn and beyond, and include Futurepoem, The New Inquiry, and Wonder.

Bushwick Art Book and Zine Fair will be held at Signal Gallery, 260 Johnson Ave., Friday, July 10 (preview and reception, 7 pm – 10 pm), Saturday, July 11, and Sunday, July 12 (1 pm to 7 pm).

Brooklyn Small Press Flea will be held at Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Saturday, August 1 (10 am – 4 pm).