Saturday, June 14, 2003

All right, now the rest of Chicago...

Where were we? I have no idea. I'll just start somewhere.

We got to the Catholic Marketing Network show in Rosemont on Wednesday. We parked, marched through a couple of miles of walkway and hallways until we reached the exhibition hall filled with Catholic Stuff.

These trade shows are interesting. They are, of course, the place for publishers and bookstores (and other vendors) to meet and figure out how to sell the Catholic Stuff. The CMN seems more gift-heavy than the show I attended two weeks ago, theRBTE, and it's definitely more "conservative" - no Protestant publishers, only middle-of the road and conservative Catholic publishers (some of whom, like Ignatius or Tan, naturally, don't go to the RBTE, and you won't find Ave Maria or Paulist at the CMN), as well as daily Mass and Perpetual Adoration. I had a nice chat with Matt Pinto, unfortuantely and tragically missed Carl Olson (he was there on Thursday, when I was riding trains around Chicago, but more on that in a minute), met Fr. Andrew Apostoli, and strolled the ever-restless Joseph around and around the exhibit floor as Michael, OSV publisher Greg Erlandson and the owners of a Fort Wayne Catholic bookstore had a long conversation and I wondered exactly why they all had to come to Chicago to have this conversation.

My favorite exhibitor at both the RBTE and CMN was Cornwell Scribeworks which produces "Medieval Art for the Modern Mind." It's lovely, lovely stuff, all hand-made, not a computer in sight, and I really hope you'll take a look at their website.

And what were the hot books, beside the Dubruiel and Welborn titles? I have no idea. Actually, I have a stack of books from RBTE that I have yet to go through, and I'll soon let you know what looks promising.