This year, the Fluxible bookstore will be offering a captivating mishmash of titles that span user experience disciplines, interests, and expertise levels. Here, visitors can expect to find everything from UX standards such as Fluxible alumni Steve Portigal’s Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights, to books by speakers including Content Strategy at Work by Margot Bloomstein, and Peter Morville’s Planning for Everything. But outside of their obvious connection to the UX industry, these offerings all have something else in common: they’re intended to extend the adventure of the festival past the conference, adding another level to the experience.
Sourcing for the bookstore this year has come with a mission. “It’s about thinking about innovative ways people connect to the books that are related to talks. Some might be practical, others more fun and creative,” explains Bookstore Wrangler Curtis VanderGriendt, who is heading up the bookstore for the fourth time. “We always do whatever we can to showcase speakers that are also authors, so attendees can grab a book from someone they just heard speak.” VanderGriendt’s background in UX is what drew him to volunteer with the festival, “I had intended to be a general volunteer, pitching in where I can, but then the idea of having a bookstore came up and I’ve been organizing it since.” The opportunity to feature works from festival performers appealed to him. “The focus of the store is to give people the opportunity to walk away and continue the experience, immersing themselves in some aspect they discovered or want to know more about,” he says.
There’s a synergy to the conference bookstore format, where titles that sell well often have alignment with the presentations. “That’s not exactly by coincidence,” VanderGriendt comments,“the latest industry trends in books often appear in the content of the talks. We see that cross-pollination in the books people are picking up at the conference, the presentations, and talks around the table.” For VanderGriendt, often conversations on the floor transform into an informal reading list, with attendees contributing back and forth, providing suggestions to add to both the bookstore’s recommendations and his personal must-read list.
With plenty of reading material in stock and at the ready, VanderGriendt is hoping the experience of the bookstore mirrors that of the festival, which he describes as “an atmosphere of like-minded people who are looking to be challenged and inspired, but also have a great time.”
The bookstore will be on-site at The CIGI Auditorium, 67 Erb Street West, in Waterloo and will be open throughout the conference, September 22-23, 2018.