For the first time, Montreal-based book distributor Kersplebedeb Publishing and Distribution has brought their left-wing books and magazines to a university.
“There has been an enthusiastic response from people to the books. When you’re in a place [where] there isn’t a radical or left-wing bookstore, people are often really happy to have access to the material,” said Kay Kersplebedeb, the distributor’s founder.
Kersplebedeb said his company publishes material that provides useful ideas. His mission is to help circulate material against various forms of oppression.
He added that it’s essential for students to examine the content of these books to further their knowledge about the state of the world.
“We’re living in times where things change very quickly and we’ve seen movements arise based on excluding people, being scared of others or putting ourselves down,” said Kersplebedeb.
The book fair took place at the University of New Brunswick on Sept.10. Kersplebedeb said it was a convinient stop halfway between his last date in Halifax and Montreal. He approached UNB about the fair, explaining he would have a lot of feminist and queer literature
“We find that students at many campuses are interested in reading books like this, but unfortunately, they tend to be put out by smaller presses and aren’t widely available,” said Kersplebedeb.
“Many of the books, you have to order from the United States and shipping comes out to be more expensive than the book itself.”
Kersplebedeb said they plan to host more book fairs at universities in the future.
In the past, Kersplebedeb Publishing has attended book fairs in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
At the fair, students could browse and purchase titles ranging from Understanding Jim Crow and A Queer and Pleasant Danger to comic books about the anti-capitalist resistance. He said students have shown interest in various topics their books cover.
“The advantage of having them here is that they are all books of a particular variety [arranged] in one place, so they can add context to each other in a sense.”
Kersplebedeb said Jailbreak Out of History: The Re-Biography of Harriet Tubman by Butch Lee is one of his favourite books from the collection.
“It’s a nice example of being able to take a piece of history that many people think they’re familiar with and examine how many aspects tend to be covered up,“ said Kersplebedeb.
“The books acknowledge the fact that the world is in crisis and basically say, there are problems in our society, and they can be fixed.”