Sunday, November 18, 2007

Book Weekend Update

My apologies for not posting more regular dispatches from the front this weekend, but better late than never, right?

Things got started on Friday night with the Big Show; we got there just after opening (so we wouldn't have to wait in line) and I was there until close at 9. The crowd was impressive, and for a while it was tricky to browse in some booths. The stock was great, some really interesting little items scattered throughout.

Bill Reese had some of the great New England history high spots and a first edition of The Power of Sympathy, generally considered the "first" American novel (and a bit out of my price range at $10,000); one of the science dealers had a case of fake eyeballs that were quite an attraction. A gorgeous five-volume English translation of Bayle's Dictionary also caught my eye (but again, slightly out of reach). Oh well, it's fun to look.

Friday tends to be the browse/chat night so it was nice to walk around and talk with the dealers and the other fair-goers. I made a small purchase; the Brattle had Barry Moser Bibles for $20 so I grabbed one of those (I gave one as a gift last Christmas and liked it so much I almost couldn't part with it). I've got my eye on a couple other things but we'll see if they're still there this afternoon.

Yesterday morning (Saturday) I headed out to the Radisson show at 9, joining the throng of book dealers waiting to get through the doors when they opened. The space was a little cramped there during the first rush, but I took my time and browsed through pretty carefully. Again, some good things, but also quite a bit of stuff that didn't seem show-worthy. Ian's booth (which he's blogged about, with some pics) looked amazing, and I was glad to have a few minutes to chat with him. A new outfit I'm really impressed by is Robert McDowell Antiquarian Books out of Concord - he had some really neat items.

I had a break for lunch and then headed off to the Hynes again, where I circulated until 2:30 (spending some time with the good folks from the Ticknor Society, discussing career-related-things with Terry Belanger from Rare Book School and doing a bit more browsing). From 2:30-5 I manned the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section table over in Cultural Row, answering questions and distributing pamphlets.

Today it's off to the Skinner sale in a little while to watch the first few lots sell, then I'll go back to the fair for the afternoon. Tim and Abby from LT are going to be there today so I'll try to run into them and finish up the visiting (and we'll see if the books I've been watching are still there waiting for me).

You've still got time to hit the fair - 12-5 today, so come by and enjoy the atmosphere. I'll do a full wrap later and finish up this weekend's links and reviews.

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