Feb 182013

Well, just finished packing out from a great fair in SanFran. Found a few good things to buy…sold some interesting things. Notably I sold the biggest thing in the book (Mazur’s Inferno) *and* it was carried away! This last bit was *huge* as I had picked up a number of additional things at CODEX and the missing Mazur made a huge difference while packing.

Staying with Suzanne’s classmate was great fun…nice visit for a few day and then they left for the weekend, so I’ve the run of this lovely apartment all to myself. As bookfair lodging goes, it would be hard to beat…

I wrapped up the fair in a reasonably surreal discussion/theatre of the absurd performance art piece with My New Best Friend. I spent the final hour of the fair discussing debauched books, printing, and alternative uses for Amazing Tape (or, really, the original uses for AT…). It was a book fair discussing against which future such discussions will be measured and fall short…

Morning flight from SFO to Boston…then home. More to follow….

Feb 142013

Spent the day at the CODEX fair firming up new arrangements and looking at still more new books. Ride home notable as Mark Dimunation spent some of it belting out Jefferson Airplane’s, Volunteers for America. On a completely unrelated note, more people than one might think knew all the words to Circle Jerks, World Up My Ass, at the Gala Banquet and we did a pretty good rendition… Long day…and have much cataloguing to do as set up for the SanFran fair is tomorrow and I suddenly have another dozen

Feb 132013

The morning sessions flew by with presentations by Russell Maret, Mark Dimunation and Veronika Schaepers. These presentations were streamed and if/when they are posted at CODEX, I’ll link to them as all are well worth watching (and/or rewatching). After a quick round of dim sum (a lot of dim sum) with Mark, Cristina, and Felice, we were back in the trenches at the book fair (thank you, again, Felice for driving us all). I have now spent about 12 hours looking at books steadily and feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. Another 6 hours tomorrow…

Apr 222012

The dust is finally settling and I thought I best get some images and links posted about the ever-fabulous NYC ABAA Book Fair. It was, in brief, a wonderful fair and a great weekend (and then some). Melissa Sanders (of Ken Sander’s Rare Books fame) flew out early and both helped me prep for the fair and attended a great outing of the Ticknor Society with me. She also corrected errors in my database as she helped pack, for which I’ll apparently be repaying her on a per-error basis for years (overall, a win for me).

The fair was good fun, in that slightly over-intense and somewhat masochistic way. We sold well (and most of the things I really wanted to sell) and bought even better. The shadow show had some great things and was well worth the trip (though I wish some coordination could be such that one could do both the shadow fair *and* attend the ABAA annual meeting…). The best wrapup of the fair and it’s importance was done by Lorne Bair and can be found here (highly recommend the read).

The ABAA blog has a nice post on celebrity spotting at the fair. I was especially pleased to have Steve Martin actually stop by the booth and look about…and more so that he then posted about his visit as *his post* radically increased the fair’s twitter profile :)

A video of the booth can be found here (a bit too much background noise, but gives you a good overview:

Images are captioned and covers before and throughout…


Nov 072011

Lots of pictures and some notes (in captions) on a few hours spent at the Pitt Rivers Museum. The PRM “cares for the University of Oxford’s collection of anthropology and world archaeology.” It is an extraordinarily wonderful  example of Victorian collecting and collections. I can not recommend it enough (and can not wait to come back with Suz and the boys). Pictures of your amusement…I’m off to pack for tomorrow’s flight.

Nov 032011

I’ve had more fun that should be allowed today. We walked by/through Regent’s Park in the morning on our way to 221B Baker Street and The Sherlock Holmes Museum. The museum was good [campy] fun…fun period items and a nice flavor of the stories. I picked up some wonderful bookish card holders at the giftshop. The place was filled with Russian tourists, which made it inexplicably more fun.

We wandered back in time to have a pub lunch with friends of mom and dad. The pub was very nice…great fish and chips and I had a beer that has been brewed, apparently, in the same manner since the late 1600s. After a quick trip back to change and freshen up, I headed over to a little bookshop I’d seen the night before…

Sometime you look into a shop window and you can just tell that it is a Great Shop. While walking down the street a block from the hotel, I saw a wonderful window…just good, interesting books-broad range and engaging titles. I made a mental note to head back there and-in a stunningly surprising turn of events-actually went back today. With the awning open, I discovered it was Collinge & Clark. Wonderful range of material-heavy on fine press and artist books. I picked up a nice stack of cool things. As a bonus, I discovered when I got back to the hotel that C&C was the site where Black Books was filmed. How cool is that.

The day wrapped up at the opening of Sophie Schneiderman‘s exhibit of Gaylord Schanilec‘s prints and books (and the debut of Rob Rulon-Miller‘s new bibliography of Schanilec’s work). I saw a number of old friends, met a few new people, and even bought a very cool new (to me) book. Very amused that at a cool little opening on Portobello Street in London, SEVEN of the people in the room were from mid-coast Maine. In addition to my parents and me, Ken and Liv were there (they just launched their new imprint: Two Ponds Press), and an old friend who I’d not seen in ages, Liz Hand and her partner John Clute. Liz just won a World Fantasy award and John is working on the third edition of the Science Fiction Encyclopedia.

Off to Oxford tomorrow.

Oct 112011

I spent the majority of the day touring several vineyards in the Willamette Valley of OR. I was led about by Jason Brumley (who spends his time at Cana’s Feast Winery while waiting for his (and another’s) vines to bear fruit). The countryside was beautiful. We had a touch of light rain, more than one rainbow, and much wine. Harvest is being complicated as the weather is not cooperating…everyone is a little tense…but it appears they will start picking in earnest toward the end of the week.

It really was great fun. It reminded me of going on tours of special collections libraries *with* other special collections librarians…as a general rule, you get to see better, cooler, more interesting things. Touring vineyards with a wine geek and grower is similar. As a result, I got to see processing rooms, talk about dirt, and eat a lot of grapes.


Oct 012011

Of the next 40 days (Oct. 5 through Nov. 13), I will be traveling for 27. The event bound up in this bit of insanity are as follows:

Seattle [WA] Antiquarian Book Fair (Oct. 8-9)
[Side trip to Portland, OR with friends and books and wine]
APHA Conference in San Diego (Oct 14-15)
National Collegiate Book Collecting Competition Awards Dinner at the LC (Oct. 21)
Oxford Fine Press Book Fair (and visit to the Chelsea Fair) (Nov. 5-6)
Boston ABAA Book Fair (Nov. 11-13)

I will be, to the best of my ability, posting updates on this ridiculous tour here, on Facebook, on Google+, and/or on Twitter. You choose the amount of fun and pain sharing you feel you can endure. There will be a bit of cross posting, but I’m hoping to keep it to a minimum. All I can say is that I should be in rare form by the time the Boston ABAA book fair rolls about. Come and watch the monkey dance…

Please let me know if you would like passes to one or more of these events (recommend emailing).

May 122011

I attended two book fairs over the last two weekends. The first was the 2010 Paris book fair. I attended this long running event for the first time and was taken aback by it…the location and quality of the material was simply stunning (see previous posts for many pictures). This past weekend I attended the newly re-established MARIAB Boston book fair. Held at the Shriner’s Auditorium in Wilmington, MA, we were looking forward to a fun regional fair and visiting with friends…as it turned out, it was a great weekend to be in MA.

We went with a “light” booth…shelves, no lightly and only about 8 or so cases of books. When we left Portland, the van was only about half or so full and I was dreading that I didn’t have anything interesting. I am not certain the last time I left for a fair and could see out the back window. It was very disconcerting. As it turns out, assuming we are able to do the fair next year, I’ll bring even less (but targeted) material and have more time to shop. The best approach I saw was taken by Ian Brabner who brought no shelves at all, but an exceptional selection of material…and a ton of time to poke around during set-up.

We saw a lot of friends (dealers, collectors, and special collections librarians) and met a handful of new, interesting people. The buying, best of all, was surprisingly good. One of the best was asking a friend if he had anything interesting and saying yes, pulled out Jean Genet’s Querelle of Brest in original wraps…didn’t see one of those the previous weekend… Thanks to everyone at MARIAB for pulling together such a fun event.

Oct 242010

The Baxter Society is very pleased to be having Michael Suarez, Director of the Rare Book School, speak at the November 10th meeting. He will be speaking at the Glickman Library at USM’s Portland campus at 7:30pm. Details can be found here or here.

The topic for the evening is “The Future for Books in a Digital Age”. The story a book tells is more than the mere tale told through ink on paper. That element can be easily reduced to digital form for easy data transmission. The codex itself, however, often tells a much richer story…where and how a work was created…cultural tales of time and place…hints of deeper stories. A wonderful evening is promised to all who are able to attend. All are welcome.