Fairs | January 2019 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Booktryst Makes its Book Fair Debut

So begins Rare Book Week West and with it the good news that Booktryst, the rare books blog founded ten years ago by antiquarian bookseller Stephen J. Gertz, is making its book fair debut at Rare Books LA this weekend. 

Booktryst also issued its first catalogue this past Friday. "Rare Eros" covers--or should we say uncovers--erotica of the 16th-20th centuries, some of it illustrated and much of it provocative. Pictured here is something on the tamer side, a scarce Parisian directory of prostitutes and brothels published in 1829. It is a second edition, a variant of the only other recorded copy at the BnF. No firsts are known. The price is $900. 

How about a young rake's exploits in a nunnery? See #57, Nunnery Tales (1932) with five b/w "explicit plates." Or the pin-up style of various mid-century editions of Exotica and Exotique? I wonder what the pages of Nicholas de Cholieres' La Guerre des Masles Contre Les Femelles [The War of Men Against Women], published in 1586, hold? 

John Payne, author of Great Catalogues by Master Booksellers (2018), called the catalogue "sensitive, thoughtful, and bibliographically carefully described selection." See his full review here. A PDF version of "Rare Eros" is available, but perhaps NSFW, limited print editions designed by Poltroon Press are available for $40, or go see it for yourself in Pasadena, where, coincidentally, another bookseller will be offering books from the private library of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.