Fairs | April 2011 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Friday at the NYABF

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A long, fun day at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair! One of the best parts of a major book fair such as this is meeting up with old friends, or new friends with whom you've only corresponded via email. Here we all are, book people.

I saw many amazing things today. At Ken Lopez's booth, I was so pleasantly surprised by a galley of Nicholson Baker's The Fermata coupled with John Crowley's manuscript notes, taken while he was reviewing Baker's book. Very cool! At PRB&M, Cynthy Buffington Davis showed me a handful of treasures, the one that comes quickly to mind is a microscopic edition of the Declaration of Independence printed on card stock in 1836.

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I had a wonderful chat with Dan Gregory of Between the Covers about whether or not grading systems will work with rare books and how well-done print catalogues matter more than ever. And it was so nice to meet three generations of booksellers at Quill & Brush, where I also ogled a signed presentation copy of Dorothy Parker's After Such Pleasures.

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I left the fair to have dinner with an excellent group of conversationalists. It was said that though traffic seemed slow at the show today--particularly earlier in the day--sales were strong. Also noted: more European dealers are showing in New York this year than in years past. 

Now I am resting comfortably in the Library Hotel. This place is spectacular! Here's a pic of the bookcase in my room (decorated according to Dewey, in the 1000s). There's a first edition of Brendan Gill's Here at the New Yorker. Need I say more?!

Tomorrow, I'm off to the 'Shadow Show.' More anon.