April 2013 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Here in New York

I don't recall seeing a copy of E.B. White's famous book in my browsings yesterday at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair during the day or the Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair in the evening -- but who knows, there is so much to see, and my eyes give up before my feet do. In four hours at the Armory fair, I stopped in most booths in four rows (Row E, I'll see you later today!) which may seem slow going to some, but I try to look closely and chat with the booksellers when they're not too busy with other clients. Here are some highlights. 

029594.jpgKen Lopez is offering this rockin' copy of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest -- it was fully marbled in psychedelic pinks by Kesey himself. Inside, Kesey has also signed it in block lettering. Lopez knows of only one other book treated by Kesey in this way. Also in Lopez's booth: an advanced reader's copy of The Name of the Rose inscribed by Umberto Eco--what bibliophile wouldn't want that?

Between the Covers had an interestingly covered book that caught my eye: the Cincinnati edition of Robert Owen's New View of Society wrapped in a homemade newspaper dust jacket dating to 1827. At Estates of Mind, I enjoyed seeing a early draft manuscript page from Thoreau (personal favorite) as well as Walt Whitman's own copy of Leaves of Grass, in which he lettered his name on the title page. Other fun finds: collectible editions of Baudrillard and Foucault (!) at Athena Rare Books, Cole Porter's typewriter at Schubertiade, and I saw so many first editions of Fowles' The Collector that David Lodge was a breath of fresh air at Gekoski.

After a two-hour eye rest, I traveled downtown to the "Shadow Show." Melissa Sanders was exhibiting as Red Queen Book Arts for the first time in New York with her list of book arts, fine press, artist's books, bindings, miniatures, and more (she also has books from Ken Sanders). Her display case is filled with the unique and interesting, e.g. Ed Bateman's artist's book, Gutenberg

Mosher Books has a beautiful Haberly book: The Keeper of the Doves, authored, wood-block illustrated, printed and beautifully bound by poet-printer Loyd Haberly, and published by Seven Acres Press in 1933. As usual the Country Bookshop of Vermont is a reliable purveyor of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literature. We left the fair with one book, purchased there. 

Both shows are open today.