February 2017 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Postcard from the CA Antiquarian Book Fair, 2017

Guest post by Jonathan Shipley

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 1.38.47 PM.pngA first edition of James Joyce's Ulysses. The first photograph ever taken of the American West. The book, The Culture of the Nude in China. A manuscript letter written by John Wilkes Booth. Charles Darwin's Insectivorous Plants. A piece of sheet music written by one Ludwig von Beethoven. Oskar Schindler's business card. Black Panther magazines. These are just some of the thousands of treasures that were available last weekend at the 50th California International Antiquarian Book Fair.

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 1.37.54 PM.pngFeaturing over 200 booksellers, book arts booths, lectures, and an auction put together by PBA, the fair was a banquet for book lovers. Exhibitors spanned the globe, from Denmark to Delaware, as did the subject matter, from John Steinbeck first editions to ancient tomes about vertebrate zoology. With Trump's ascendency, there was an undercurrent among the offerings of nationalism, patriotism, World War II, women's rights, and race relations.

All in all, another banner year at the book fair.

--Jonathan Shipley is a freelance writer based in Washington state. He sent us a postcard from the 2015 CA book fair too. Follow him @shipleywriter.

                                                                                                                                                            Images, credit: Jonathan Shipley.