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I’m at a loss for words. This, you might perceive, is not something that happens particularly often if my colleagues are to be believed. I have read the brilliant blogs detailing the events at the Baltimore Antique and Book Fair that have already been “published” by Jonathan Kearns of Bibliodeviancy, Greg Gibson of Bookman’s Log, and, not least of all, our own “enfant terrible” Ashley Wildes of BTC. It doesn’t even seem worth the effort for me to re-hash the mixture of natural disasters, cute puppies, wardrobe malfunctions, and late night over-indulgences in food and libations by booksellers who were grimly but gamely mourning any possibility of commerce that was this year’s Baltimore Fair. These have been previously chronicled as representative of this year’s installment of our star-crossed sojourn in Charm City. What’s a blogger to do?

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On Tuesday, August 23rd I woke up late. I had set my alarm for 7 a.m., so that I could take a much needed shower and after hitting snooze for over an hour I abruptly woke up at 8:20, tied my hair up, threw on a dress and ran out the door. From that moment on it seemed as though all of Philadelphia was involved in a plot to keep me from my goal of an 8-hour work day. First the contretemps with my alarm, then loads of tourists crossing the street and finally the dreaded tour buses that haunt 5th and Market all summer long. I had just about given up when I finally reached the other side of the bridge. Five minutes to nine I get a phone call from Tom saying that Matt had gotten sick and did I want to go to Baltimore for the book fair? I know what you’re thinking, “Free trip to Baltimore! Where do I sign up?” I’m with you, friend. I said yes, turned around, and the packing began.
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The fair at the 25th Street Armory has come and gone, and we’ve managed to survive yet another book fair – more than 400 in my career. It’s weird, but I’ve probably spent something more than two years of my life at book fairs.

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Much of the fun of being immersed in the rare book world is in seeing our colleagues, many of who have become close friends. It’s funny, but the only time I see some of them is in San Francisco or Los Angeles or London or Vienna or Paris. If I saw them at home or in my shop, I might not even know who they were. But I wouldn’t be a surprised for a minute to see them in the airport in Madrid. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, active rare bookselling is a great way to accumulate frequent flier miles. But not this weekend.

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Matt keeps haranguing me to write my damn blog entry. That is in those few spare moments when he isn’t haranguing me to tidy up my workspace.

Today I had an excuse. I went off on a secret mission to meet with a couple of other booksellers about opening a jointly run rare bookstore. Read the rest of this entry »

We’re off this afternoon for the New Jersey Antiquarian Book Fair in East Hanover, New Jersey. Set up isn’t until tomorrow morning, but we usually go up the night before, and this year we have a better than usual reason to do so. Our usual reason is to have cocktails and a lovely dinner with Peter Stern and whatever other amusing booksellers choose to roll in early, and this is usually excuse enough.

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Well, apparently Between the Covers now has a blog. Where to begin… How about with what’s been going on lately?

For the first time in nearly two decades I managed to personally miss the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair. Now don’t get me wrong, BTC exhibited, as we have every year since the powers-that-be at the ABAA nodded off and let me in. The booth was consigned to the reasonably competent supervision of Dan Gregory and Dave Stewart (don’t even get me started about what those two rascals got up to on my dime: you guys had better return those 50 pounds of M&Ms to the Brattle Book Shop!)

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