A visit to Paradise: The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair

There is no friend as loyal as a book.
— Ernest Hemingway

Let’s define “a good weekend.” It includes a Saturday during which you get to freely roam through fully stocked rare book dealer booths from rare book dealers from across the nation and some of Europe.

Why is that so awesome? Because you get carte blanche to hold, smell and admire more rare books than you’d get to anywhere else.

And I got to this past weekend at the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair.

It was my first time at one of these book fairs. A fact clearly communicated to all and sundry by my wearing my Mickey Mouse jacket and everyone else wearing black leather or tweed jackets. And the fact that I hopped up and down in excitement and whispered “oooOOOOooo” when I first entered the doors.

Given my love for books, my fantasies of what it would be like were the bibliophile’s equivalent of a 14 year-old girl’s daydreams of Care Bears riding unicorns through fields of cotton candy.

Reality was better. I got to wander up and down a sea of aisles full of some of the most incredible books I may never see again. Even better, I got to touch them. And smell them — yet another indicator that this was awesome and new and that there was solid chance someone would have to drag me kicking and screaming to get me leave. Ever.

But I digress.

I’m talking rare books that range from $300 to $126,000. Continue reading