Last week I hopped on over to the 36th Annual Antiquarian Book & Ephemera Fair at the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany. I hadn't attended the Fair in many years and was pleased to see so many colleagues and new book buddies busily chatting up their books, prints and paper items with a steady crowd, despite the fact that the Fair was scheduled on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, a time when many prospective book buyers might be on the road visiting family. Two members of the Saratoga-Warren-Washington Used and Rare Booksellers Association were exhibiting their wares, Owl Pen Books and Lyrical Ballad Bookstore.
My colleague Peter Luke of New Baltimore, NY, was in attendance. Peter often frequents our shop looking for Americana and ephemera and had a wonderful book of 19th century color lithograph fruits and vegetables on display.
Cooperstown, NY bookseller Will Monie was on hand with his delightful wife, and they were doing a brisk business selling and buying books at the Fair. Will Monie Books naturally specializes in books and other items about baseball, though both his open shop and online bookstore carry a wide range of titles. (Pardon my fuzzy photo, this cute couple looks much sharper in person).
My next stop was to the unnecessarily camera-shy booth of Lyrical Ballad Bookstore sellers John and Jan DeMarco. They reported that they had been doing a brisk business at the Albany Fair and had just gotten back from a successful Boston Book Fair as well. The Lyrical Ballad booth had some gorgeous books on display, and you can see that they were catching the attention of several other book browsers.
Richard Mori of Mori Books in New Hampshire was doing his best Kilroy Was Here impression for me. Richard's a delightfully enthusiastic colleague who had a gorgeous display of children's books, illustrated books and paper items. Here he is below with two great finds that he purchased at the Albany Fair from another dealer, signed copies of Alice M. Brock's books "My Life as a Restaurant" and "The Alice's Restaurant Cookbook".
And here's Richard again with another gorgeous Albany Book Fair acquisition, a Folio-sized 1849 volume, "The Rhododendrons of Himalayan Sikkim", by J.D. Hooker, festooned with gorgeous hand-colored illustrations of the flowering plants.
And finally, we see my neighbor and book colleague, Edie Brown of Owl Pen Books in Greenwich, New York. Edie's in profile in the photo below and yours truly is wearing the fuzzy burgundy jacket. Owl Pen Books has two barns chock full of great books nestled deep in the hill country of Washington County. You should check them out when they are open again May 1, 2011.
I had a great time browsing the beautiful books on display and found a few treasures for myself and for the shop on my visit. Will be back next year for sure!
-Rachel Jagareski, Old Saratoga Books