No more winter hibernation here. Over the past week and a half I’ve been lucky enough to take part in not one but TWO book fairs, and boy, am I tired of smiling.
April 1-2 was the second annual Philadelphia Art Book Fair. Like the NY one, but without the portal to hell or the fire code violations. I had a great time, talked to a wide range of awesome book-loving folks, and didn’t have a panic-stricken “I’m going to be crushed by this enormous crowd” moment, not even once. Amazing! It was held in something called “The Annex on Filbert” which was apparently an old department store in the center of town. It had in its heyday a great big food hall, which was guarded by this guy:
Who my friend Miriam says is a replica of a famous Florentine wild boar. She says the Tuscan one has a snout that brings good luck to those that rub it. I didn’t feel comfortable getting that close to this guy, handsome though he was. I discovered him on the way to the bathroom, which involved a trip across a large abandoned space complete with chandeliers, raw drywall, old elevators, extension cords, and a staircase. The bathroom itself seemed like a place where your life might end and no one would find you for weeks.
But why am I talking about the bathroom? The books were great, as were the book-slingers. I saw great work from Huldra Press, Tammy Nguyen, paige hansard (and her actual work), Ditta Baron Hoeber, Pellinore Press, Pioneer Works, the Soapbox, and the always-delightful Purgatory Pie Press.
I was lucky enough to stay at Alice Austin‘s house, where even monsters can find friendship:
I then sprinted back to NYC to get ready for the Manhattan Fine Press Book Fair. I don’t have funny photos from this fair, partly because there’s nothing funny about antiquarian book enthusiasts, they are serious people. And partly because I was tired, and fully consumed with talking about books to an interested audience. And tired. And happy to talk about books! To people who also like books! And tired.
In all seriousness, this was a great fair, and full of lovely people. I got to spend some time with Sara Langworthy‘s books, which I don’t think I’ve done very much before. They are lovely. I met the phenomenal Alicia Bailey in person, and got to look at the nice books she brought with her. I met Elies Plana from Barcelona, who shared their mints with me and make beautiful books in Catalan and English. I gossiped with all my favorite book arts people that I haven’t seen in awhile, and saw new books from Nancy Loeber, Barbara Henry, Russell Maret, and Emily Martin. I had a grand time.
And then I woke up early the next morning and ran a race for the first time in almost a year.
Because I am crazy, and because I am determined to get back on various wagons right now. Like the blogging wagon. Have you noticed this is the second blog post in two weeks? This is what a comeback looks like. BOOM.