Member Blogs > ten pound island book companySame Old, Same Old..

  • Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:51:27    Permalink
    Same old white knuckle whiteout snowstorm drive down I-84 Friday morning. Same old cold and gray Hartford. Same old dank concrete basement, with its toxic lights, slushy galoshes, weary porters, and slightly bewildered staff. Same old dealers. Same old customers. At least some of the paper was new.
    In all the years I've been exhibiting at Papermania in January in Hartford, Connecticut, the scene has hardly changed at all. If you were to compare an image of booth 92 taken on Sunday, January 11, 2015 with an image taken at the same booth in any other year between now and 1988, there would be very little difference between then and now. More paper, maybe, fewer books now. And more weight on Gibson, not boothmate Frank Wood (of DeWolfe and Wood Rare Books)Truth to tell, this whole show is getting a little tired. Yes, the people still come out, but they're the same people. There's still a feature on local TV, and a story in the Hartford Courant, but it's the samestory. The hall was crowded Saturday morning, but there was a lack of focus and energy. People flitting from booth to booth like nervous sparrows, unable to stop and feed. Very few questions – always a bad sign. From the perspective of this grizzled veteran, the Hilltop Promotions people are pretty much just mailing it in – doing exactly what they did the year before and the year before that. It's comfortable. It's reliable. But it's tired.   
    I'm tired, too. “Bookman's Log” has issued 239 posts in the past 4½ years. 
    So I'm going to take a break. Heading over to the house in Ireland for the rest of January and February, to work on making some more Used Books of the Future. Maybe some good writing will result, maybe not. But at least it'll be a change of pace. Same old, same old gets old after a while. 
    For the record, I spent about $6000 on purchases at Papermania. Of that total $3250 was “I'm a genius!” $1000 was, “Oh, you idiot!” and the balance was sensibly expended... on the same old sort of stuff. I grossed $915, so the show was typical in almost every respect. Just a little – as I've already said - tired. 
    If I think of anything to add from the Old Country, I'll put it here. Otherwise, see you at the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair, March 6 and 7, 2015. 
    And thanks for reading!

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