The 2010 New York Antiquarian Book Fair previews this Thursday evening at the Park Avenue Armory, officially opens on Friday and continues through Sunday, April 11, 2010.
On Friday, Nicholas Basbanes, the rare book world's Boswell, will sign copies of his new book, About the Author: Inside the Creative Process. On Saturday, Stuart Lutz will sign copies of his book, The Last Leaf: Voices of History's Last-Known Survivors.
Sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA), this year the fair debuts a new feature, New York Book Fair Search Engine, which allows fair-goers to see what books dealers will be bringing to the show.
The big question: Will this year's New York Antiquarian Fair continue the rare book trade's tentative, cautiously optimistic recovery felt at last February's 43d California International Antiquarian Book Fair?
Slim Chance, Chief Meteorologist at Book Patrol's affiliate, the Rare Book Weather Channel, was recently canned secondary to bad attitude. His replacement, that full of grace gal, Hail Mary, reports:
"The low pressure system that lingered over the trade throughout 2009, causing heavy, lachrymose precipitation and high blood pressure amongst dealers, is finally moving out. While partial clouds remain, expect no more than an occasional drop or two, if any. Like the weather in Los Angeles, it may look cloudy but the actual chance of rain is slim to none. (In L.A., a drop of rain leads to we-interrupt-this-program Breaking News and hyperbolic Storm Warnings and Traffic Alerts that strain credulity).
"Chance of sunny skies 75%, contingent upon the ongoing implementation of Rare Book Trade Health Reform, i.e. offering appealing books in a shifting marketplace to a changing consumer base at an attractive price."
Let us hope that this weather forecast is more accurate than most, with a better than 50-50 chance that the skies will cooperate.
Book Patrol will be in New York and report the news.
Of related interest:
43d California International Antiquarian Book Fair Coda: Happy Trails.
Watch Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes at the 2007 New York Antiquarian Book Fair.