Friday, January 10, 2014

It's amazing! It's unusual! It's our book fair!

Bookseller Vivian Moore of Alpharetta, Georgia, will return to the book fair in March.
We were pondering the other day all the amazing things you see at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair each year. This year the theme is children’s books, and we know that our dealers will have plenty of unusual children’s books to see. But, as always, the book fair is much more than any one theme.

When you think about it, it’s really hard to take it all in. Veterans of the book fair say it’s a good idea to plan to come all three days because you couldn’t possibly take it all in on just one day. You really need time to leisurely browse all the booths then home in on the items that really interest you.

Actually, the name book fair is so inadequate because it is so much more. Don’t worry, we’re not changing our name to the Florida Antiquarian Books, Regular Cool Books, Children’s-Books-You-Remember-From-When-You-Were-A-Kid, Signed-First-Edition-Books, Antique Maps, Illuminated Manuscripts, Vintage Photographs, Antique Autographs, Cool-Printed-Pieces-From-The-Civil-War, Awesome-Sauce-Extremely-Rare-Published-In-The-16th-Century-Books, And-Other-Stuff-We-Haven’t-Even-Mentioned Fair.

Book Fair will have to do.

Besides, you already know that “Book Fair” really means much more. It’s sort of a code phrase, isn’t it? Sort of like a speakeasy in the Roaring Twenties – knock on the door, say the secret password and they let you in. Those who know the code know the joys of the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. Of course, there's no password at the book fair but you get the idea.

This post started out to be about the picture you see at the top but obviously we got a little sidetracked. That’s our friend Vivian Moore, who will be exhibiting at the book fair in March. Vivian lives in Alpharetta, Georgia, now but she used to live in Tampa, and she was part of the very first Florida Antiquarian Book Fair 33 years ago.

We don’t know exactly what Vivian will be bringing to the book fair this year, but we do know that what she brings is always fascinating. In this picture, she’s holding a very cool photo post card of downtown Tampa in the 1920s produced by the Florida News Company.

See, now that’s what we’re talking about. How very amazing! How very unusual!  It is discoveries like these that keep people coming back year after year. There’s only one Florida Antiquarian Book Fair and it only happens once a year. That’s why people mark it on their calendar and make sure they are here.

“Yeah, it’s a Book Fair.” (Delivered with an arched eyebrow and a knowing smile.)

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