pardon the delay
There's nothing like a book fair to take the vinegar out of me. The Autumn New York Antiquarian Fair was this past weekend, and between preparations, the fair itself and a required time to deal with the necessarily ensuing depression, I've missed opportunities to post on the Nobel Prize, Jacques Derrida's passing, the National Book Awards nominees and the fair itself. Also missed John Banville's review of Jose Saramago's 'The Double' in the NYTBR, which itself should have been cause for at least two posts, being that they are two of my favorite living writers. Methinks it better to move on and not look back.
The book fair itself was a rather grey affair, which has been all to frequently the case of late. The customers are pretty much the same faces we always see, the flurry of dealer buying and selling which used to precede the shows (and which, for some dealers, made up the bulk of their sales) has given way as a dearth of sales leads to a lack of desire for new stock. There are many, many reasons for the decline in the market for most rare books, and sometime soon I'll tackle that question here, but for the time being let's just blame the internet, a declining level of literacy, price inflation in some segments of the market, a treasure hunt mentality of the general populace fed by eBay and the Antiques Roadshow, and once again, the internet.