This was the year the Brooklyn show grew up.
For the past three years, at the end of each iteration of the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair we’d tally our losses, lick our wounds, and peer down Franklin Ave. for the light at the end of this tunnel of yuppies, baby carriages, brew pubs, and trendy second-hand clothing stores. Marvin would pace the floor anxiously, inquiring of everyone he met, “Are you coming back?” Mail Chimp surveys, and results of those surveys, and discussions of the results, would fill our inboxes. Are you doing it next year? Is Marvin?
That was not the case this year.
Guerilla advertising all over Brooklyn!
At the end of this book fair a confident, smiling Marvin strode the aisles, proclaiming, “I’m coming back. Are you?” He’s even gone so far as to get a lease on the venue for another season or two. So, yes. We’ll be back.
and we’ll stay in our trendy boutique hotel
Of course, there’s always room for improvement and Marvin, an inveterate tinkerer, will surely be tinkering with the layout of the show. One interesting idea this year was making the Noble St. side of the building, with its tall glass windows, into mini-galleries. Each space was walled off with pegboard and became the dealer’s exclusive showcase.
Unfortunately, the idea didn’t seem to work very well. For some obscure reason, people seemed reluctant to enter these spaces. The print dealers within, from what I heard, languished. Oh well, back to the drawing board…
I found buying rather slow, and I suspect I was not alone in this. Maybe people who were looking for modern, popular culture, and art-related material had better luck, but the supply of antiquarian books and paper thin and overpriced, as was much of the ephemeral material.
Giants still roam the earth
Overall, this show gets high marks. The venue, as always was superb,
the crowds were steady if not overwhelming,
and most of us had at least tolerable results (though the sought-after institutional buyers and wealthy Manhattan collectors seemed to be in short supply). Ten Pound Island Book Co. sold $4000 worth of rare maritime and Arctic stuff. The suits back at Ten Pound corporate headquarters
considered this a huge success, far exceeding projections generated by the accounting department.
The Ten Pound booth
My booth mate’s sales were well into five figures, but I wasn’t even tempted to compare my results with his. Nor was I about to send this news back to headquarters. Unlike the flotsam on Ten Pound Island, my booth mate had stuff people were interested in.
Apples and oranges, if you get my drift.