This is not a description of any soporific effect of the Toronto Antiquarian Book Fair which I visited today at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Quite the opposite, actually, for a confirmed bibliophile such as myself, as you will soon see.
Observations at the fair: a rough demographic shows a high preponderance of middle aged or older (antiquarian?) Caucasian males. Is there a link between old-fashioned book (pre-internet?) reading and the age group? On closer inspection, there was certainly a number of men under forty, and women of all ages also.
Pictured here- from a “taxonomy of the improvised Bookmark” – this particular grouping is that of business cards, coupons, and subscription cards- used to mark the spot where someone stopped reading. Do you have a favourite improvised book mark? (I do not.)
Best moment of the fair for me: actually considering buying a first edition of Edward Albee’s Tiny Alice, complete with a lengthy quoted inscription by the writer inside. The price? Let’s just say it’s worth at least a new pair of shoes or the price it might cost to see “Tiny Alice”, or something else, on Broadway.
Let’s just say I haggled with the store owner bit, and walked away.
But I’m still considering….