Saturday, February 17, 2007
My "haul" from the 40th California Antiquarian Book Fair
This weekend is the 40th Antiquarian Book Fair in San Francisco. They alternate between Los Angeles and San Francisco and my brother and I take turns flying to the other's city to attend the fair together. His budget is considerably higher than mine, but we always have a great time together!
The first book I found that I wanted was a first edition of "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostava. When collecting first editions, my focus is books (both fiction and non-fiction) that have a religious, philosophical or spiritual theme. I hesitated to buy this, because I thought it might be a BIT of a stretch, but as Dracula might represent the devil to some, I let myself make the stretch. A brand new copy, signed by Kostova, for $50.
Next, I found a great copy of "Gilead" by Marilynne Robinson. I've been looking for a good first edition of this book. Most of the ones I find are signed and can be upwards of $250. That's just beyond my budget. I found a great, brand new first edition, unsigned for $85. In my budget, and no stretching necessary to make it fit in with my collecting theme.
At this point, I'm pretty darn happy, but I always like to find some unusual, older book that I haven't read which fits in nicely with my theme. I found a few non-fiction titles at a booth that I've frequently bought from in the past, but they just didn't speak to my heart. Then, shortly before leaving, I found the crown jewel!! A first edition copy of Herman Wouk's non-fiction book "This Is My God" about Judaism (published in the 1950's) for $75. Go ahead and wrap me up, I was in heaven.
I just can't spend on first editions like I'd like to, so this is my yearly book buying binge. And I'm supremely happy with the results!