Sunday, March 27, 2011

Don't worry, they're on our side: 1932

Germany; the Nazis have joined the Communists in a strike. This is what happens to one person who doesn't participate:
The Nazis were carrying rolled banners with spikes on their ends. They stabbed the young man in the face and left him with one eye probably blinded. Half a dozen policemen stood a few yards away, ignoring the incident.
--From Christopher and His Kind--

When the police are on someone's side, and not the side of law and order, that is when we all need to worry.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Old books in an old building

It's the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair!

Florida Antiquarian Book Fair Coupon

It was held in an old dance hall, which explains the lights and the disco ball.

The Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

At a book fair, everyone is judging the books by their covers, and everyone wants a book with pretty pictures inside. There's a mercenary feeling in the air. The items being sold are commodities, some behind glass and valued at thousands of dollars. And even if they weren't so valuable, many are so old you hesitate to pick them up. People ask the owners if it's okay. (It always is.)

Some people ask the proprietors obscure questions, to show how smart they are. Other people haggle. Everyone seems to be searching for something. Some people want certain types of books, other people have lists of specific books they are looking for. Most people are just browsing. But the serious people compare prices on their laptops and mobile phones.

Oddly, it's hard to find anything you'd want to read at an antiquarian book fair. Perhaps the best books were read so much they fell apart. Perhaps the best books aren't sold. What I did see was a lot of history, a lot of religion, and a lot of poetry (with a healthy dose of children's and cook books). The two easiest books to find were The Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant and Pilgrim's Progress.

Books and prints, plus a few other things

Here's what I bought:

What I bought

It has an inscription which reads:

To Nellie,

A wedding gift from Lewis Campbell

January 1894

A wedding gift!