The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair was in town this weekend, and naturally we went.
There are few places that seem more worthy of love than the SABF; it takes place in the relatively small Exposition Hall in the Seattle Center, and I don’t think I’ve ever encountered such a raw density of earnestness as I did wandering from stall to stall, amidst a clientele whose age averaged sixty, quietly and excitingly browsing through books and prints and maps, all covered in the requisite laminate.
(My rule for attending these kinds of things are simple: if there are exhibitors with names like Fairlook Antiques, Ephemerania, and White Fox Rare Books, I am almost required to attend. Names like that are a siren call — I find myself impossibly drawn to them.)
As great as the books are, I’m always more interested in the ephemera and seemingly transient things that sellers hold onto. Here are some things I considered purchasing:
I read somewhere that today’s blogs are tomorrow’s archives, and while I don’t think about my writing too seriously — or at least, not with that kind of generational seriousness — I am wondering what a more long-term view of internet content (or internet ephemera) will look like.
Will our grand-children go crate-digging for tweets? Leaf idly through their parents’ Medium posts, comparing how many claps they got? Haggle over plastic-sealed domain names?
I’m not sure. And I didn’t buy the senior week pamphlet, but I did buy a couple other things.
And it’s forty degrees outside, and it smells like the book fair.
I hope you curl up with a good whatever.