"The way life's spoozed to be"

PORTLAND,ME, June 10th 2007. Ah, I see this is an example of the OTHER kind of book fair – the one where you see all your friends, have a good time, work your ass off and barely make your expenses.

The Portland Book Print and Paper Show, was held in the basement of the Holiday Inn and a good time was had by all, of course there was free liquor involved.

< --typical booth with a view. [courtesy of Commonwealth Books , MY best customer of the day]

Despite the lack of bling, I had a very nice time. I most enjoyed Don & Samantha Lindgren’s Rabelais Books pre-fair Whine and Cheese Party – but then once you ply me with food and liquor and I always write nice things. I didn’t buy anything at the fair beyond a Thorne Smith novel, but I did managed to snag a few things from Rabelais. I am such a sucker for books about food, or food, or books, or books with food on them.

Unfairly it was the ephemeral things that catch my attention. Among the novelties, I thought Mac’s Rare and Antique Books,Winslow, had a clever vintage display idea for these ‘Golden Book’-type books.

And these damn useless but gorgeous things I almost bought from E Blackbird, Saco. They are handmade Japanese placecards – aren’t the Dragonflies are to die for?

But the coolest thing, I got to see was what Elizabeth Baird was doing with amputee paper dolls. Yes, you read that right. She’s been salvaging damaged paper dolls by replicating their missing anatomy or accessories. In this example the doll is actually missing her legs and feet. Using a color copy of a complete figure, she can create prosthetic limbs for little Mary or Suzy whatever and she can go merrily along her way – to a collector for whom she is still appealing. Elizabeth is also providing replica hats to complete ensembles – all clearly marked and made of modern materials, but you so seamlessly created that you have to flip them over to see the evidence. Too bad I loathed paper dolls as a child, well, all dolls, cause this is just nifty.

Aside from lack of sleep, an hourplus commute and lot of toll booth tithing, my weekend was only marred by an incident where some old fart of a bookseller who was not appropriately briefed about my radiance, decided to follow me around and reprimand me for taking pictures of other people’s wares as well as underselling him on repair items. I warned him that by the end of the day I was going to have to hurt him, but he didn’t take the hint and proceed to lecture me about how he was just advising me on how to be more ‘professional’ – now granted it isn’t unusual for me to tell someone to their face to ‘bite me’ but usually it isn’t before 9am. C’est la vie. I killed him and tossed his body in the dumpster near the loading dock. That’s what Bruce said I could do with all my day’s kills.

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