The Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair, 2014

The Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair happened last Friday and Saturday. Neither Tom nor I had ever been, so we decided to make the trip on Saturday and spend a hours casing the scene. This was their 30th anniversary and held up north in the Denver Mart right next to the Tanner Gun Show. I could have easily spent four or five more hours sifting through all the books and talking to the sellers. Below is the promo video taken last year, which definitely gives you a good sense of what it was like.

It’s quite the scene. And quite the motley crew of book people, too! I think booksellers probably like to get out of their stores and hobnob with their peers, and their were people from all over the country. The woman who gave a speech about the history and future of book selling was from Australia, with The Asia Bookroom. I wish I had had more time to hobnob!

And what books.

You may be surprised to learn I am not broke. I still have money in the bank, though it took a monk’s worth of restraint and a couple of passing wild horses.

Well, actually, I’m picky enough that I wasn’t able to take enough time to find anything that I wanted in a reasonable price range. I mean, I dearly dearly dearly want a first edition / first printing of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast, but $600 is more than I can afford at the moment. Neither could I really afford, regardless of how good an investment it might be, the first American edition of Andre Gide’s Lafcadio’s Adventures at $850 (this is the book that got him excommunicated from the Catholic Church). Even with a 10% discount, that’s a bit more than I can pay. There always seems to be a story behind the more expensive books, which is so much of the fun of collecting.

But I was able to hold these books and more in my hands, and that was very cool! Scattered throughout the hall there were also a decent selection of books with fore-edge paintings. These are books that you just don’t get to see in person very often. And there was everything from posters to postcards, vintage photos, knick-knackery, really old books, relatively new signed books… as the man says in the video, there were items from $5 to some tens of thousands.

Anyway, it was fun and I encourage any book lover to check it out one of these years. Below there should be embedded photos that I took from our facebook page.


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