On Friday, we went. My “booking” friends LS, AB and I go every year at this time to the Dayton Book Fair where we get lost hour after hour in the searching — fingers running over the titles — and discovering of books to purchase, let alone the remembering of books once read. “More than 250,000 items” is what the fair advertises. (CDs, cassettes, LPs, DVDs, comics, puzzles and specialty magazines are also sold.) This is an event where shopping carts are supplied because books range in price from $1 to $3, give or take 50 cents.
The mother lode for me is novels, but this year I came away with a cookbook I couldn’t resist: Encore: The Favorite Dishes of the World’s Most Famous Musicians. The book was published in 1958, so the musicians are of or before that time, for example: George Szell (filet of sole), Rise Stevens (chicken paprika), Isaac Stern (cheese dip), Robert Merrill (beet borscht), Yehudi Menuhin (Indian rice) and Lily Pons (macaroon jubilee).
I also purchased first editions to round out my library, such as Frances Sherwood’s Vindication (1993) because I had only the galley. (I was surprised today to discover it’s signed by the author.) Same for Bobbie Ann Mason’s An Atomic Romance (2005). I purchased Michael Dirda’s An Open Book (2003) because I read a library copy and didn’t own it. Other authors I purchased: Kaye Gibbons, Martin Amis, William Styron, Joan Didion, T. C. Boyle, Ward Just and Thomas Pynchon.