Recently I dropped by the Armory on 67th and Park Avenue in Manhattan to see the 52nd Annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair and some of the rarest books on Earth. The fair brings booksellers from around the globe together with wealthy collectors and those, like me, who just want to breathe in the smell of hundred-year-old paper.
Actually I was sniffing around for something else. This was the same week that the Department of Justice’s suit against book publishers was announced and apocalyptic sentiments seemed to be in every newspaper, blog, and morning show. The enormous, austere Armory space on the Upper East Side, “one of the largest unobstructed spaces of its kind in New York,” seemed like a good place to get a bit of perspective. At the very least I thought I might hide amidst the most valuable books I could find.