Monday, February 16, 2009
A Booked Schedule
Bay Area book-lovers have had the privilege of being able to attend not one but two world-class book expos over the past few weeks. I visited the second biennial Codex International Book Fair just a week ago in Berkeley, and over the weekend I went to San Francisco to take in the 42nd California International Antiquarian Book Fair.
The Codex Fair, led by letterpress ringmaster Peter Koch, hosted nearly 150 book artists and small presses, and their works are simply amazing. The book arts medium continues to develop well into the digital age, and it almost seems to me that the growth of online publishing (Hello, Blogger!) has encouraged artists to go even further with innovative printing and binding in the world of paper and ink.
The Antiquarian Book Fair was a fabulous horse of a different color, with almost 250 dealers in antique, fine press, and collectible books. It was astounding to be able to walk from booth to booth there and hold Renaissance-era tomes, see book projects from favorite artists (I have a weakness for Warhol), and find copies of treasured books from childhood. I went with my family, and my little girls ended up talking shop with some of the vendors about woodblock printing and special kinds of paper. A family favorite that we didn't end up bringing home was a series of tiny books recounting Japanese fairy tales, printed on fantastic crepe paper.