London and New York

It is remarkable how time can get away from you.  At my last bakery job I was ribbed for using a timer when I would bake off cookies. Somehow everyone else at that job could keep track of how long a sheet tray had been in the convection oven.  I relied, heavily, on my timer. I hated, hated, burning cookies so I would always set my timer.  That way I could allow myself the freedom of becoming wholly engaged in my next task without having to keep some part of my brain on those cookies.  When the timer would go off I could turn my attention from weighing out the butter for the pie dough back to that tray of chocolate chip in the oven.

It’s been two weeks since we returned from London.  How did that happen?  I need my trusty timer.  Perhaps because we only brought a small handful of the books we purchased home with us in our luggage, the rest is being shipped and should arrive any day now.  When that shipment shows up then the auction will reassert itself in my consciousness.  We bought well.  Not everything that we wanted, but then that’s how auctions go, isn’t it? You hope that the lots you are interested in, crave, are of no interest to others so that you may win them inexpensively.  When a competing paddle is raised repeatedly you wish the holder of said paddle bodily harm. You feign disinterest,  pretend boredom even, so that your target is unmolested, usually unsuccessfully. Watching various bidding styles in the room was predictably fascinating. The room was full, standing room in the back.  It was a big auction, over 400 lots, so there was traffic with folks coming and going during the four + hours it took to dispatch Alan Davidson’s library.

In the end we did well.  We won about twenty lots. We are looking forward to cataloging them, and sharing them with you. The trip to London was delicious with fabulous (sorry, but it is the correct term in this case) meals at St. John, Moro and Nopi (Ottolenghi’s new restaurant) among others. We wandered London’s warren like streets, visited Books For Cooks and Sophie Schneideman on Portobello Road, basked in the warm Spring weather (blissfully dry the whole time), and managed it all with no jet lag.

Since returning from London we have been to New York City and back.  Unfortunately this was not the year for us to debut at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair.  We spent two days roaming the aisles, chatting with colleagues and friends, and came home with a few well chosen purchases, but next year we will be exhibiting.  In the meantime, we have many new (to us) books in our collection.  We will be exhibiting next at the MARIAB book fair on May 7th in Wilmington, MA.  We hope to see some of you there.  We may even be doing some TV as promotion for that fair, but we will be sure to let you know more about that.

Now where is that timer…

Samantha

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