So if you had your druthers, and it was a rainy Saturday afternoon and you had no pressing obligations and you hadn’t read anything good for awhile, what might you do?
And if you had your druthers and you knew that there was some book that had come out several years ago that you wanted to read, but you hadn’t seen it recently in any bookstores — maybe because it was too old, or too obscure — what might you do?
What if you just missed the dry, bookish smell of old paper and the serendipity of happening upon some wonderful novel or biography that you had never heard of before?
Clearly, I am not leading you toward “I’d boot up amazon.com” as the correct answer to any of these questions.
For 26 years, the Twin Cities Antiquarian and Rare Book Fair has taken place in the Twin Cities area — most recently at the State Fairgrounds. Sponsored by the Midwest Antiquarian Booksellers Association, the event has brought together dozens of booksellers from around the area for the two-day event, which sells not just used and antique books but also maps, prints, photographs and ephemera. Anything lovely made of paper, really.
This year, the name will change to Print Matters (because, of course, it does) and it will be co-sponsored by Rain Taxi Review, the folks who bring you the annual Twin Cities Book Festival each October.
As always, this year’s book fair will offer books and ephemera, but it will also offer vinyl records. (I knew I shouldn’t have given all of mine away.) And it will also feature games, music and art.
Print Matters charges a $10 admission fee for the first day (3-8 p.m. on June 29) and is free the second day (10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 30). It will be held at the fairgrounds’ Progress Center.
Here’s the schedule:
3 p.m. Scavenger hunt; print-on-demand beer coasters.
4 p.m. Poetry tarot.
5 p.m. Live music by Paul Metzger, Jon Rodine, Dylan Hicks, Mike Michel and Sean Egan. (Separate sets. They are not playing as one amazing band.)
10 a.m. Giant Scrabble game, regular-sized rules.
All day:Paper art installation with Minnesota Book Award-winning book artist Amanda Degener.
I cannot promise you a rainy day. But I can promise happy browsing, serendipity, the smell of brittle paper, and books — lots and lots of books.
Laurie Hertzel is the Star Tribune senior editor for books. On Twitter: @StribBooks. On Facebook: facebook.com/startribunebooks.