Bibliophile Societies - Miniature Book Society Conclave in Boston, 2014
By Rob Fleck
Who ever thought that books that can’t exceed 3 inches in any direction could become such a huge success! What was to be a three day visit to Boston to learn about miniature books turned into an adventure that provided me with an excellent opportunity to meet avid collectors, printers, and booksellers that revolves around the saying “yes, a book can be too big!”
The Miniature Book Society was founded in 1983 and has had a conclave every year to help bring face to face interaction between its members. Obviously some conclaves are harder to get to than others (for example last year’s conclave in Vancouver was attended by 40 members) while others, like this year’s conclave in Boston, MA was one of the most attended in recent history (over 80 members). I take great pride in being one of those 80 attendees that was able to make it.
The first day was a meet and greet over a lovely dinner where we took over half of 75 Chestnut, a restaurant whose owner owns Cheers of TV fame.
The next day was registration and a nice reception hosted by Ann and David Bromer at Bromer Booksellers (you too Phil and Shannon!).
After the registration was a silent auction, which I won a lovely miniature book which was printed accordion style, and an exquisite buffet dinner. After the dinner, I won the award for being the most recent newlywed in attendance and won Miriam Mouse’s Marriage Contract, which is a lovely miniature book by Miriam Irwin. She even signed it for me!
Saturday was a day filled with meetings, talks, presentations, dinner with booksellers and collectors, and tours, all while ending with a live auction.
The tour of the Boston Athenaeum was particularly interesting because we got a top-to-bottom walkthrough of the Athenaeum (which houses 1/3 of George Washington’s original library).
The last day of the fair was more work than play (but isn’t playing all we do in bookselling?!?) because it was the bookfair.
Let me tell you, doing a bookfair for miniature books is a dream come true for booksellers because it means you only need to bring a carryon and all of your books with you on a plane.
Can’t wait for the conclave next year in Amsterdam!
Posted on the Oak Knoll Biblio Blog, presented here by permission of the author. Pictures: Oak Knoll Press.