it's been years and I still cannot get over the fact that the rare book industry basically survives on Book Fairs, which are like dusty, suspiciously hidden conventions where everyone is cosplaying aziraphale and all the vendors are perching on little islands of books
it's so gloriously, terribly inefficient and yet there's a certain charm to it because everyone is packed in a hall with all their wares judging each other

sometimes the same book has been passed between dealers for decades and you recognise it as you go by
you'll have people scuttling in who are DELIGHTED that they tracked it down, and people who wandered in because they were looking for a toilet

dealers snarking at their bitter rivals from 30 feet away

the smell of suspicion and ravens
it clashes with 21st century health and safety all the time, because you get exhausted looking logistics managers trying vainly to explain why you can't stack a huge ivory spiked tome on the top of a teetering pile of pocket atlases to istanbul over a crowded walkway
amidst all this furor you have the book dealers beetling around trying to find where their competitors have undervalued books and buying them THEMSELVES and then other dealers coming in and sniping those same books off the table with a cackle because they Know Something You Don't
and the GOSSIP
you overhear conversations like

"i'm SURE they had that book here last year, oh isn't it just a scandal"


"did you SEE that MISTER MONEYFACE is back we haven't seen him since 2013. he's at Bagnab and Bookrots, mmm yes i -know-"
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