March means Spring Training in Florida and hallelujah for that. It's hard to beat a really warm spring day when you can feel the first sunburn of the year threatening to come along, as you sit in the bleachers with the first hot dog and beer of the season, watching the millionaires in the tight pants play a kids' game. It's an unbelievably sweet experience, every single year. Especially when it's a weekday and you know most of the rest of the world is chained to a desk somewhere.
March also means the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. Book mecca, let me tell you. And with a sense of humor. How can you resist an event that advertises itself with the slogan "Three Homers" and shows pictures of Babe Ruth, Homer Simpson, and Homer (no last name given, 850 BCE)?
This year the Fair is March 9-11 in St. Petersburg, still in the same great retro dance hall location. The arches, wood floor, sparkly lights and book selections make it a bibliophile's dream. Check out the Fair's very cool blog at FloridaBookFair.blogspot.com.
If you have a zest for rare-ish modern fiction, ancient leather-bound tomes or anything in between, there's many a thrill in store. I've been to the fair twice (2010 and 2009) and had some memorable experiences.
My gasp of surprise and delight was audible all over the auditorium when I spotted a copy of The Siege of Krishnapur, a book I'd never seen before (reported here).
And I'll never forget the time I picked up a gorgeous first edition of The Sun Also Rises, priced at $100,000. Put it right back down again, too! I still get a little lightheaded thinking about that (reported at the end of the 2009 post, here).
No telling what the selection this year will hold . . .