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Michigan's Antiquarian book and paper collection


Many of us are book lovers.

An e-book reader is convenient in the sense that you can store dozens of books on it. It's also great if you're traveling and don't want to lug a big chunky book in your carry-on bag.

But if you believe there is no substitute for picking up a book, leafing through the pages, and exploring shelves of books, then the Curious Book Shop in East Lansing is the place to be.

Owner Ray Walsh carries the banner for wonderful old books, which includes the 57th Michigan Antiquarian Book and Paper Show.

The event is one of the largest in the Midwest, held twice a year and it's happening this Sunday at the Lansing Center.

It will be hosted by the Mid Michigan Antiquarian Book Dealers Association and hosts 70 dealers from eight states and Canada.

"It's not your usual books show," Walsh notes. "There are a lot of odd and unusual things like postcards, photographs, movie posters, football programs, and all sorts of paper items that you don't normally see at antiquarian book shows."

Here is a video from the 54th Antiquarian Book Show:


The show has many "treasures" for people to find, but those items do not overshadow what most people obviously come to see, the books.

"There is everything from rare first editions, to the more common vintage paperbacks," Walsh explains. "This is not a garage sale or flea market. It is an accumulation of a lot of peoples' attics and treasures, that often have never been shown before."

"These are the things that the book dealers and people that are set up at the show have bought at garage sales and realized this stuff  has some value,” Walsh says.

When it comes to fine, old books, the Michigan Antiquarian Book and Paper Show is where you will be able to get an idea of what these items are.

This years show will showcase some rare books such as, an 1804 early edition of "The Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith, and an 1830 edition of "The Works of Thomas Jefferson"

The allure that comes from searching and finding a rare book or finding information on rare subject is what draws many people to these shows or events.

Walsh explains to us, “part of it is the reflection of how things used to be and how comparatively good it was. A lot of people buy things there because it brings back positive memories. People like to remember things fondly and these bring back a lot of good images.”     

The Michigan Antiquarian Book and Paper Show has been held for over 25 years .

For those looking for rare items, The 57th Michigan Antiquarian Book and Paper Show is this Sunday at the Lansing Center.

To find more information on the event, you can visit the Curious Book Shop website.

-Marlon Phillips, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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