AES and more books

The annual Amateur Entomologist's Society Exhibition and Trade Fair took place today at Kempton Park and I couldn't help myself and just had to go along.

For me this is all about browsing through thousands of books (new and old), fondling aspirational field equipment and catching up with a few like-minded acquaintances - it was a pleasure to have a gossip with Seth Gibson and Bill Dykes, plus a brief exchange with Tony Davis and Graham Collins.

The usual suspects were present - the young, tattooed and body-pierced goth insect breeders (now there is a sub-culture to analyse!); the retired university lecturer types that hang around the field equipment stands; and normal people like me (!!!!?). Quite.

As always, my favourite stands are those that display published material, in particular the one manned by those good people from Pemberley Natural History Books. Today they relieved me of a few pounds for three titles: the newly published second edition of British Soldierflies and their allies, the newly published third edition of Wildguides British Dragonflies and the critically acclaimed Slugs of Britain and Ireland. It is no longer safe to have a field guide (or key) that is a few years old such is the pace of new identification features, taxonomic changes and, particularly with the dragonflies, range expansions.

Some regular visitors to this blog may remember me announcing that I was going to stick to birds, plants and lepidoptera from now on - the subject matter of all three of my purchased books clearly states that this was a load of hot air.

I normally buy an MV bulb when I come to this show, but in a break with tradition, I didn't. See, I can be a rebel...


Unknown said…
I considered coming to the fair but decided it was too soon after my visit last year and hardly worth it from Devon to 'save on postage' for books and pins, etc.

I have ordered the Soldierflies book direct from Malthouse though. That slug book is an excellent one to have.
Steve Gale said…
Maybe we can finally meet at next years show Andrew. I'll get the tea in!
Gibster said…
I was particularly pleased to have somebody unexpectedly pinch my bum at this year's AES. Imagine my disappointment to discover your grinning moosh rather than one of those "young, tattooed and body-pierced goth" girls you mentioned! Only messing mate, always a pleasure. Maybe put a bit of lippie on next time though, could work wonders.... :D

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