The used book section gave up its traditional riches: sane books on The Voynich Manuscript, The Monks of War: The Military Religious Orders, Edvard Munch: The Scream, Piltdown: A Scientific Forgery, The Archaeology of Weapons: Arms and Armour from Prehistory to the Age of Chivalry, and Triumph of the Nomads: A History of Aboriginal Australia.
Plus, although as I mentioned my memories are foggy on the subject, I picked up some fringier sorts of books, many of them also overstock: The End of Eden: The Comet That Changed Civilization featuring the reliably unreliable Graham Philips (a thinking man's Brad Steiger) on the Great Comet of 1486 BC and its Rays Of Anger, a copy of the pseudonymous Rosicrucian chrestomathy known as The Comte De Gabalis, Mitch Horowitz' engaging overview Occult America: White House Seances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation, and speaking of Occult Nazis Or Near As Dammit, "Edred"'s guide to Rune Might including runic yoga and runic yodels. For reals, yo.
Don't ask me where I got the heroism to withstand a copy of the new reprint of Kenneth Grant's unified field of UFOs, Crowley, and Lovecraft Outside the Circles of Time, but I did. That's right, I saved $65 by not buying that book. Which I immediately turned around and spent at Fields' cannily stocked booth at Pantheacon -- but I dare anyone to cavil at John Dee's Occultism (from the SUNY in its splendour) and Shakespeare's Secret Booke: Deciphering Magical and Rosicrucian Codes by David Ovason, the American version of Graham Philips. Okay, you can maybe cavil at that last one. But I didn't. This year, no cavilry rode to my rescue. Fields wins this round by TKO.
But I got one jab in -- at one point, I asked the kind and helpful Fieldsian why they had no Lovecraft section, seeing that there seemed to be a natural overlap. She diffidently -- even bashfully -- explained, "We don't like to emphasize that element here." This from a bookstore with two shelves of Satanism and an Occult Nazis section. (Fields shelves their copies of the various Necronomicons in the "Left Hand Path" section.) When I pushed back gently (alluding to the aforementioned sections), she said "You know -- the line between fiction and fact -- we don't like to blur it too much." In fairness, Lovecraft blurs the line far more ably than David Ovason, or even Graham Philips. So sure, Fields, HPL and I will give you that one too, on points.