Member Blogs > Book Hunter's HolidayChapter 713 Spring 2012 Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair Report

  • Sat, 31 Mar 2012 02:28:53    Permalink

    I should not write things like, “You can expect a full report on the Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair upon my return,” because that inevitably doesn’t happen. This time, I’m happy to report that my delay in writing a post for the blog is caused by a happy event — Phase One of our huge home repair project. After the roof sprung a massive leak right into the living room the week before the San Francisco Antiquarian Book Fair in February, we had to think long and hard about replacing the roof and seriously fixing some other long-deferred home repairs. Phase One (new roof) began today.

    An insulation company is removing the old insulation from the attic/crawl space as I write. Once that’s done and we get some sunny weather, the roofer will remove the old roof, new insulation will be put up in the attic to keep the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and then the new roof will go on. Blogging may be infrequent while we try to make the jobs of the insulator and roofer as easy as possible. We’re hoping the job is completed before rain enters the forecast again on Saturday.

    (Note: I started writing this post four days ago. It’s now Saturday and the roof is covered in boards and paper (i.e. water tight). The shingles will go on next week. It’s pouring rain today with huge gusts of wind. So far. So good. I’m holding my breath until the shingles are on next week.)

    Fortunately, those who have been eager to hear about the fair can read the report of S. Howlett-West Books, here.

    As to my fair, it went pretty well this time. I went to Sacramento a day early and had a chance to spend a couple of hours shopping in the beautiful shop (in a cute bungalow-style home) of Barry Cassidy Rare Books. Barry recently bought a large collection of 60,000 books, which he is moving into his shop in increments. If you’re in the Sacramento area, I highly recommend book hunting here. You won’t be disappointed.

    Barry Cassidy Rare Books in Sacramento:

    After shopping at Barry’s, it was off to set up for the fair. My good friends from Carpe Diem Fine Books couldn’t join us this time, so Mr. Z. and I split a large booth space. While there were lots of familiar faces, there were also a few booksellers trying their hand at this fair for the first time: John Howell for Books, Michael Clausen, Asian Steppes Antiquarian Books, Shakespeare & Co. of Berkeley, Vela-Libra Booksellers, and Discoveries West Gallery and Archive. (Note: not all of these sellers have websites, but they all have books for sale. You should plan to come to a future book fair to see their inventory for yourself.)

    Here are a few photos from around the fair:

    The shared booth of Book Hunter’s Holiday and Tavistock Books. (That’s Mr. Z in the orange San Francisco Giants cap. He is a die-hard Giants fan.)

    The booth of Stephanie Howlett-West of S. Howlett-West Books:

    John Howell of John Howell for Books keeping busy:

    A few close ups of my books:

    From the small collection of books (some signed) I purchased just before the fair:

    Pretty books whose covers I like:

    Mostly Western Americana:

    A few close ups of the items in my glass counter case:

    I bought some books during set-up, even purchasing a really unusual item in partnership with Mr. Z. (More on that at a later time.) I’d like to show you photos of what I purchased, but given the work that’s going on in my house at the moment, the books are all boxed up so that they don’t get dusty and I don’t have them readily accessible. I sold books at a steady pace during this fair, a great improvement over my performance at the last March Sacramento fair.

    My favorite thing about this regional fair is that it’s small size is an advantage: one can scout the entire room in a day, the booksellers you know are nearby and it’s easy to get across the room to meet the booksellers you don’t know. Jim Kay, the promoter of the fair, does a fantastic job getting a good turnout for the fair. The aisles are crowded with people, some browsing and some buying, all bibliophiles. This fair also has a nice mix of dealers with books at all price ranges. Good buys and good fun can be had here. The next Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair will be held on September 15, 2012. I suggest putting it on your calendar if you’re in California around that time.

    See you in the stacks!


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