Oliver and Gannon’s Albany Book Fair has changed locations numerous times in the last few years. Nevertheless, the Fair seems to attract a loyal crowd, some of whom are ready to spend. The November venue was the brand-new Christian Brothers Academy in a new business development about half a mile from the airport. Officially named the Antiquarian Book & Ephemera Fair, sponsored by the Albany Institute of History & Art, this was the 29th annual fair. Veteran dealers thought the new location the best yet, though there was some unevenness in lighting throughout the room. This lighting has several dealers rather miffed and with good reason, as at least one very large space packed with ephemera was very hard to shop.
Very trying weather made loading and unloading a wet, cold chore and the lack of lights outside the building was a puzzling deficiency. Nonetheless, the show went on with an early buying preview yielding a good to very good start for most dealers. Numerous dealers said they would have been pleased to go home after the early buying, in light of what their show day was like.
There was a strong market for ephemera and Americana, if any market could be considered strong.
Overall, the show continued to attract quality exhibitors. If the promoters can keep building traffic and stay in one place, it’s decent, but not a must-not-miss.
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