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The IOBA Standard is the journal of the Independent Online Booksellers Association and covers the book world, with a special focus on the online used, out-of-print, and collectible bookselling markets.


John Hardy of Hardy Books, Nevada City, California

I’m John Hardy of Hardy Books, Nevada City, California. We’re in our 10th year of business.

Hardy Books Logo

Hardy Books specializes in “All Things Californian” (California history, fine Press, authors, poets, photographers, artists, food and drink, flora, fauna, movies, books to film, photoplay editions, law and order, San Francisco, Yosemite, Sierra Nevada, and on and on), Western Americana, and Books About Books.

As to marketing, we are open by appointment, and on the internet at, which leads prospective buyers to our books listed on Hardy Books is also one of 15 local dealers in a co-operative open shop called Booktown Books & Tomes in Grass Valley, California (4 miles from Nevada City).

Michael Ginsberg, Michael Heaston, Susie & John Hardy Relaxing After the 2006 Gold Rush Book Fair
Our Bookroom at Hardy Books By Appointment Table

My wife Susie and I also produce the Gold Rush Book Fair in May each year at the Nevada County Fairgrounds (“California’s Most Beautiful Fairgrounds”). The 7th Annual Gold Rush Book Fair will be held on May 19, 2007. We have over fifty dealers with all kinds of books and paper material, although the preponderance of the material is Western Americana. The GRBF is on Saturday, with the Dealer move-in on Friday. On Friday night, we host the Booksellers Banquet, a complimentary sit-down dinner for all our dealers held in the historic Masonic Hall in Nevada City. Each year we name an “Honored Guest Bookseller,” based upon “Ethical leadership and scholarship in American bookselling.” The Honored Guest Bookseller is given Booth #1 at the GRBF and we put them up at a local hotel, all with our compliments. Past recipients of the honor have been William Reese Company, The Arthur Clark Company, Emmett Harrington Fine Books, Michael Heaston Rare Books and Manuscripts, Edwin Glaser Fine Books and Michael Ginsberg Books. Visit Gold Rush Book Fair for more details and photographs.

John & Susie Hardy at the Gold Rush Book Fair Dealer Sign-In

Susie and I attended the eBayLive! Conference in Las Vegas this year and learned about eBay Stores. Hardy Books opened an eBay store several weeks ago and the results are very promising. As one would expect, the eBay folks are very helpful in providing all sorts of templates, marketing tools and suggestions to help one succeed.

I have been a collector of books, primarily Californiana, all my life, as was my father. He was a member of The Book Club of California, as am I. I retired after thirty-five years as a trial lawyer in San Francisco. We bought our house in Nevada City in 1994 and moved here full-time upon my retirement in 1999. Nevada City is a wonderfully restored Gold Rush town, in the Sierra Nevada Foothills, about half-way between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. The area has been designated by Hay-on-Wye’s Richard Booth as “Gold Cities Book Town,” because of the many bookstores, printers, bookbinders and bibliophiles located in Nevada City and Grass Valley.

Nevada City, California

I’ve attended the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar twice; the first time at the dawn of the internet and the second time after the internet explosion. Other than a long apprenticeship in a famous bookshop somewhere, it’s the best thing that ever happened to the education of booksellers, be they fledglings or seasoned veterans.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the company of all book people, be they dealers, customers, librarians, bookbinders, printers or whatever. It’s a vast club to which we all belong.

John Hardy operates Hardy Books out of Nevada City, CA and can be contacted at


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