September 20, 2003, the date of the 10th annual Sacramento Book Fair sponsored by the Central Valley Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association dawned bright, sunny and unseasonably hot – but inside the spacious Scottish Rite Temple, the location for the show, it was cool and comfortable – which might have contributed to the fact that the afternoon sales seemed to be just as brisk as the morning ones.
This book show is consistently well produced and well attended. Bill Ewald of Argus Books, the Fair Director, and Rebecca Frederickson do a great job both before the show in publicizing it, and in all of the organizational details during the show. The large booths in the main room are always sold out, and usually the even bigger booths in the side room are full too. Set-up is available on Friday afternoon and evening before the show, complete with a really tasty and varied buffet dinner, which gives booksellers a chance to relax and catch up on some trade talk in the midst of the work of setting up.
Three members of IOBA were among the 54 dealers participating: Vic Zoschak of Tavistock Books in Alameda, Susan and John Hardy of Hardy Books in Nevada City and Chris Volk and Shep Iiams of Bookfever.com in Ione.
One of the pleasures of participating in a show like this – especially for those of us who sell mostly on the internet – is the chance to see old customers, and even more significantly to let potential new customers see your stock: the quality, the condition, the variety and depth of your offerings. The successfulness of a book show cannot be measured just by the number of books sold (or bought) in one day; it is an invaluable way of advertising your business to a group of serious collectors. However, the CVABA show is also usually considered a success based on sales also: five minutes before the closing of the show, booksellers were still writing up their final sales of the day.
It is only a mild complaint when I say that we were too busy in the booth to really check out the collections showcased in the lobby, or even the offerings of other booksellers. At the end of the day, most of the tired dealers were also seen to be smiling.
Chris Volk (text) Shep Iiams (photos) firstname.lastname@example.org