Fairs | February 2012 | Nate Pedersen

California Antiquarian Book Fair (Day 2)

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Day two just wound down at the California Antiquarian Book Fair in Pasadena and the general mood amongst booksellers remained upbeat and positive.  John Crichton of Brick Row Book Shop in San Francisco, said that overall the fair had gone "exceptionally well."  Lorne Bair, of Lorne Bair Rare Books in Virginia seconded the opinion as he discussed the "really pleasant venue, packed with a lot of people."  Crichton chuckled when he said that the whole experience remained "unstressful" despite "the [onsite] bar closing too early." 

The busy crowd included a wide variety of ages.  I spoke with two members of the Canadian punk rock band Terrorist, who are playing a show tonight in Los Angeles.  This was their first antiquarian book fair, which they stopped by on a whim.  They called the fair "eye-opening" and "kind of surreal," as they expressed surprise at seeing such expensive books -- especially those that "you can just check out for free at the library."

Another young reader, Christina Donatelli, was also attending her first book fair.  She will be traveling to Denmark next week and was amazed when a bookseller handed her a copy of a first edition of Hans Christian Andersen's tales, complete with the author's signature.  The bookseller told her that hardly anyone in Denmark had ever held a book signed by Andersen.

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As the fair finished day two, most booksellers seemed in a good mood with foot traffic and sales remaining high and steady throughout the day.

I will be posting again about this busy day at the fair covering the excellent lecture from Mark Dimunation of the Library of Congress about the formation of the core LOC collections, the special exhibitions on display, and some fair highlights brought along by booksellers..