Fairs | February 2011 | Chris Lowenstein

Pasadena Book Fair Report

This past weekend's Pasadena International Antiquarian Book Fair, held in the attractive, spacious, and well-lit Pasadena Center, was a great fair to shop for and to sell books. Located in the beautiful (and warm and sunny) town of Pasadena in southern California, the Pasadena Center has ample parking, is surrounded by a variety of restaurants and shops, and is immediately next door to a very hospitable Sheraton hotel. In short, it's a great location for a mid-winter book fair and book buyers and booksellers flocked to this destination venue to see what a weekend book hunt would yield. The ABAA will hold its annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair in this same location next year, and I think the membership will be pleased with the new location.

Booths 405/406, which were shared by yours truly (Book Hunter's Holiday) and Tavistock Books.

Dealer-to-dealer sales among the 100 or so booksellers, some of whom came from as far away as England, were brisk during Friday set-up and helped the fair get off to a good start. When the fair opened to the public Saturday morning, the aisles and booths were crowded. I saw books of all kinds, ranging from around $10 to as high as the mid-five-figures, offered for sale.

Busy at the book fair

Each night, various small groups of booksellers and even a few librarians gathered for dinner or at the hotel bar to regale one another with antiquarian bookselling lore, book fair successes and failures, and tales of books bought and sold.

Ian Kahn of Lux Mentis and Brad and Jennifer Johnson of The Book Shop enjoying a sushi dinner.

Booksellers held their collective breaths on Sunday, wondering who might choose to go to an antiquarian book fair (even a good one like Pasadena) on Super Bowl Sunday. We needn't have worried, as the exhibition hall was filled with a crowd for most of the day.

Still busy at the book fair

All in all, it was a fantastic fair, and one in which I look forward to participating again.

Ready to sell some books!

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