Book Fairs | February 17, 2012

Rave Reviews, High Attendance at CA Book Fair in Pasadena

Pasadena, Calif. (February 16, 2012) Drawing rave reviews from exhibitors and visitors alike, the 45th California International Antiquarian Book Fair concluded on February 12 at the Pasadena Convention Center.   The Southern California edition of the ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America) Book Fair logged its highest attendance numbers since 2002 with dealers reporting strong sales.
The Book Fair's new Pasadena venue afforded booksellers a bright and spacious setting in which to display their treasures and put visiting dealers and fairgoers in close proximity to the world-class dining and cultural attractions for which the city is famous.
"We are thrilled that our move to Pasadena has proved such a success," said Michael R. Thompson, Book Fair Chair of the Southern California Chapter of the ABAA. "It's particularly gratifying to hear from booksellers who say they loved the new venue and hope that we will return in future years."
More than 200 members of the ABAA and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) from 24 states, the District of Columbia, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and the Netherlands exhibited in Pasadena.
The Book Fair took advantage of the move to Pasadena to establish a partnership with the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in nearby San Marino. Ticket sales from the first day of the Book Fair benefited the Huntington and Fair tickets gave attendees free admission to the Huntington.
The Book Fair also included an exciting special exhibit and slate of talks and seminars that attracted standing-room only audiences.  "A Love Affair with Books: Personal Stories of Noted Collectors" was a colorful, wide-ranging exhibit examining the avid pursuits of rare book collectors past and present -- from legendary library builders such as Henry Huntington and William Andrews Clark to contemporary Southern California book lovers including actress Sarah Michelle Gellar and Oscar-winning producer Tony Bill. Bill joined fellow collectors Mary Murphy and Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan at a panel moderated by Los Angeles Times columnist, author and TV/radio personality Patt Morrison. The Bibliographical Society of America sponsored a talk by Library of Congress Chief of the Rare Books and Special Collections Division Mark Dimunation.
Kicking off the Book Fair, exhibitors received a warm welcome at an evening reception sponsored by DeWitt Stern set in the magnificent courtyard garden of the Pacific Asia Museum -- one the nation's foremost institutions dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands.
The Book Fair's move to the Pasadena Convention Center also proved a boon to nearby hotels and restaurants.  Together the Hilton and Sheraton racked up close to 800 room nights from visiting dealers and attendees. Out-of-town collectors from as far away as New Hampshire and Texas made the Book Fair the centerpiece of a mini-vacation to Pasadena.
Recognized as one of the world's largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, the California Antiquarian Book Fair is an annual event that alternates between Southern and Northern California. The next Book Fair will take place in San Francisco on February 15 - 17, 2013 at the Concourse Exhibition Center. For more information, visit Connect with the Book Fair at
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