Two Book Fairs in California in February
San Francisco Antiquarian Book, Print & Paper Fair
By Bruce McKinney
Over the weekend of February 9th and 10th the San Francisco Antiquarian Book, Print & Paper Fair opens a two day stand at the San Francisco Concourse. Two hundred and two firms will exhibit. The following weekend, the ABAA holds its annual California Fair in Los Angeles at the Hyatt Regency Century. One hundred and eighty-one participants are listed on the event's website. These fairs are very different but both offer fresh material, the opportunity to inspect pieces first hand and the chance to meet new dealers. Such fairs occur infrequently and these are the two largest antiquarian book fairs scheduled in California in 2008. Both fairs are highly recommended.
San Francisco Book and Paper Fair: Hours and location.
41st California International Antiquarian Book Fair: Hours and location.
The San Francisco fair attracts a more eclectic group of exhibitors, the LA fair a strong concentration of the world's leading dealers. The booths in San Francisco are larger and rents lower so exhibitors are able to bring a wider range of material. At the LA Fair you may be browsing alongside a movie star, in San Francisco a software millionaire. Both will be wearing dark glasses.
The San Francisco fair includes information tables and representatives of various libraries, associations and services.
The ABAA fair includes space for non-profits and lecturn and chairs for panel discussions.
On Saturday in Los Angeles, at 1:00 pm, there is the first of three presentations over two days:
The Rare Book Community: Collectors, Dealers and Libraries -Presented by Daniel Slive, Russell A. Johnson, Deborah Whiteman and Gordon Hollis, Moderator. - Insights into the inner workings of the world of rare books directly from collectors, librarians and antiquarian book dealers.
On Sunday, at noon –
Rare Books 101 - Presented by Katy Carter, Carol Sandberg and Bruce Whiteman. In just one hour, noted rare booksellers will provide a speed course on the essentials you need to know to start collecting. Included is the 20 minute presentation: Internet as a research tool for shopping: EBay versus ABE, how not to get duped, and how to build a trusting relationship with your bookseller.
Two Book Fairs in California in February
From 1:30 - 3:00 pm –
The ABAA provides its annual free clinic a la Antique Rare Books Road Show. It's called Discovery Day, is open to the public and free with paid admission. So many people go to sleep at night clutching a favorite book. Bring it to the show and watch your dreams get crushed. Once in a while, of course, a gem emerges. It can be exciting, informative and worthwhile. [limit three items per person]
All day parking in San Francisco is both plentiful and relatively cheap: $15. In LA, at the convention center, it's $31 for valet, $22 for self-parking.
These are not the only book related events in the Golden State over these two weekends. There are also three auctions: PBA in San Francisco on the 7th, and 21st, Bonhams & Butterfields in Los Angeles and San Francisco on the 18th,. Elsewhere in America and around the world 20 auctions, are scheduled. Additional auctions will be posted during the month.
For visiting buyers and sellers there are also hundreds of open shops in southern California and online more than 1,500 California-based sellers listing on one or more internet sites. California is the busiest state in the United States in the book business. This takes nothing away from New York that has long dominated the world of books with great public and private libraries, many of the world's great dealers and numerous shows. California is simply much larger: a population of 36 million versus 19 million.
So give serious consideration to attending one or both of these fairs. Both shows are great catalysts and there are plenty of ancillary opportunities. There are also no conflicts with the Super Bowl as there have been intermittently in the past. The weather is usually good, the material choice, the company exhilarating.