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    Adventures of a rare book dealer (and former small bookshop owner).

Sacramento Book Fair

Written on September 13, 2007

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Yesterday I spent the day in the shop pulling material and boxing it up for the Sacramento Book Fair. I got together about eight file/banker boxes to far, slightly less than half of what I plan to bring. Personally, I find the decision of what to pack for a show very stressful. Do you bring lots of high spots (read: expensive) in the hopes of making only a sale or two while creating an impressive presence? Or is it better to bring a lot of less expensive material in the hopes of sales volume but at the risk of diluting the overall impression? Steer a middle course and perhaps please neither the serious collector nor the more general reader? Better to bring book all in one general category to create a strong identity? Or is variety a better approach so as to possibly appeal to more buyers? To some extent, the answers depend on the fair. Nonetheless, these questions keep me up at night.

So what will I be bringing? I’ll be bringing a shelf or two of nice Steinbeck material I recently acquired, lots of fine binding, Californiana and Western Americana (natch), some cool occult and paranormal titles, a handful of antiquarian volumes, and as an experiment, some of my more interesting science/technology books. And of course, lots of modern firsts, poetry (including a handful of C Press mimeos and a lot of Joe Brainard material), signed books along with a sprinkling of juvenile and art titles (including an original collage by Claude Pelieu).

In other words, I couldn’t make up my mind.

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One Comment

  1. Comment by Chris Lowenstein:

    I’ll be seeing you in Sacramento, which will be my first book fair. I am so relieved to see someone more experienced than I is encountering the same questions and that it is not merely rookie jitters. Your entire first paragraph describes my week(s) of preparation to a “T”.

    However, having seen your booth at other fairs, I can testify that I’ve never left it without an exciting find, so not to worry. You’ll do great.

    See you at the fair!


    September 13, 2007 @ 5:12 pm