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

The Gold Rush Book Fair Report

Written on May 25, 2007

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My Booth - Gold Rush Book Fair

The Gold Rush Book Fair, while not especially lucrative, was eminently enjoyable. The crowds were steady, helped by a front-page article in the local paper. And though sales were less than hoped (which seemed the general consensus among the dealers I spoke to) , they were enough that between them, the new clients met, and the stock purchased from other dealers, I’ll surely be back next year.

Detail - My Booth GRBFHighlights included: guest-of-honor Ken Sanders’ very funny reminiscences of his years in the book trade, delivered at the booksellers’ dinner Friday night; finally being able to put a face and personality to a name for many colleagues I hadn’t yet met; and being booth neighbors with Chris and Shep of bookfever.com. Some things I need to remember for next year:

Detail2 - My Booth GRBF1) Bring more books. I should have had at least 20% more books to really fill the booth.
2) Bring more Americana; less modern literature. Crowds seem to skew toward retirees. Thought I did have a couple of younger guys poking around the booth asking about Clark Coolidge, which was encouraging.
3) Bring more moderately-priced books. My sense was there were more readers than collectors. Or at least people who wouldn’t consider themselves collectors.
4) Be more careful to stay on I-80. Accidentally wander and you can get lost very far, very fast.
5) Arrive earlier (see #4). Took me about three hours to set up which left little time for scouting the other booths until the morning of the show.
6) On a similar note: leave more time to scout Grass Valley and Nevada City shops. There are several of them, and I only had time for one.
7) Have Windex wipes for the glass case. Fingerprints, fingerprints, fingerprints.
8) Have a rug for the booth – looks nicer than the concrete floor.

In short…Looking forward to next year.

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback from Gold Rush Book Fair Redux | books @ brian cassidy dot net:

    [...] Following up on my report on the fair, the Americana Exchange has their own piece on Gold Rush in their latest issue, including a ten-minute video (!?) (high res and low res). [...]

    June 2, 2007 @ 12:06 am
  2. Comment by Michael Mulcahy:

    I enjoyed it too (my 1st time as dealer there) but I think I brought too many books, almost exclusively modern literature. This is a show weighted to non-fiction. I worry about the relatively advanced age of the crowd and hope there will be a new generation that loves the feel of a good book. My day was saved by the guy who bought both my Kazantzakis titles to go with those from other dealers. His comment: “I read one of his books and it changed my life.”

    June 7, 2007 @ 2:07 am