Chapter 6 Book Fair Preparations

Despite the fact that there are many, many books stored alongside my family in this small house, I hate clutter and try hard to avoid it. In order to keep my kids or their friends from playing with the books I sell, I keep most of them doubled shelved in an armoire with wood doors, on the top shelf of each the bedroom closets, and in a glass fronted barrister-type bookcase in our master bedroom. I am not one who piles up books in corners, on desks, tables, and chairs. That is, until now. Preparing for my first book fair has converted my dining room into the back room of a book store.

I have a half-booth and a glass display case at the upcoming Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair this Saturday. In order to decide how many books fit in the bookcases I ordered, I needed to take them all out and place them on the shelves. Then I began the process of lightly pencilling the price of each book on the front free endpaper and covering dustjackets in mylar protectors. As my husband and Huck assembled shelves, I unloaded from closets, armoires, and book cases, placing the books in their new bookcases. In future, I will price and mylar cover the books as I bring them home. I collected for several years without thought of becoming a bookseller, so I would buy books, bring them home and shelve them. Now, I’ve got hundreds of books to price, but preparing for the book fair will just about get me caught up.

It’s amazing what happens when you double shelve your books. If you do it long enough, you forget what you have. I scouted my own shelves and had a few re-discoveries, which I’ll definitely bring to the fair in Sacramento.

I’m including a few photos you can think of as “before the fair”. I’ll try to take some after the fair so you can see that I’ve put everything back in its proper place when I return home.

Below are the stacks of reference books and notebooks that I use for pricing and research on my dining room table and china hutch. The tiny desk with a computer in the corner is my “office”. I deliberately put my office in this room (which is one big room connected in an L-shape with our family room) so that I could keep an eye and an ear on the kids and our eight-year-old triplet neighbors when they’re all playing here. We have ten kids under the age of twelve on our street, and they always seem to migrate to our house. I like that just fine, most days.


Yes, that’s a bowling pin on our table. Huck turned seven last weekend and we had a bowling party, complete with an old bowling pin for a souvenir. While I’d prefer acorns and small pumpkins, Huck wants the bowling pin to be the autumn centerpiece on the table. I don’t have an eat-in kitchen, so we eat all of our meals in the dining room. That means that at the end of each day, this table must be miraculously cleared off and set for dinner for four. I store all of the reference books back in their bookcases in my room each night. You can’t tell from this photo, but doing so helps me stay organized.

Next, the corner of the dining room where I am stacking miscellaneous supplies I think I will need at a book fair: boxes for transporting books, bubble wrap, clip-on lamps, a cash box, stapler, pens, pencils, invoices, scissors, batteries, calculator, etc.


Finally, the bookshelves. This is not quite how crowded they’ll be at the fair, but I took out most of my books just to see what I have and to select the favorites for the fair. With both kids starting school a couple of weeks ago, this is the first chance I have had to catalogue a lot of these and add them to my website.


Tomorrow: Supplies for a book fair and reference books

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