One of the best parts of selling at a book fair is that you’re there ahead of the general public. Booksellers at last weekend’s fair set up on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning before the fair opened. One reason I planned the layout of my book display at home before the fair was so I could get set-up quickly and then go shopping and buy more stock from other booksellers. I’ve been told that much, if not most, of the dollars spent at a book fair are spent between booksellers buying from one another. I sold one whole box of books to other dealers, relieved that I would have one less box to tote home. But then I refilled the empty box with purchases from other dealers at the fair — and half of another box, too. 😉
I had several fun finds at the fair. Shopping at a fair is like having 50 mini-book shops in one location. Best of all, as you get to know other booksellers, they learn your interests, and sometimes they bring a particular title just for you. Before I show you some of what I bought, I should tell you that, as my business grows, I plan to specialize in Western Americana, Dante Alighieri, and Pioneer Women. I know. It’s a very eclectic (perhaps eccentric) mix, and it will likely be refined over time, but these are the subjects I enjoy. Here are the books with the prettiest covers that I bought at last weekend’s fair:
First, we have my Plan B if bookselling is a complete and utter failure:
I can’t help it. It’s the Laura Ingalls Wilder in me. (I think I mentioned before that I liked those Little House on the Prairie Books so much that I once wanted to leave sunny California for snowy DeSmet, South Dakota, where the real Laura grew up.) Unlike Laura, I would be a horrible farmer. I hate dirt, I’d whine if I lived next to manure, and I’d hate cooking large meals for dozens of ranch hands. Still, I am just in love with the idea of a farm. Of course, it is probably obvious by now that my little red barn would be a book barn, not an animal barn. 🙂
I like women pioneers because they suffered and overcame hardships, disasters, and plain bad luck far worse than any 20th/21st century American woman has experienced and they did it without whining. Often, they emerged triumphant. Frequently, they valued their families above all else, including themselves. Always, they make me look like a sissy. And they remind me when I’m having a bad day to suck it up and press on.
Yosemite. The crown jewel of California. And, yes, this one was written by a woman, too. She arrived in Yosemite, and liked it so much that she cancelled her plans to go to Hawaii and stayed for three months, writing journals and letters to her family about its now legendary beauty. Sounds crazy, but just go there and you’ll never want to leave either.
I love the title. Why don’t we say “a-” in front of words anymore? We could add a nice, poetic tone to our dialogue, saying things like, “Let us go a-booking today!” when hunting for new stock. And that picture is lovely. Oh, yes. This one is also written by a woman settler.
I did buy quite a few other books, including two crucial reference books I need. And I haven’t forgotten about that reference book post I talked about last week. I’ll get to it in the near future.
See you in the stacks! Happy hunting!