I left the house Friday filled with excitement, wondering how my second time at the Central Valley Antiquarian Book Fair would be different from the first time. About a year ago, I exhibited at this fair; it was the first book fair where I attended as a seller and not just as a buyer. As such, that fair holds a special place in my heart. I wrote about that experience last year. It was the first time I felt like a “real” bookseller and not just a person selling books from a computer at her dining room table, and I loved it.
This year I had the same worries I had last year: “What if no one buys any of my books?” and “What if I can’t remember the sales tax rate for Sacramento?” I also had new worries: “What if I don’t do as well as I did last year?” “Does a book fair with poor sales mean I won’t be a successful bookseller?” And, “Did I remember to pack the chocolate?” 😉
I arrived just in time for the start of set-up and saw that many of the same booksellers from last year were at the fair this year. It was a relief to have already met most of them last year. I was still the newest bookseller at the fair, but I was not a completely unknown entity. Being known well enough to able to ask a fellow bookseller for an extra bookstand or screwdriver is a comforting thing. Being known well enough to be offered a few books in my specialties (Dante and Western Americana) by other booksellers upon my arrival at the fair was great.
After setting up my shared booth with Carpe Diem Fine Books, ABAA, we gathered a couple of other booksellers (Brian Cassidy, Bookseller, ABAA and Tavistock Books, ABAA) and went out to a delicious pre-fair dinner. We celebrated being together again and toasted to what we hoped would be a good fair.
Saturday morning came quickly. I woke up reminding myself of the Sacramento sales tax rate (7.75%) and wondering which books I would sell that day.
This year, Jim Kay, a bookseller and the fair organizer, added about twelve more dealers to the fair, bring the total to about 62 booksellers. It was a packed hall. At 10:00 a.m. the doors opened to the public.
To Be Continued tomorrow . . .