Chapter 569 September Book Fairs

Thanks so much to those who left comments in response to my previous post. It’s very nice to be welcomed back. I have a question for you if you left a comment. When I reply to your comments on the blog (i.e., when you’re on the page with the blog post and you can see my comments in response to yours), are you notified by email that I have responded to you or do you have to come back to the blog to check? I’m trying to figure out whether I should respond to your comments via emailing you directly or on the blog. Sometimes, particularly when we are discussing books or bibliography, many readers would benefit from seeing your comments and my responses to them. I appreciate any feedback those of you who have left comments can offer.

For my first foray back into the antiquarian book world after recovering from Whooping Cough, I signed up to do back-to-back book fairs in Santa Monica and Sacramento . . .

. . . During the same month that Tom (now 12) and Huck (now 10) went back to school. And back to after-school homework. And back to after-school sports. And back to after-school Scouts. And back to after-school music lessons.

Despite the fact that September is a hectic month and that I have to travel to attend these two fairs, I have signed on to do both fairs every year for the past several years — Sacramento since 2007 and Santa Monica since 2008. And every year I sell some books, I buy some books, I visit with booksellers and customers, and I have a good time.

I lost money on both of the Santa Monica and Sacramento fairs last year. This year, I did slightly better, breaking even or a little better on each fair. You can read an article with my comments about the Sacramento fair here. When I first started this blog in 2007, I wrote about the numerous reasons to do book fairs. While I’d like all of the fairs I do to be profitable, I remind myself of this post when they are not. I’m then inspired to keep trying my hand at book fairs. Of all the fairs I’ve done, more have made money than lost money, so I think that’s enough justification to continue to do them even though the economy has been tough on the book business this past year.

I shared a booth space with my mentor, Mr. Z, at both fairs. The fact that we were sharing space led me to create test shelves in my living room before the fairs. I do this so I can determine which books look best displayed face-out compared to spine-out and to see how many books I can bring to fill a half-booth. I also do this because I am slightly neurotic about presentation of my books at a fair. 🙂

Test shelves:

Mr. Z at the Sacramento Fair in his half of our booth.

Some of my displays at the Sacramento Fair

This year I had an extra table, and I used the table-top to display inexpensive children’s and “pretty” books (meaning books with decorative bindings).

Now that the fairs are over and I’m home again, I’m energized and ready to devote some time to polishing my rusty writing skills and posting regularly again. Thanks again for the kind welcome back!

See you in the stacks!


Filed under Book Fairs

4 responses to “Chapter 569 September Book Fairs

  1. Beautiful set up! I wish I lived somewhere close enough to attend Book Fairs. I’m very jealous.

  2. Bill

    Hi Chris
    So glad you are feeling better. My wife and I are getting booster shots before we go to California next year!

  3. Pingback: Chapter 612 Books at the Pasadena Fair « Book Hunter’s Holiday

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