I’m home from this past weekend’s San Francisco book fair for just 24 hours. Tomorrow morning I am leaving to drive down to the 45th International Antiquarian Book Fair in Pasadena. I am still without a working washing machine, my living room ceiling still leaks, and the transmission is still out on my minivan (aka The Bookmobile), so since I have nothing else to do, I thought I’d write a quick report of the fair for you. 🙂 For more detailed reporting, see Ian Kahn’s and Greg Gibson’s blogs.
To begin with, the book fair was blessed with sunny San Francisco skies on this February weekend. The aisles and booths were crowded with people for much of the fair, and I think the good weather encouraged people to come out and visit the fair.
Book Hunter’s Holiday Booth just before opening on Saturday morning:
Tavistock Books (my mentor, Mr. Z) and I split two regular booth spaces to make one large space. Here’s a picture of a few of his books:
And here’s a picture of Mr. Z’s assistant for the weekend, Kara Mestre of Litle Sages Books of Florida, on the right.
I’m lucky I shared a space with Mr. Z, because Kara also helped me on a few occasions over the weekend. She even took this photo of me in front of a few of my books. Thanks, Kara!
A few more shots of my booth:
And last but not least, just for fun I managed to stream the Superbowl (that’s an American football championship game, for anyone reading from outside of the U.S.) onto my iPad for booksellers and customers alike to watch. See the iPad nestled between the two bookcases?
My sales at this fair were s0-so — not great and not horrible, but somewhere in between. Last time I did this fair in 2010, my sales were higher, but I also released the Dante Catalogue the week before that fair and I think that helped boost sales a bit. The evenings were capped off by delicious dinners with other booksellers, including most of those with whom I collaborated on The Collective Catalogue (see right sidebar of the blog). Some of my cohorts had a party at the Victorian house they’d rented for the weekend. It was lots of fun.
And now for a small digression as to my blog nickname of “Thoughtful Husband” for my husband. People ask me all the time, “Is he really that thoughtful?” Yes, most of the time, he is. (I have no idea what I’ve done to deserve being the object of his thoughtfulness, but I love that I am all the same.) Here’s an example of how the man got his nickname: TH drove up to the City to meet me and my bookselling buddies for dinner on Friday evening. I parked my car at my hotel and got into his car. After dinner, we attended a bookseller party, and then he dropped me off at my hotel and went home to the kids around midnight. After he got home, I realized I left my car keys in his car!!! I called him around 12:30 a.m. to tell him the embarrassing and annoying news. He turned right around and drove the 30 minutes back into The City to bring me my keys at the hotel so I would have them for the fair the next morning. He didn’t get back home until about 1:30 a.m. He’ll probably tease me about my forgetfulness of the keys for years to come, but it is only a good and kind man that would battle City traffic on a Friday night for his wife — twice. So, that’s one of the reasons why Thoughtful Husband has indeed earned his nickname.