Chapter 715 I’m Not The Only Bookseller Who, For Better Or For Worse, Loves Book Fairs

The New York Antiquarian Book Fair is happening this weekend — and I’m here, where I usually am, in California. Some day at some point in the future, I will make my way to the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, but right now life at home is not to be missed.  Look at these photos of the very rare (but not unheard of) weather we had last night:

Credit:  Phil McGrew/SF Gate

That’s lightning striking the Bay Bridge. And here’s the Golden Gate Bridge:

Have I said aloud that even though replacing our roof was an inconvenient and very expensive project, I’m so thankful we did so? Despite very heavy downpours, high winds, hail, thunder, lightning —  and yes, even a tornado warning —  there was not a drop of water inside the house last night. I am so grateful for that.

While I’ve literally been helping to keep a roof over my family’s head, I’ve also been thinking of my bookselling colleagues at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair and hoping that there are lots of book sales and that lots of fun is had by all. I have no doubt that Ian Kahn will keep us all informed about the fair with his usual photo-filled posts over at the Lux Mentis blog.

One of my bookselling colleagues and partners in February’s Collective Catalogue endeavor is writing for about being an entrepreneur.   Sunday Steinkirchner of B&B Rare Books has written a great post on the pleasures and pitfalls of book fairs and of owning one’s own business. She captures the essence of that and confirms some of my own book fair experiences when she writes:

“Trade shows are also the epitome of risk. They are expensive and time consuming, and there is no guarantee that the investment will pay off. We’ve had shows where we have doubled our investment within the first few hours… dinner on us! We’ve had complete busts whereby we and other sellers have resorted to flinging rubber bands at each other for entertainment… time to eat take-out in the hotel room. The potential for business can also be intimidating. When high expectations are not met, the tension and anxiety on the long drive home can be overwhelming.”

I highly recommend that you pop over here to read all of it.

See you in the stacks! Someday in the future, I’ll also see you at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair!

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