Monday, March 5, 2012

Washington Book Fair Report

Someone once told me a picture was worth 1000 words. Let’s see how that works.

Leave home 5:00 am Wednesday.

Try to pay for day at Strand Rare Book Room 10 am

Coffee with agent, NYC, 11 am

Lunch with editor, NYC, 12:30 pm

Depart NYC 2 pm

Get good deal on motel outside of Philly 4 pm

Work on book in room


Head South 11 am Thursday

Arrive among my own kind 3 pm

Washington Book Fair setup 9 am Friday

Pack out 5 pm Saturday.

Relax among my own kind 10 pm

Setup was smooth, the buying average (best purchase was the account book of a doctor who furnished medicine chests to ships), sales “met expectations.” Crowds good, security lax (at least one book was reported stolen), and worst of all, there was a shortage of wastebaskets on the book fair floor!

This was always a strong regional fair, and it continues so, though cracks are beginning to show. A few dealers dropping out, and the same crowd in attendance year after year. There were a few younger dealers, like B&B Books and a mostly Internet operation called Sequitur, (their first book fair - headless chicken syndrom much in evidence) but the hoped for young, eager collectors failed to put in an appearance. Organizer Beth Campbell’s good energy continues to be a plus.

Next week: On the Road Again

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