Looking down from my aerie at the inferno of Lost Angels, hard upon the Sea of Broken Dreams, the mountain stronghold of Boss Town looming behind.
The hills above Pasadena, from which vantage the inferno of Lost Angels might be glimpsed on a morning’s hike
Maybe it’s just a matter of putting things in perspective. My great Mexican War discovery turned our to be wrapped in falsehood. I stopped payment on the check and said goodbye to $12K worth of prematurely counted chickens. Carts before horses from San Francisco to Pasadena…
where White Rain Productions and the SoCal Book Fair Committee were busy unfurling the 51st California International Antiquarian Book Fair.
As has been the case with each of these Pasadena iterations, the event was splendidly managed. The Frankenstein theme for the fair
generated plenty of interest and a good amount of publicity.
Hence crowds were strong all three days.
Sales, though generally limited to the usual customers, were robust. In my own experience, and based on the reports of colleagues, institutional buyers, collectors, and the bigger fish in the trade were spending freely. The general public is always a harder sell, though some dealers reported steady retail activity in those mid-range items ($250-$2500) that have been difficult to sell in the past. Nearly everyone I spoke with was in the “surpassed expectations” zone. I think this fair will go down as one of the good ones.
And remember when “Blue Hair” referred to old folks? Kim and Ashley give the phrase new meaning.
Because of the spacious layout of the Convention Center,
Neutron Bomb Effect
this fair is easy on dealers, and setup and breakdown went forward without any major glitches. Best of all, the weather was unseasonably beautiful. Sometimes book fairs seem like real work (New York, for example, is always a labor); this one felt more like a vacation.
Sales at Ten Pound Island were about 3 X expectations, but the buying wasn’t terrific. As usual, there was wonderful stuff on the floor, but nowhere for a poor ant like me to go with it.
Here are a few fellows who have dealt with that problem more successfully than most.
Three Wise Men – Ricky Jay, Jay Last, and Bill Reese