Get Ready for Spring Book Fair Season!

By Margueritte Peterson

Happy New Year! For us California folk, the New Year means one main thing… the beginning of the California Antiquarian Book Fairs! There are quite a few to check out, if you’re so inclined, starting at the end of January and spreading through to mid-February! Though we are partial to our California fairs (probably because they are awesome…), ours aren’t the only fairs to look forward to this season! Therefore, to get you hyped up about some book fairs, we’d like to give you a short overview of some of our favorites, with references to their websites for more information and previous blogs on those fairs to give you some insight! So sit back, relax, and enjoy the book fair ride!

Photo: Bustamante Shows

Photo: Bustamante Shows

First up we have the Southern California Antiquarian Book, Print, & Paper Fair on February 4th and 5th. On alternating years, the California ABAA fair switches between the Bay Area and Southern California. When the ABAA fair is in one place, the other city has a respectable book fair the week before! Not only ABAA members exhibiting, you are always sure to find a variety of items, often reasonably priced! This year the Southern California fair will be held at the Pasadena Convention Center, as it has been in years passed, and you will find Tavistock Books at booth 400! The website for the Southern California Fair can be found here. (Read one of our past blogs on the Southern CA Antiquarian Fair here!)

Also at this time, the Codex Symposium will be held February 5th through the 8th at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, CA (a Bay Area local fair… to massive proportions!) Many booksellers who travel to the California fairs make the Symposium an important stop on their trip – and for good reason! As their mission statement says, the Codex Foundation “exists to preserve and promote the hand-made book as a work of art in the broadest possible context and to bring to public recognition the artists, the craftsmanship, and the rich history of the civilization of the book.” See more on the Symposium here

In 2015, Vic shows Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf a 19th century map of Oakland, California!

In 2015, Vic shows Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf a 19th century map of Oakland, California!

A short week later, we hope to find you in our neck of the woods for the Bay Area’s California International Antiquarian Book Fair held by the ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America). An absolute hit when it was held in the Oakland Marriott in 2015, we are sure it will draw the same attention as it did then when it debuts again on Friday, February 10th. Though there was a significant amount of doubt as to whether holding the fair in Oakland would be successful, the large turnout and significant amount of sales put everyone’s minds to rest! The Oakland Marriott is easily accessible to all in the Bay Area by BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit – literally a 2 minute walk to the Center from the station), and in a comfortably large arena with good food and great speeches (one by our very own Zoschak!) – you won’t be disappointed! Check out more information on tickets here, and don’t forget to stop by the Tavistock Books booth (number 1001) while you are there! (Read our blog on 2015′s Oakland ABAA Fair here , and Kate’s recent blog on the Pasadena ABAA fair last year here!)


Kate and Vic have some fun at last year’s Pasadena ABAA fair!

If you are in the Los Angeles area on February 11th and 12th, and not able to make it to the Bay Area ABAA Fair, then shame on you. However, you could also entertain yourself with the Greater Los Angeles Postcard and Paper Show, a nice local show if your thing is postcards or paper/ephemera! See more information here

The Los Angeles Art Book Fair, February 24th to the 26th, will be held by Printed Matter with an Opening Evening on February 23rd for VIP ticket holders. The fifth annual LA Art Book Fair will be held at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in LA – and is always a favorite for California Art Book dealers and enthusiasts! See the website here

Now, we may be partial to California fairs, that is true, but we do attend and occasionally exhibit in other states! Vic travels and shops the New York ABAA and Boston ABAA Fairs each year, and constantly comes back with great finds! However, the ABAA fair isn’t the only reason he finds such great treasures. During what is termed Rare Book Week in New York, there are at least three different book fairs to be attended. The ABAA Fair, the New York City Book and Ephemera Fair and the Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair are all great shows that, should one be in the general vicinity, should absolutely be attended! Find these fairs between March 9th to 12th in New York City. Their websites can be found here, here and here! (Read Vic’s blog on his last NY experience here!)


Kate at her first Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair!

Last but certainly not least is our old faithful and one of our absolute favorites, the Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair, to be held on Saturday, March 25th this year. This fantastic local fair is a great place for shopping, for socializing, and sometimes even for selling! We adore this hidden gem of a book fair, as should you. Come and check it out, Tavistock Books always exhibits and we will be at booth 35 waiting for you! See more information on the fair here. (Read Kate’s blog on her first Sacramento Book Fair here!) 


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