Photo: Bustamante Shows
On August 10 and 11, over 60 exhibitors will come together at the Pasadena Center for the 14th Annual Pasadena International Antiquarian Book, Print, Photo, and Paper Fair. Visitors will find a wide variety of antiquarian, rare and modern first edition books, prints, posters, vintage photographs, and a variety of unique ephemera. It’s an excellent opportunity to experience an incredible number of fine collections.
We’ll be among the exhibitors and would love to see you at Booth #208! The show, organized by Bustamante Shows, is always a terrific event. Sheila Bustamante, who oversees the Pasadena Fair, was kind enough to share her perspective on collecting and explain why this fair is exceptional.
TavBooks: How did you get involved in organizing these antiquarian book shows? Are you a collector yourself?
Bustamante: Throughout the years in producing the antique shows, we had a couple of participating book dealers. In their occasional conversations with Mr. Bustamante, they would always encourage him to produce a book fair, but the suggestion was never taken too seriously. Our schedule of shows was pretty full with over 39 shows per year in California, Nevada, and Arizona. It wasn’t until fifteen years ago that Walter Larsen approached Mr. Bustamante and urged him to produce a book fair in Pasadena. The time was right, and our schedule of annual shows had been reduced sufficiently to allow us to take on the endeavor.
And yes, I’m a collector of books, American brilliant cut glass, art, and many other antique items.
TavBooks:Many of the dealers who’ll attend the Pasadena fair are from California and neighboring states, but one dealer is coming all the way from New York. What’s unique about the rare book community in Pasadena? Why are dealers so interested in attending this fair?
Bustamante: Pasadena has a lot of wonderful history. It was a “sleepy” town for a long time. When we first started producing antique shows there, the town would close up at 9 o’clock at night. Our shows didn’t close until that time, and dealers would not have a place to grab a bite to eat or relax afterward, except back in their hotel rooms. The residents of Pasadena have always been serious about preserving their history. They have done a marvelous job of resurrecting their downtown, and making their city more inviting for the young as well as the older generation. Pasadena has become a marvelous place to visit, without the congestion.
TavBooks: Bustamante Shows has been organizing these book fairs for many years. How has the rare and antiquarian book industry changed since you got involved with the business?
Bustamante: Bustamante Enterprises, Inc has been organizing the book fairs for fourteen years. We’ve been producing antique shows since 1975. Since we have only been involved with the book fairs for a short period, we have nothing to compare with on the evolution of the trade. We do feel, however, that just like the regular antique business, it’s always important to generate new collectors and to get our young generation interested. These will be the future custodians of history. If we do not teach our younger allies how to appreciate and preserve, we will lose those objects that carry the very stories and souls of our ancestors.
TavBooks:What advice would you offer a novice collector who doesn’t have much experience navigating a book fair like this?
Bustamante: For any novice collector: ask questions, research, and purchase what tugs at your heart and desire.
TavBooks:Any exciting items that you know dealers are planning to bring?
Bustamante: We never get involved with our dealers’ inventory, unless they have placed on display something inappropriate for the show. After all, it is always the unknowing that brings those collectors to the doors early, that causes excitement when on the hunt for an item to add to a collection. So whether one is young or old, a novice or a seasoned collector, there is always something at our fairs for everyone.
The Pasadena International Antiquarian Book, Print, Photo, and Paper Fair is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday, August 10 and 11:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday, August 11. General admission is $8, with discounts available for senior citizens (62+) and free admission for children under 12. Your ticket includes free return privileges. The Pasadena Center (300 East Green Street) has ample parking.
Have a question about the show? Call 626-793-2122 or reach the show promoter at 209-358-3134.