Tag Archives: Jim Kay

Our Own Bright Young Thing Reports from Sacramento

Last May 29th found Margueritte Peterson, who hails from Ft Lauderdale FL, walking in the front door of 1503 Webster St, Alameda CA.  She had accepted a position with my firm, Tavistock Books, as she had this desire to work in our quaint trade.  In my opinion, the trade will most certainly benefit from this inclination of her’s, for if I’m any judge of character & ability, Ms P. is a Bright Young Thing.  Her impressions of the recent Sacramento Book Fair follow.  Enjoy.
–Vic Zoschak


I survived working my first book-fair. While I would like to say that it was shocking and appalling and I was surprised at everything that went on (and though I’m sure that would make for a better read), that would be a lie. I have attended book fairs before. I have been completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things to look at. Surprisingly though (at least for me), I found it much calmer to be on the other side of the display case for the first time. While I realize that the Sacramento Book Fair is a more intimate gathering than some of the ABAA fairs, and therefore it’s entirely possible that I sound like a total wanker (I can hear you seasoned booksellers chuckling and muttering “Just you wait, Little Girl” under your breath) I absolutely enjoyed my first fair.

To begin with, load-in, set-up and take-down of the booths was much smoother than I ever imagined any fair to be. Tavistock Books was completely packed and out of the parking lot within an hour of the fair’s completion.  And though I can’t say that I sold a million dollars worth of stuff (if I had, I would be in Cancun instead of here writing this, obviously), I felt fairly confident in my ability to answer any questions asked to me. I also very much enjoyed meeting more of my fellow exhibitors and… rifling through all of their stuff. Nothing like smiling at a man in a bowtie with a nervous rush of “Hi, I’d like to buy this Giants Score Card cause my boss will pee himself, my name is Margueritte from Tavistock Books and it’s nice to meet you, how much is it?” all exhaled in one breath. However, no matter how many times I awkwardly asked if it was really and truly okay to put my card in a book and pay for it in a little while (why can’t I do this at Target?), I was greeted with amused and genuine smiles at every turn. I believe Sacramento was the best fair for a novice like me to begin with. The exhibitors were kind people with a mesh of different materials (mainly affordable, to the detriment of my personal bank account).  I was able to experience great dinners, hilarious conversation, and one extremely sleepless night (…nerves) – all in one short weekend! When I recently attended CABS, a handful of the teachers highly stressed working book fairs. Now I know why.  Not only is it a meeting grounds for like-minded people to share unnatural obsessions with really cool stuff, but it is an absolute pleasure to feel like you belong somewhere.

I had a fabulous time and cannot wait to do it all again.


Don’t Miss the Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair


This Saturday we’ll be taking Tavistock Books on the road for the Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair. One of the best regional book fairs, the show features booths from 60 vendors. This Sacramento book fair has gained an excellent reputation in the community, and visitors will find an incredibly variety of items, including many that cannot be found anywhere online.

Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair

March 23rd, 2013: 9:45 AM to 5 PM

September 14, 2013: 9:45 AM to 5 PM

Scottish Rite Temple, 651 H Street, Sacramento 95819

This fair is unique because it draws such a strong crowd year after year. Fair manager Jim Kay has worked hard to make the event accessible–and memorable–for visitors. For about 20 years now, the fair has been at the Scottish Rites Temple, an ideal location because it’s spacious and offers plenty of free parking. Meanwhile, visitors find a wide variety of unique items. “Our dealers bring items that are unique, and most of them bring items that you simply can’t find on the internet,” says Kay.

Visitors will also be able to get free appraisals on their own antiquarian books, which is always a popular service. Kay, who’s been a book dealer himself for many years, conducts the appraisals. If you’ve always wondered what your books are worth, now’s the time to find out!

The Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair draws crowds from all backgrounds, from beginners to serious rare book collectors. “Fair offerings run the general gamut, from $5 to $20,000 books. You’ll find collectibles and relatively modern authors, but someone looking for a very rare John Steinbeck would also likely find it if it’s available. There are postcards, original art pieces, diaries of people from the Gold Rush, and more,” says Kay. He also noted that collectors would find plenty of graphic items and ephemera, such as movie posters from the 1920′s and even original paintings.

You’ll find us at the fair with a spectacular collection of items from our inventory. If you’d like to see a particular item, please let us know and we’ll do our best to bring it for you.