While the ABAA hosts its California Book Fair in Pasadena in southern California a week later, in northern California in San Mateo at the County Event Center - Fiesta Hall for the first time, Nancy Johnson’s San Francisco Antiquarian Book Print & Paper Fair is providing an appealing 2-day experience ahead of the Super Bowl on Friday and Saturday February 5th and 6th, immediately under the noses of the throngs who venture into the region mistakenly thinking the only book they’ll need or want on SB Weekend is a game program. History suggests the more interesting printed material will be up for purchase at this nearby fair where close to 140 exhibitors will offer collectibles of all descriptions and along with their personal perspectives on the nearby football game where wobbles and goal lines will elicit screams and groans. In the canyons of booksellers in nearby San Mateo the wows will be reserved for significant transactions.
To permit both exhibitors and attendees to buy and sell rare material while preserving the opportunity to attend the game Ms. Johnson has tastefully and tactfully set the show dates as Friday and Saturday. The book crowd can then descend twenty miles south on Sunday to experience the Super Bowl first hand or simply pack up and return home.
In the rare book, manuscript, map and ephemera fields the pace is more leisurely than football but the feeling a day later infinitely better. For those attending the “bowl” there will be memories and receipts. For they who buy at the book fair, at minimum they’ll have interesting material and for many, perhaps most, some collectibles that will appreciate in value. Compare that with the Super Bowl ticket stub [typically $4,000 all in] and your receipts for $12.- hot dogs and the book fair emerges as a convincing value proposition.
In mitigation I’ll mention that the roof on the 49er’s stadium can open while the roof on the San Mateo County Event Center center does not. But as we are in the season of el Nino the secure roof sounds like a good idea.
San Mateo County Event Center
1346 SARATOGA DRIVE
SAN MATEO CA 94403
Friday -- 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
Saturday -- 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Here is a list of exhibitors: