A Book Fair in San Francisco in February 2008

- by Bruce E. McKinney


Walter Larsen has been staging fairs since the late 1960's.

By Bruce McKinney

Every other year Walter Larsen & Associates of Alameda, California, stage a San Francisco Antiquarian Book, Print, & Paper Fair. In February, 2008, over the weekend of the 9th and 10th they will host their 8th biennial fair at the San Francisco Concourse at 7th and Brannan. These fairs are staged in even numbered years. In the odd numbered years the ABAA comes to town. This year, in the same month and just a week later, the ABAA will host its annual west coast fair in Los Angeles.

According to Mr. Larsen 117 firms have already signed up. A drawing for premium locations has already taken place. About 60 spaces remain. A link to a list of participating dealers is provided at the end of this article.

Participation in this book fair is a particularly interesting opportunity for dealers interested in testing their retail skills. Of all the book fairs in the United States San Francisco is considered by many to be the best combination of high traffic and low cost. Because the only requirements for participation are material to sell, chutzpah and the relatively modest display fees $725 to $1,150 it is an attractive place to test and sharpen bookselling skills.

According to Mr. Larsen, a man of the old school, the emphasis in this show is on selling. He knows his business, having entered the field in 1962 and staged his first show in 1967. At his peak he was staging, across the western states, thirty-seven events for collectibles of all types. Today, at 78, he continues to stage a dozen. "I expect the San Francisco Fair to be very successful. The Bay Area and Walter Larsen have a long history together. In February we’ll make a little more."

Show hours will be Saturday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm and Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

For information about participating in the San Francisco Fair contact Walter Larsen & Associates by phone - 510.749.0158 or email at inquireies@sfbooksandpaperfair.com

A list of exhibitors as of 9/30/07: click here