Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2008 Issue

Fifteenth Annual Central Valley Antiquarian Book Fair

Jim Kay, Director of the Sacramento Book Fair, assists a customer.


By Karen Wright

Our big Chevy Suburban was loaded down with twenty boxes of really cool books, eight collapsible bookshelves (whoever invented them deserves a big kiss), and all the falderal one could need to survive a book fair. A quick stop at Starbucks for a passion lemonade and lemon scones, and we were off and running to the Fifteenth Annual Central Valley Antiquarian Book Fair in Sacramento on September 20. We are very fortunate in that we have a very good friend who lives just a couple of miles from the fair so, for once, we didn't have to pay for a motel.

One of the fun things about going to book fairs is that you never know what or who you might run into. I was book-snooping along down the aisles after we got our booth assembled Friday afternoon, to see who was selling what and for how much. I came upon a booth called the Barque Jane Avila. Well, being a former square-rigger sailor, and a barque being a type of old square-rigged sailing ship, I thought maybe I might find a great book to add to my husband's maritime collection. I walked up to the pretty blonde women who seemed to be the dealer and said: "Hey, where did you get that name?" She looked at me, cocked her head quizzically and said: "I used to be a square-rigger sailor..." and before she could finish the sentence, we both grinned ear-to-ear and realized that we both used to sail on the same ship - The Elissa out of Galveston - and that we were friends who hadn't seen each other in about twenty years. Then it was hugs time and we both had to zip back to our booths so she could say hello to my husband, better known as "The Captain." It was a fun reunion. Jayne only does the Sacramento Fair each year, and also sells antiques and things at other shows. She, like we, has retired from sailing and is now in El Sobrante, not far from Lori Hughes, our friend the Cookbook Lady, who had a booth just around the corner.

I also located Chris Volk from Bookfever.com. She and her partner, Shep Iiams, sell books online from El Sobrante. Chris was at the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar and was the faculty member that taught the class on accounting and online selling. She is a board member of IOBA and has convinced me that I should join. If you sell online, you might want to look into it, www.ioba.org (Independent Online Booksellers Association).

Rare Book Monthly

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