Sacramento's Spring Book Fair, Eugene's Spring Book Sale... and a Word About Pricing
I sold a complete mish mash of things, so now I still don't know what to bring next time. I think we broke even, but of course, we bought books, too, so there went the profit. We found a couple of new restaurants; The Squeeze Inn, which has smashingly good cheesy, cheeseburgers and the downtown Sacramento P.F. Chang's, which is a chain, but really good food and wines.
The following week, we headed to Eugene, Oregon, for the Eugene FOL Book Sale. It was interesting, and I think it may bring in more people than even the Palo Alto Friends sale does. However, they do a couple of things that drove me to scream. First, they expect you to show up at 5 a.m. to get your early number so you can get in line at 9 a.m. There were actually 5-6 people who spent the night in the line, sleeping in bags in chairs in the damp, cold, Pacific Northwest so they could get the first five or six numbers and they looked pretty rough in the morning. I think that is a bit too much for me. One of them was a very annoying, pushy woman who, when she wanted a book, would sort of hip-shove someone else out of the way. No manners, that one! We came at 4:30 a.m., got numbers 39-40, and went back to the hotel to sleep a couple of hours. We were damn glad we had done that awful awakening when we got there at 8:45 and were the 40th in a line of 300+ eager beaver booksellers. Yikkes!
They let a hundred or so in at a time, so we got in early and there were lots of quality books, many of which were overpriced, but in very nice shape. I bought four boxes, mostly western Americana and miscellaneous odd stuff that I couldn't resist. They have a terrible way of pricing the better books, however. They use those yellow dot stickers and then put scotch tape over those. They usually stick them under the Mylar covers on the good books or on top of the Mylar. But, in some cases, they stuck them directly on the d.j.s and they are a #$%^& to get off without trashing the covers. And, since I scan all covers for pictures before I take them downstairs to the bookstore, and all my Goo-Gone and stuff is downstairs in the store, I have to take them down, clean them up, then drag them upstairs again to scan them. It's damn nuisance and I know many better ways of protecting books from shop lifters.
They do have a really good check-out system. Dealers had their own checkout desk and a place to back in the cars to load without having to stand in the general sales line for an hour. I recommend checking it out if you are anywhere nearby as they did have a good selection. By the time we left to head to Portland, they were down to mostly OK books, but nothing great and there was still a long line of folks waiting to get into the sale.
We went to McMennamin's in Eugene right by the Willamette River for dinner. McMennamin's has dozens of restaurants in Oregon and Washington and the food is always good. They take historic landmark buildings and turn them into restaurants, theaters, or both. You'll find them online. So, the food was good, but Motel 6 was very noisy (too close to the freeway) and next year we will go to a different one, but that night we and the dog were too sleepy to care.