Nancy Johnson Events announces the dates and venue for the 2018 San Francisco Antiquarian Book Print & Paper Fair®. February 2-3, 2018 at the South San Francisco Conference Center.
We have a wonderful location for our Fair, and we intend to have this location for many Fairs to come. Hooray!
The South San Francisco Conference Center is a first-class facility, a venue we have had in our sights for some time. Excellent lighting, carpeted interior, free parking, wi-fi, electronic interior mini-billboards to promote our exhibitors offerings to you — and did we mention free and plentiful free parking. Complimentary shuttle service from BART, easy vehicle access just off US 101, San Francisco International Airport adjacent, and 38 hotels for your choosing.
The Northern California Booksellers Association hosts their annual conference at the facility, so our new home already has a book connection.
The Fair has traditionally been a two-day Fair and will remain so. Sundays are difficult, especially the first weekend of February, when Sunday is SuperBowl. Friday-Saturday has worked well previously and we are continuing the format.
Looking through some 1000 images of the dealers’ offerings at the past San Francisco Antiquarian Book Print & Paper Fair, I needed a break. A posting about the real glow worms of the Waitomo Caves of New Zealand tapped my interest button. The fact that I had been in the Waitomo Caves in 1991 certainly was not lost.
Mind spinning its own silk, I wondered how many books, real and fictional, about glow worms were being offered for sale. On abebooks, 1165. On Amazon, 494. Included on Amazon were six offerings of a 1932 piano solo called appropriately The Glow-Worm. 96¢ to $9.00. At the lesser price item on abebooks was The Glow-Worm Who Lost Her Glow starting at $1.24.
Things get serious when you are discussing real glow-worms, and while glow worms not being exclusively the subject matter, A Naturalist in Himalaya (Witherby, Boston 1920) commands $3012.00 on one listing and $324.00 on another.
I quickly realize that there are far more books about the fictional glow-worm than the real McCoy (or real McGlow) and that’s OK. The CNN posting of the Waitomo Caves were just enough to enjoy reading about their lifespan and habits and recall the rainy afternoon that I went into the eery cave to take a look. I must admit that the San Francisco Fair’s exhibitors selling naturalist books as well as vintage childrens books, I may well ask next February if they have any.
My family visited the Iowa State Fair every year, and when I was five years old, my Mom won in a drawing a two volume set of the Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of the English Language — International Edition Combined with Britannica World Language Dictionary. It was the brand new 1958 edition!
Imagine carrying the dictionary around the Fair. I was already reading at a very good clip and the thought of having these books was much more appealing than cotton candy and snow-cones. We stayed until the fireworks and were on our way home.
In addition to the words, thousands and thousands of which I would need to learn, there were small pen and ink illustrations of unusual animals, inventions, foods and interesting things. At five years old, most of the dictionary was beyond my understanding but the discovery of it all! The international dictionary section would become my favorite, as I learned words and phrases. Chicken became “hahnchen” in German (complete with the umlaute) and a potato became a “pomme de terre” or just “pomme”. By the age grade where we started to learn Spanish, I had already become an annoyance in Mrs. Upton’s class by spouting out words in other languages, words I had learned from that magical set of books.
I ran across the set recently in my family home in Iowa. The bindery a bit worn, my name proudly written inside in both print and cursive, but otherwise no interior writing. I had learned that you didn’t write in books, except your name of course because you owned that dictionary! I spent the evening looking through both books, didn’t find “selfie”, “iPhone” or the country of Myanmar listed, but that was perfectly fine. These were the words, the phrases, the cliches and the history of the time.
The set is being offered on line for an average $75.00. Not for sale. They are waiting to be unpacked in my Denver home and ready for an occasional evening of browsing through them.
Hello Book & Paper World! I am Nancy Johnson, owner and producer of the San Francisco Book Print & Paper Fair It’s a great independent Fair, with booksellers from around the world taking part, ephemerists galore, print dealers and more!
My company, Nancy Johnson Events Management, acquired the Fair, a fixture on the Bay Scene for two decades, in 2011.
My blog will talk about all things books and paper and hope you will enjoy it!