The ABAA at Oakland February 6th, 7th, and 8th
- by Bruce E. McKinney
Every other year the California International Antiquarian Book Fair returns to the Bay Area. For many years this fair was held in San Francisco at the Concourse Exibition Center. This year it’s being held in Oakland at the Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway. The dates are Friday-Sunday February 6th, 7th, and 8th, the hours 3:00 pm to 8:00, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm and 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. One hundred and eighty-seven exhibitors are listed on the show’s site, the majority from the United States and the balance from other countries. It promises to be a great fair and it’s important that it be so because changes in the “what” people collect and “how” they find appropriate material have been transforming rapidly over the past fifteen years. Book fairs have remained one of the few constants in a field in rapid transition. Shops for years have been disappearing and the Internet becoming the new normal for how to buy and sell material. In the meantime shows have become the best way, and sometimes the only way, to meet and visit with dealers. Such contacts are essential to successful collecting.
This fair is one of three primary events that are held each year in the United States at Boston and New York and on the west coast at Pasadena or Bay Area in alternating years. This is northern California’s year.
A regular feature of ABAA fairs is special events and exhibitions and this year is no exception.
On Saturday February 7th
At 1:00 pm, in the Junior Ballroom Daniel De Simone, the Eric Weinmann Librarian of the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C. will speak on “Building New Audiences for Rare Books.” This is the 6th Annual talk at the Book Fair that is co-sponsored by the ABAA and the Bibliographical Society of America.
On Sunday February 8th
11:30 am – 12:15 pm: “Book Collecting 101”
12:15 pm – 1:00 pm: Seminar on “What’s This Book Worth?”
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm: Seminar “Discovery Day”, the opportunity to have up to 3 items orally appraised by professionals. You never know!
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Sara S. Hodson, curator at the Huntington will lecture on “Jack London, Photographer.” We remember him as a writer but he was also a photographer.
Tickets: Three-day admission tickets are available at the door on Friday for $25.-. Tickets purchased on Saturday and Sunday are $15.- and all tickets allow return admission for the remainder of the fair. Online at www.cabookfair.com all tickets are available at a pre-event discount
Over the same weekend and in the same building Pacific Book Auctions will conduct a sale on Sunday February 8th. This auction will include 196 lots, the final forty-seven of which will be sold without fee for the benefit of the Elisabeth Woodburn fund for programs relevant to the antiquarian book trade.
Both the previews and sale will be held in Room 201 on Level 2 of the Marriott Hotel where the show is taking place. The sale has been posted online and here is the link. Exhibition hours are Friday February 6th noon to 5:00 pm and Saturday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The sale starts on Sunday the 8th at 8:00 am.
On Monday following the end of the ABAA show Bonhams, at 220 San Bruno Avenue in San Francisco, will offer 151 lots of important Western Americana, the property of a collector. Here is a link to this auction catalogue.
It will be a long weekend and if you are a book collector, a good one.
Transportation: The Oakland Marriott City Center is just steps away from the 12th
Street BART Station, making it easily accessible to attendees from San Francisco and
all over the East Bay. Out-of-town visitors will appreciate staying onsite at the
Marriott, plus fair visitors arriving at both Oakland and San Francisco airports can
take BART directly to the new venue.
The official website: www.cabookfair.com. Click on Exhibitors for a full list.