This past weekend was the 47th California Antiquarian Book Fair at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The show alternates locations every other year from being held in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
This year, the show celebrated Shakespeare's 450th birthday with a panel discussion of what people ate during the Bard's time, art displays, and lots of old editions of Shakespeare's works on display and for sale.
There were over 200 exhibitors from all over the world with books on various subjects from anatomy to children's classics. The price of the books could range from $25 to well over $100,000. Among these were rare signed editions by Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck, and Ray Bradbury.
In the lobby there were displays on loan from private collections and libraries, as well as information about antiquarian book societies. Here, visitors could see a replica printing press like the one Benjamin Franklin used. This was provided by the International Printing Museum located in Carson. They were very informative about how the printing press revolutionized the way the world had access to information. A two man crew working a press like this could turn out 300 pages a day, as opposed to about 10 pages a day copied by hand. They also allowed you to print a page with a line from Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 2 to keep as a souvenir.
Paperback Collectors Show & Sale
Coming up on Sunday, March 16th, is another great book show. The Paperback Collectors Show is the largest vintage paperback show in the world. Now in its 35th year, it will be in a new location: Glendale Civic Auditorium. Vendors from all over the country will be offering paperbacks and pulps of all genres.
Throughout the day there will be author signings by Harlan Ellison, Dennis Etchison, Earl Hamner, William F. Nolan, George Clayton Johnson, and many others. The show is from 9:00 - 4:00 and admission is $5.