Wednesday, November 11, 2009

CIROBE Bargain Book Show in Chicago Offers...Bargains

Last weekend was CIROBE, a bargain book show in Chicago. Jason went down for a couple of days to refill our bargain book tables. I went along for the train ride, as who can pass up a reason to get up at 4:30?

We almost immediately ran into CIROBE confounder Marshall Smith, who shared some good stories about selling to A. David Schwartz, my longtime boss/mentor at Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops, a man who was absolutely obsessed by bargain books. One time Marshall came to sell him and he was out with a back injury. No problem! Marshall just held the jackets over David's head so he could complete his buys.

Alas, I've never been able to be quite as passionate as David, but I'm getting better. We'll have an expanded selection of great bargain books for the holidays. Oh, and I think David would have really loved buying second-hand; I wonder why he never got into it.

I continued my quest to fill in some sections with nicely priced academic books (several vendors let us order in ones) and I went to another vendor to bring in some reasaonably-priced sidelines. This is a good way for us to try magnets, for example. Now I just have to find something metal to put them on. Hmmm...cookie sheets are aluminum, so that won't work...

Of course the highlight of the show was having lunch with Arsen Kashkashian of Boulder Bookstore. First I got to introduce him to fellow blogger John Mesjak (I use their last names because they both publish) on the show floor. They'd previously only Twittered each other.

Arsen's blog is Kash's Book Corner. I really love Arsen's new post about interviewing his new buyer Martina.

John's blog is My 3 Books.

We had lunch at Chutney Joe's Indian Diner, which was only a few blocks from the Hilton on South State Street. It was pretty good, and indeed fast.


This post turned out to be a tribute to Marshall Smith. He passed away shortly after the show's end, on his way home to Florida.

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