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Spring Break for Booksellers Report From Tropical St. Petersburg Florida.

Richard Oates

Mar 7, 2023

Spring Break for Booksellers Report From Tropical St. Petersburg Florida.

We arrived home late Sunday night after the tedious grind of prepping, set-up and teardown of a book show. 


In our preparation for this year’s Florida Antiquarian Book Show I will admit that the thought crossed my mind: “Why am I Doing This?”. I have a nice steady and relatively easy online presence that seems to meet the needs. 


Now that the show has ended – though not the fatigue – and who decided to have a book sale when the clocks change, and one loses an hour – I have answered the question.  I am reinvigorated after spending time with colleagues, new and old customers, buying and selling in person, and seeing great and varied material. [Oh, and some top-shelf meals didn’t hurt] 


So, on to the aspect of most interest – was the show a good one; was money made, and who attended.  Yes, Yes, and Great News. 


Attendance was strong all three days even in the last hour of Saturday and Sunday.  The crowd was more than 50% younger than 40 with many strollers and 20-30 year-olds.  They were buying – though on the lower end – and in areas that I don’t carry but they are beginning collectors. 


As we all know a good financial show for one dealer may not be so for all.  Our sales were a bit higher than 2022.  Our average selling price was $105.  [And we sold quite a few under $20 items from our non-listed ephemera box.]  We sold to institutions and made contact with three Florida Museums and now know their areas of acquisition. Also arranged what should be a profitable House-call.  Almost all who I spoke to had a terrific show in sales. 


Next year’s show is March 1, 2, 3 again at the Coliseum.  A gorgeous 1920’s era building.  The area has grown and has one of the best restaurant and night-life scene in Florida, all in walking distance. [Check with us for recommendations, but for the best places reservations are needed 6-8 weeks prior] 


As some of you are still in winter I will not describe the weather but to say PERFECT. 


Next year take a “Spring Break for Booksellers” with us. 

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