The Cascade Booksellers Association will be holding their annual Rose City Book & Paper Fair again in June, but this year's edition will be unlike any before. The western states booksellers organization normally holds its fair in the Rose City, Portland, Oregon, but this one will be harder to pin down in terms of location. It is nowhere and everywhere. This one will be a virtual fair.
The Rose City Fair was originally scheduled to again take place in Portland, but the booksellers had to cancel that plan for the same reason so many other events have been cancelled. However, rather than just cancelling the fair, the Cascade Booksellers decided to create a virtual, online fair. They have retained the originally scheduled dates, June 12-14.
To attend this fair, you will need to go to the Cascade Booksellers web page at cascadebooksellers.com. It will open at 9:00 a.m. Pacific time on Friday, June 12, and remain open until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 14. While there, you will be able to visit each exhibitor's “virtual booth.” The booksellers association explains that, “they will be offering a wide variety of the best in used, rare and collectible books, paper ephemera, prints, postcards, maps and more using a variety of social media, websites and electronic catalogs.” They continue, “There are already lots of ways to buy books online. The Rose City Virtual Book Fair is an experience, not a website. It will be a fun and dynamic event, offering an opportunity to visit and explore. Browse, chat, connect, buy, collect.”
This year's fair will be free to the public. However, you can purchase an admission to the Preview to be held on June 11. The cost is $10 and will give you first crack at purchasing the items offered. To purchase a Preview admission, go to the Cascade booksellers website at cascadebooksellers.com.
While you may not get to shake hands with a bookseller this year, there are some definite advantages to this format:
1. No travel is necessary. No lost time or expenses for gas, eating in restaurants, perhaps renting a hotel room.
2. Admission is free, the usual entrance fee having been waived.
3. Longer hours... much longer hours. The fair will be open continuously from the Friday morning start to the Sunday evening close. You can attend in the middle of the night if you like.
4. Visiting is not effectively limited to people living in the Pacific Northwest. It can be attended just as easily from any place in the world, opening the doors to all sorts of people who could never attend before.
Many of the booksellers from previous years will be back in this new format along with some new ones as well.