Portland's Rose City Book and Paper Fair Returns Live on December 10

- by Michael Stillman


The Portland, Oregon, area has faced a tough year. Record heat brought temperatures as high as 116 this summer, their hottest temperature ever recorded. Droughts led to fires, then followed by torrential rains and flooding. Violent protests marred the city for much of the year. And then there is what everyone has endured, the Covid pandemic. Portland needs a break, and some good news. Here it is! After a two and one-half year absence, the live Rose City Book and Paper Fair is finally making its return. That's right. The event will finally be live again after a couple of years in virtual reality. This time it is being called the Rose City Holiday Book & Paper Fair since, instead of its usual annual appearance in June, it will take place in December. Mark your calendars. Pacific Northwesterners will finally be able to attend a live book fair again on Friday and Saturday, December 10 and 11. It's been a long time coming.


In their announcement of the returning fair, the Cascade Booksellers Association said “Booksellers from the Pacific Northwest and beyond will be bringing their best rare and collectible books, ephemera, maps, prints, photographs and more.” A list of booksellers reveals there will be all sorts of material available. Some specialize in books about the American West, but others specialize in fine literature, first editions, private press, cooking, travel & exploration, Americana, Latin America, children's books, science fiction, mystery, signed books, Chinese history, the underground, Mormon history, fine bindings, and much more. Others focuses on different types of material, including maps, manuscripts, diaries, broadsides, prints, catalogues & brochures, photographs, postcards, and ephemera.


One advantage of the unusual timing of this year's edition of the Rose City Fair is that it coincides with the holiday season. You can find gifts for your collector friends or yourself.


Another change is the location. The fair will be held at 100 SE Alder, in Portland, Oregon 97214.


There is one unusual requirement of this year's fair. The pandemic is not yet over, so they will be following some safety protocols, some of which attendees need to follow too. They explain them as follows:


“All staff and exhibitors at the book fair will be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and will wear a mask at all times unless they are in one of the designated break areas for exhibitors.


“All attendees will be required to show proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 (at least two weeks post second shot of Pfizer or Moderna, or two weeks post one shot of Johnson & Johnson vaccine), or documentation of a negative Covid test within 48 hours prior to attending the fair.


“All attendees over the age of 2 will be required to wear a face mask at all times while attending the fair. Face masks should consist of two or more layers, and be worn over your nose and mouth at all times. The following are prohibited: masks with exhalation valves; masks made of loosely woven fabrics; scarves, bandanas or anything that easily slips off the face; and face shields alone (masks must be worn under plastic face shields to provide adequate protection). We will have masks available upon request at the door.


“We will implement timed entry and capacity limits during the open hours of the fair, and during the Friday evening VIP event in order to maintain safe social distances.”


I know some people don't like restrictions, but please understand the reason. We lost some booksellers, and undoubtedly many collectors, to Covid, including one dealer after attending a fair at the beginning of the crisis before most realized how fast it was spreading. We don't want to lose any more.


There will be a VIP Preview on Friday evening, December 10, from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. The cost to attend the Preview is $25.


General admission will be on Saturday, December 11, from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. General admission tickets are $5.


For more information, you can go to the Rose City Book & Paper Fair website. Click here