As usual, despite being well aware that York Fair was coming, and even managing to put a few items on the York Website, the Fair seemed to suddenly creep up on us, and we suddenly found ourselves frantically packing boxes of books and trying to decide just what we should take with us.
Once loaded up and on our way, the journey took just under 4 hours, and we were soon unpacking the same boxes of books onto our usual stand on the mezzanine. It was good to see some of our usual neighbours from years gone by, and have a chat. It took some hours to get the stand set up, and then it was off to our lodgings for a nights sleep. When I looked at my iPad to check on internet orders, I saw an urgent request for a book that we had luckily brought with us to York. The customer wanted it posted the next day, to arrive on the Saturday as a 30th birthday present. Obviously, although we had the book, we didn't have all our packing equipment etc. and no knowledge of local post offices, but as it was for a special occasion, wanted to help.
Next morning it was back to York Race Course for the book fair. The first thing we did was get the code for our iPad so we could communicate with the customer who wanted the book sending. We got a postal address and Jeff dashed off to find a post office and negotiate for a special special delivery that would guarantee postage delivered on a Saturday and a decent Jiffy Bag. He managed to get back for the beginning of the fair.
It always takes a little while for customers to start finding their way up the stairs, but they soon started to filter upwards, and we began to see some new and some familiar faces find their way to our stand. It was especially lovely for us to meet a Scottish customer of ours, who we have dealt with for years, and who had decided to come and meet us face to face, by coming to this fair, staying overnight and returning to Scotland the next day. I do hope she didn't find us too disappointing. For our part, we thought she was delightful.
This book fair is the largest in the UK, and some people find it tiring and a bit overwhelming. Many come for both days in an attempt to get round it all. There appear to be lots of satisfied customers. We saw lots of people walking round with bags, stuck down with the famous security tags. We certainly sold quite a few books I am pleased to say, as did our fellow stall holders. At the end of the 2 days, I'm not sure who were the more tired, the customers who had been trudging around concentrating on all the books, or the stand holders who had spent 2 days talking and working. However most seemed happy. Then it was back to dismantling the stall and the 4 hour drive home, but some had further to go than us. One dealer came from Aberdeen, anorexic from Cornwall, so our 4 hour drive was quite local.
I enjoy the York fairs, both this one and the January one, which although a bit smaller being just 1 floor, is always a successful one too.the atmosphere is usually good, the people friendly and the fair a pleasant event. Hope t see you soon.
As yet I haven't worked out how to transfer my pictures onto here, so I shall put them on Peakirk Books Facebook page for now if you want a look.