That the Great American Bargain Book Show will be in Boston for the third August in a row speaks volumes about the growing importance of bargain books, especially during the fourth quarter, and about New England as a bargain book center. "I'm looking for increased bookseller attendance. In terms of exhibitors, the show has maintained and stabilized," says Larry May, who purchased the Christmas Book Show six years ago, then moved it from Nashville to Boston in 2009 under the GABBS name.
Quoting Gail Shanks, co-owner of Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Ariz., May adds, "If you're not selling remainders, bargain books, and sidelines in your bookstore, you have a hobby." To help booksellers better understand how to incorporate bargain into their inventory, the Boston show, set for August 10–11, will get a little help from Southern booksellers who attended May's 16-year-old Spring Book Show, recently renamed GABBS Atlanta. Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance director Wanda Jewell is coordinating a set of educational sessions for GABBS Boston she's calling "Southern Comfort." At some point, says May, he'd like to incorporate a similar set of panels from a Northern perspective at GABBS Atlanta with the help of the New England Independent Booksellers Association.