Despite a last-minute change of venue, the Spring Book Show, held in Atlanta this past weekend, suffered few negative consequences. Larry May, director of the show, scrambled to move the remainder fair from the World Congress Center after learning it had been significantly damaged by tornadoes late last month. Fortunately, the Atlanta Hilton was able to accommodate the exhibition.

“We only lost about five tables of display space,” May said. The most visible impacts were tighter aisles and exhibition space spread out over three levels of the hotel, but everyone seemed more comfortable in the Hilton than the cavernous Georgia World Congress Center anyway.

“I prefer it here,” said Darlene Carter, a sales representative with wholesaler Maximus Books. “The show was overwhelmed by the size of the conference center. It's nice to have everything in one place together and not have to walk for 15 minutes to buy a cup of coffee.”

The recession appears to have made bargain books even more attractive to booksellers and buyers, many of whom were upping their orders. Sally Brewster, owner of Park Road Books in Charlotte, N.C., and president of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, explained: “Books of all kinds become a bargain during a recession—$100 in books doesn't look so bad, when compared with say, a trip to Puerto Rico.”

Philip Rafshoon, owner of Outwrite Bookstore in Atlanta, told PW he was surprised by how much high-quality gay/lesbian/bisexual/transsexual material he found among the remainder dealers. “I bought more than I thought I would,” he said.

Deborah Hastings, publisher of Federal St. Press, credits the recession with increasing interest in her affordable line of dictionaries. While Hastings felt consolidation resulted in fewer retailers, wholesalers and distributors at the show than she'd seen in past years, she pointed out that numerous foreign buyers were on hand, as well as a conspicuous number of Internet-only booksellers.

Diamond Book, a graphic novel distribution company selling remainders for the first time in Atlanta, had a great show, said sales manager John Shableski. Diamond's graphic novels proved to be among the hottest commodities all weekend, and Shableski moved his entire stock.