Sanford L. Smith and Associates, organizers of the 2010 New York Antiquarian Book Fair, today released official attendance numbers for this year, the Fair's 50th anniversary.
Last weekend, 5100 book lovers made the pilgrimage to the Park Avenue Armory to hunt for treasure, up from 4800 attendees in 2009, an increase of 6.25%.
In 2008, at the height of the speculative bubble in the rare book world, attendance was 5800. Clearly, attendance took a dive from 2008 to 2009, a 12% drop into an abyss. Attendance this year recovered over half of that loss. This is welcome news.
The numbers seem to be mirroring consumer behavior in the economy at large, with buyers beginning to feel a little less anxious and more willing to spend on things that are of importance to them.
Let's hope the trend continues, in the rare book fair universe and the American economy at large.
With thanks to Sarah H. Donnell at Sanford L. Smith & Assoc. for the numbers.