Zhenya Dzhavgova, proprietor of Zh Books, is a promising young bookseller who recently attended an ABAA Northern California Chapter meeting as a guest of member Vic Zoschak. Last summer, Zhenya attended the Colorado Rare Book Seminar on a scholarship from the ABAA and it cemented her aspirations as an antiquarian dealer and her desire to join the ABAA (you can read about Zhenya's experience at CABS here). Below are her impressions of her very first ABAA meeting. We look forward to seeing her at more in the future!
Considering my desire to join the ABAA in a few years, Vic Zoschak's invitation to the NCC ABAA luncheon is a big deal for me. The meeting is at a landmark San Francisco restaurant, which makes it that much more special. I am the youngest one in the group. I see a few familiar faces people I have met last month at the San Francisco Antiquarian Book Fair while working for Lorne Bair. In fact, a dealer and I shake hands so enthusiastically we break a glass. Broken glass brings luck, people say, and I hope so, I really do for my sake and that of everybody else in a profession some are convinced is slowly dying out. Before lunch is served, Vic introduces me to the colleagues I do not personally know. They seem to genuinely take an interest in me asking me for a business card and talking about my specialty. In the meantime, I try to simultaneously listen to several different conversations clashing over my head. Everything is interesting inquiries about other members, jokes, deals made and in the making and I do not want to miss a word. Sandra Dolmatch calls attention and proceeds to discuss a topic which is very dear to me - the scholarships given every year towards educating young new dealers like me. I won one of them last year and it most probably changed the course of my career. It was awarded in the name of Ed Glaser, a great dealer and an iconic figure in the bookselling world, and I feel privileged to sit across the table from him. Time goes by quickly. Business is concluded, votes are cast, and everybody has had a delightful meal. People start to slowly disperse. I am told I have a standing invitation to every future meeting for the next three or four years - until it is time for me to join the ranks? and I leave assured that the antiquarian bookselling is here to stay. Zhenya Dzhavgova