If you like old books, you’ll love book fairs. They are a superb opportunity to spend a few hours surrounded by beautiful books, meet fellow addicts and add wonderful material to your collection. I sell at fairs from the South Coast to York; in London at the Etc Fairs Bloomsbury Book Fair each month, their sister-fair the Book and Ephemera Fair each month and I also sell at PBFA Book Fairs.
At each fair I always have an interesting stock of Victorian publishers’ bindings and plenty of bibliomysteries. In addition to that I bring new general stock, manuscript material, maps, original art works and plenty more.
Friday 21st February and Saturday 22nd February: PBFA Cambridge Premier Book Fair. I’m really looking forward to this one; it’s a busy two-day spectacular at the Guildhall. Doors are 12.00 – 6.00 on Friday and 10am – 5pm on Saturday. Special fairs like this are the place to find the very best items. You can see a preview of the sort of things you’ll find here.
Sunday 8th March: Bloomsbury Book Fair, Royal National Hotel, WC1H 0DG London. Etc Fairs.
Saturday 21st March: Lewes Book Fair, Town Hall, BN7 2QS. Featuring the return of the £3-a-book stall. Candidly, I get bored easily and do not like to carry around ‘old’ stock. So I sell it at the Lewes Fair for £3 an item, no matter what it cost and no matter what it’s worth. I’m opposite the door – turn up early and bring a box. Lewes is a great fair in a great town and I’ve been doing it on and off for twenty years, although the £3 a book sale is relatively recent. I absolutely love this fair – great place, great people, great books.
Sunday 29th March: Bloomsbury Book and Ephemera Fair, Royal National Hotel, WC1H 0DG London. Etc Fairs.
Sunday 5th April: Bloomsbury Book Fair, Royal National Hotel, WC1H 0DG London. Etc Fairs.
Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th April: PBFA Oxford Premier Fair, Oxford Brookes University, Headington Hill campus, OX3 0BP. A very big fair, with over a hundred top dealers – displaying a commensurate amount of the very best books, manuscripts, maps, prints and ephemera. The central location makes it a must for any serious collector as well as those who just fancy putting a bit of ‘wow!’ into their weekend… You can find full details and see some highlights here.
Sunday 10th May: Bloomsbury Book Fair, Royal National Hotel, WC1H 0DG London. Etc Fairs.
Saturday 16th May: Lewes Book Fair, Town Hall, BN7 2QS.
Sunday 24th May: Bloomsbury Book and Ephemera Fair, Royal National Hotel, WC1H 0DG London. Etc Fairs.
Sunday 31st May: The Ephemera Society Summer Fair, Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury, Coram Street, WC1N 1HT. A superb fair. Tens of thousands pieces of ephemera ranging from a few pence to many thousands of pounds, and ranging from 1600 right up to the early 21st Century. You can find out more on our website here.
I’ll add more fairs later!
The main PBFA page is here; it has a book fair section. Please note that these fairs are run by the PBFA and all the exhibitors are PBFA members. Larger PBFA fairs get their own website with exhibitor highlights, again it’s all on our website.
The Ephemera Society organise talks and exhibitios as well as the fairs, here is our website.
Inprint, despite the name, is a wonderful website for the lover of out of print books. For over a decade it has been the best online resource for serious book collectors and passionate enthusiasts. It features a huge book fair diary as well as invaluable information about book shops, dealers around the country, auctions and more. You can find it here.