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.
Saturday 24th February: PBFA Children’s, Illustrated & Modern First Editions. I’m really looking forward to this one; it’s a busy one-day spectacular at The Hilton London Olympia Hotel in Kensington High Street, W14 8NL. Doors are 11.00 – 5.00. 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 11th March: Bloomsbury Book Fair, Royal National Hotel, WC1H 0DG London. Etc Fairs.
Saturday 17th 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 25th March: Bloomsbury Book and Ephemera Fair, Royal National Hotel, WC1H 0DG London. Etc Fairs.
Sunday 8th April: Bloomsbury Book Fair, Royal National Hotel, WC1H 0DG London. Etc Fairs.
Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd 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 29th April: Bloomsbury Book and Ephemera Fair, Royal National Hotel, WC1H 0DG London. Etc Fairs. This has a paperback and pulp fair in the second room, running alongside the usual ephemera, postcards and books. I’ll be in that room this time with a great array of passionate pulps like these...
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 and I’ll link to them as they become live. Such as The Children’s Illustrated & Modern First Editions PBFA fair, here.
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.