I really do sell mainly at book fairs. There is no database of stock here and no categories to search. I’m fully aware of the benefits of the internet but it can never replace the fun of the fair and the net will always remain a side line for the Antiquarian Book Company. New stock is always offered first at book fairs. This is because collectors have made a big effort to turn up and support the fair and they deserve to find the best books. Older stock is sometimes sold online and if I have items for sale at the moment you can find them here. Some of the ‘Books Of The Day’ are also available for sale.
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 and you can find my diary here. I sell at the Etc Fairs Bloomsbury Book Fair each month, I sell at the Etc Fairs Book and Ephemera Fair each month and I also sell at The Ephemera Society fairs and of course many 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.
Sunday 28th 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...
Saturday 18th May: 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 19th May: Bloomsbury Book Fair, Royal National Hotel, WC1H 0DG London. Etc Fairs. This is going to be a good one – the warm up to the Summer fair season. The buzz starts here…
Sunday 26th May: Bloomsbury Book and Ephemera Fair, Royal National Hotel, WC1H 0DG London. Etc Fairs. Ephemera! It’s a room full of paper and none of it is meant to exist anymore. Ephemeral items were designed to catch the eye and disappear once the job was done. Yet at this and every other ephemera fair you can find everything from a 17th century death warrant to a 1980s Safety First flyer. It’s fab fun and often very cheap – a great way to start collecting…
Sunday 2nd June: Ephemera Society Summer Fair. A new one for me, this is a superb fair and if you are anywhere near London do yourself a favour and come along. Many of the dealers present only do a couple of fairs a year and have fresh stock; they are also very, very knowledgeable. It’s in Bloomsbury at The Holiday Inn, Coram Street, London WC1N 1HT. You can find their website here.
Thursday & Friday 6th & 7th June: The P.B.F.A. London Antiquarian Book Fair. “Free Entry, Everyone Welcome” promises the flyer, which is certainly true if you’re untroubled by, you know, a job or anything like that. Despite not being open on a day when younger collectors can attend I’m really looking forward to this one; it’s a busy two-day spectacular at The ILEC Conference Centre at The Ibis London Earls Court Hotel in Lille Road, SW6 1UDL. Doors are 12.00 – 7.00. on the first day and 10am – 7pm the second day. 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 on the P.B.F.A. website here.
Sunday 9th June: Bloomsbury Book Fair, Royal National Hotel, WC1H 0DG London. Etc Fairs. The biggest ETC of the year – two rooms packed with books ‘n’ fun. Dealers from across the world are still in town and hit it hard to replenish stock; come early and stick yer elbows out…
Sunday 30th June: Bloomsbury Book and Ephemera Fair, Royal National Hotel, WC1H 0DG London. Etc Fairs. Ephemera! It’s a room full of paper and none of it is meant to exist anymore. Ephemeral items were designed to catch the eye and disappear once the job was done. Yet at this and every other ephemera fair you can find everything from a 17th century death warrant to a 1980s Safety First flyer. It’s fab fun and often very cheap – a great way to start collecting…
Sunday 14th June: Bloomsbury Book Fair, Royal National Hotel, WC1H 0DG London. Etc Fairs.
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.