Book Fairs

It was February of 2013. I walked into the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, California, following the signs to the “Codex Book Fair and Symposium”… I had just handed in my resignation notice to my then-current employer, where I was selling software – and hating every moment of it. I had made the decision to make a career leap. A rather HUGE career leap – from selling software to being a bookseller. So I wanted to check out what this “Codex” thing was all about. The hall was a cacophony of sights and sounds: the glass wall with a view of the Harbour, soaring skyward, let in so much natural light it was like being outdoors on a warm spring day. Thousands of voices were talking, exclaiming, sharing, filled with delight and the joy of the discovery of the unexpected. As I walked down aisle after aisle of “artist books” I was overwhelmed with the beauty and imagination I saw before me, at every table. Books that were… well, more like art than books. But clearly books. And therefore something I could relate to, although the conceptions and materials and design were new and fresh and incredibly lovely. The Fragments of Parmenides OK, fast-forward a few years. I'm now happily cataloguing books, among them, some books from a Bay-Area printer, Peter Koch, of whom I had heard but had, as of then, not had the pleasure of meeting. As I examined his 2003 publication The Fragments of Parmenides I was struck again with the beauty of what I had before me: everything was shee... [more Discovering Artists’ Books]

Ranger-Doug-Post

The Ranger of Lost Art

By

When Doug Leen was a young park ranger working at Grand Teton National Park, he was cleaning up a barn when stumbled across a dusty old poster that caught his eye. It was a poster promoting the Park that—as he later learned—had been created in the 1930s as part of the Federal Art Project, a Works Progress Administration (WPA) program designed to provide work to artists in a time of economic hardship. As Leen will explain in his online talk during the ABAA's California Virtual Book Fair, that discovery launched him on a quest that continues today—to track down a copy of each of the fourteen National Park posters made during the thirties, and to create equally beautiful posters in the same style for the parks for which no poster was created in the WPA era. Although artists employed by the Federal Art Project produced more than 35,000 unique designs for posters promoting everything from theatrical performances to health and safety programs to travel destinations, only about 50 to 100 copies of each of the 14 National Park Posters were actually printed. As a result, they are quite rare and valuable. Leen discovered the Grand Teton poster in 1971. A 20-year effort led him to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, where 13 black-and-white negatives survived in the file drawers of the National Park Service archives. These negatives and the single poster, then the only one known to survive, were the templates used for an initial effort to reconstruct the original set. As republication p... [more The Ranger of Lost Art]

How does one shop an ABAA Virtual Book Fair? Our Virtual Book Fairs combine the convenience of online commerce with the community of in-person book fairs. Just like at an physical book fair, you will be able to: browse the inventory of many exhibitors, but now with the advantage of only having to check out once no matter how many exhibitors you purchase from! speak with the exhibitors in real time, via digital tools like FaceTime and Zoom. be among the first to have the opportunity to buy newly acquired or cataloged items from the most-reputable dealers in the business. shop the fair for a set time only. Our virtual book fairs last for 2-4 days. So arrive early, make a plan to visit the exhibitors you know, and find the material you want! Browsing Options By exhibitor — Browse your favorite booksellers first (organized alphabetically) By aisle — It's a big fair, and you'll want to see every exhibitor. In this case our aisles correspond to geographic region. By product type — Are you particularly interested in maps or photographs? In search of autographs or ephemera? Hunting certain modern first editions? — This is another way to zero in on the items of most interest to you. By budget — Shop items under $500 and don't get distracted by the big-ticket items (as amazing as those may be). By specific item — A keyword search will quickly show you the item(s) you want without having to spend hours walking the show floor! How is an ABAA Virtual Book Fair different from a... [more How to Shop a Virtual Book Fair]

Join us for some Virtual Book Fair fun! The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America will host a Virtual Book Fair Scavenger Hunt via Facebook on November 13th and 14th. Enter for your chance to win a $500 gift certificate! Browse through the thousands of items shown on the Boston Virtual Book Fair website in search of the best and most creative answers to all five items on the Scavenger Hunt List! To enter, head to the ABAA Facebook page, and post: Five answers including links to the items in the Book Fair Be sure to use the hashtag #bvbfhunt and tag the ABAA's Facebook Account @ABAARareBooks! SCAVENGER HUNT LIST 1. Find an item with a connection to something on television 2. Find a book description that passes the book equivalent of the Bechdel test (no mention of a man anywhere in the description) 3. Find a printed book issued in an edition of fewer than 50 copies 4. Find an image of someone (or something) making a bad decision 5. Find an item inscribed or annotated by an author with at least 20 words BONUS: Post your favorite item in the fair! Contest Rules No purchase is necessary to enter or win, and purchases will not increase your chances of winning. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered, or associated with Facebook, and is void where prohibited. 1. CONTEST PERIOD The Contest begins on November 13, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard time and ends on November 14, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard time. These are the hours the Boston Vir... [more Boston Virtual Book Fair Scavenger Hunt]

Update: The Booksellers begins a series of virtual cinema screenings on Friday, April 17, as release plans have obviously had to change because of shelter-in-place orders. Visit this page for information on which art-house cinemas are sponsoring virtual screenings in different cities from April 17. --- The hotly anticipated documentary about the rare-book world, The Booksellers, opens in New York City this week, just as the rare-book world itself descends on the city for the 60th annual New York International Antiquarian Book Fair. Described by The Hollywood Reporter as “a treat for anyone who appreciates the printed word,” the filmmakers interviewed book collectors, dealers, librarians, and bibliophiles over several years to capture a picture of the rare-book world at this point in time. Directed by D.W. Young, executive produced by Parker Posey, and produced by ABAA-member Daniel Wechsler, the film is a celebration of the book and book culture, as well as a survey of the influence technology has had on the book trade, and how interest — nay obsession — with finding and preserving significant books and related items has endured despite what alarmist mainstream media headlines might have us believe. The Booksellers features interview with a great many ABAA-members, as well as prominent collectors and writers, such as Fran Lebowitz, Gay Talese, Susan Orlean, and Kevin Young, resulting in a panoramic view of the trade from many perspectives. Trailer The film debuted to ... [more The Booksellers Documentary Opens]

ABAA members provide a few pointers for beginning collectors who might be considering attending an antiquarian book fair for the first time. Members Lorne Bair, Michael Hackenberg, and John Windle provide some advice gleaned from decades of book fair attendance. Ask Questions/Develop Relationships with the Dealers Veteran bookseller John Windle notes that "a good, close, trusting connection to a dealer will yield the best possible results," so book fairs present a valuable opportunity to get to know many dealers, and let them get to know you and your interests as a collector. Lorne Bair agrees, adding that his "number one piece of advice to beginning collectors attending their first book fair is to ask questions! Antiquarian booksellers as a rule get very few opportunities to talk about their books with people who are genuinely interested. Book fairs are the one environment where they can open up, share their experience and expertise, and communicate with members of the public who share an enthusiasm for what they do." However, don't mistake the museum-quality artefacts with a museum's explicit invitation to stand around and admire all day. The object of book fairs is to sell books -- how else will the dealers be able to buy more books? Many dealers have traveled a long way to offer their particular treasures at the fair. On the other hand, booksellers are eager to establish relationships with collectors and would-be collectors, and are generally happy to talk books and share... [more Attending Your First Book Fair]

Cabookfair-2020

The Image of Suffrage

By Jen Johnson

In commemoration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, the 53rd California International Antiquarian Book Fair, February 7-9, 2020 in Pasadena, will feature a special exhibit and panel discussions on the women's suffrage movement. This celebration will highlight the contributions of successive generations of women, from protofeminists like Mary Wollstonecraft, to the abolitionists and the temperance movement, through pioneering crusaders Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and the suffragettes who eventually won the vote, as well as those activists who have continued the fight for equal rights in the 21st century. Among these women is the California artist whose iconic artwork adorns the book fair's poster. Bertha Margaret Boye (1883–1931) was born in Oakland, the daughter of German immigrants. Her father was a cabinet maker, and her mother a homemaker. She was the middle of three sisters; the oldest worked as a nurse and her younger sister was a portrait painter. Boye had just completed studies at the famous Mark Hopkins Art Institute in San Francisco when she entered and won the poster contest sponsored by the College Equal Suffrage League in 1911. She received a $50 prize for her design, which was reproduced on cards, handbills, and publicity stamps. Boye's design was the precise image leaders of the movement sought. The first suffrage campaign in California, in 1896, failed. When conditions suddenly changed in 1910 and a progressive Republican administration... [more The Image of Suffrage]

The Boston Book Fair is the annual fall gathering for book lovers and collectors of rare books, featuring the top selection of items available on the international literary market. The 43rd annual gathering of U.S. and international dealers, sanctioned by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, takes place in Boston, Massachusetts over the weekend of November 15-17, 2019. Here are a few preview items to tempt you, including copies of some of the most-famous rare books of all time! Allen Ginsberg, Original Carbon Typescript for Part I of “Howl”, (ca. early 1956) Previously unknown original carbon typescript of the most important postwar American poem: Allen Ginsberg's “Howl.” Almost certainly the only surviving draft version of this iconic poem remaining in private hands, and the only one to ever be separately offered for sale, this copy was struck from what has become known as the fifth draft (so identified in HOWL: Original Draft Facsimiles and Variant Versions . Barry Miles, Editor. New York: Harper & Row, 1986) and most likely dates from early 1956. It is this draft that Ginsberg read in what is the earliest known recording of the poem at Oregon's Reed College from February 1956 (indeed you can hear him turning the pages at precisely the right time on the recording), performed just three months after the legendary Six Gallery reading where the poem debuted. Provenance: this copy of “Howl” was ... [more Boston Book Fair: Preview Items]

NYABF2019-Newsletter

NY Book Fair Preview

By Rich Rennicks

The 59th annual New York International Antiquarian Book Fair takes places at the Park Avenue Armory, Marcy 7-10, 2019. Over 200 American and International dealers will be exhibiting. Below we present a preview of the fabulous books and related material our members will be bringing to the show. Special Collection Revolving Around Sendak's "Where The Wild Things Are" A collection including a fine 1st edition of "Where The Wild Things Are" -- inscribed by Maurice Sendak to Suzanne Glazer, formerly of Random House. Along with Sendak's book is a collection of original art, poems and letters to Suzanne Glazer by authors, illustrators and co-workers in response to Random House firing her. Offered by Enchanted Books, booth E11. Nineteenth Century Louis Vuitton Trade Card Paris: A. Alexandre , . Color lithograph printed on thin card in the shape of a travelling trunk, 3.5" x 5" (irregular) approx. Verso printed in black on white, repeating the address information in English for Louis Vuitton's Paris and London stores which are given in French on front. Recto with a bit of surface rubbing and some very faint crease lines; verso with scattered adhesions and very minor surface loss (likely from removal from album), unobtrusive. Overall, very good or better. Very good. The birth of an iconic brand. Founded in 1854, Louis Vuitton was a trailblazer from the start, designing his trianon canvas trunks to be not only lightweight and waterproof, but stackable. These innovations, however, led - ... [more NY Book Fair Preview]

nyabf-2019-headewr

New York Book Fair 2019

By Rich Rennicks

From March 7-10, 2019 book lovers will find a fascinating treasure trove at the Park Avenue Armory. Over 200 American and international dealers will exhibit at The ABAA New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, bringing a vast selection of rare books, maps, manuscripts, illuminated manuscripts and ephemera. The diversity of specialties includes art, medicine, literature, photography, autographs, first editions, Americana, and much more. This book fair is officially sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. This means that collectors can rely upon the experience and professionalism of participating dealers and the authenticity of the items available for purchase. Hours Thursday, March 7 5-9pm -- Preview Night Friday, March 8, noon-8pm Saturday, March 9, noon-7pm Sunday, March 10, noon-5pm Discovery Day (Sunday, 1pm-3pm) Bring a treasure to be evaluated by our experts! Free with paid admission to the Fair. Tickets Preview Pass: $60 (Includes one daily re-admission) Daily Admission: $25 Students: $10 (with valid ID) Run of Show: $45 (Student and Run of Show tickets are only available at the door.) Buy tickets... Venue: Park Avenue Armory (643 Park Avenue, New York). Preview items: Miniature Octagonal Koran (Turkey, c. 1875). 200ff. Complete, single column, with between thirty-eight and forty-one lines of miniature gold gubari per page. Surah headings in black against gold ribbon banners. The o... [more New York Book Fair 2019]