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Book Fair News - a chance to catch up on the news around the book fairs.
have been up to our eyes in Christmas - It's a busy time for us
in the shop and we were also infested with grandchildren. :) However,
we will have a revised calendar up for the 1st of January, which
will included a number of new dates and venues.
One loss next year will be the Clare Book Fair. Judith Neal tells us that they have decided to join forces with Stephen Cook's new Long Melford Book Fair, as they are within five miles of each other, and already share many dealers and customers. We wish the new combined fair every success. Add a comment
to TheBookGuide's 2007 Book Fair Calendar. As ever, I must stress
that it is very much a provisional calendar, with a number of organisers
still to confirm dates. If previous years are anything to go by,
I wouldn't expect to have the majority of dates until towards the
end of January. Needless to say, if you stand at a fair we haven't
got listed, please get in
2006 seems to have been another difficult year for all but the top end of the secondhand and out-of-print book trade, and book fairs didn't buck the trend. I will take a detailed look at the statistics at a later date, but the following are a few of the things we have done to help support the UK's book fairs this year ... more Add a comment
Richardson who runs The West Kent Book Fairs (formerly Tonbridge)
reports that providing a more interesting atmosphere worked very
well at his October fair, with visitor number dramatically increased.
Along with 25 booksellers there were local author book signings, poetry readings, children's story time, literary quizzes, hand writing and doodling analysis, book readings and traditional story telling. There were also book binding demonstrations throughout the day and publishing advice.
Mark's view is that book collectors will come pretty much whatever you lay on - the challenge is to increase the interest from people on the fringes, who need a bit of persuasion to visit a book fair. (See Are Book Fairs Boring?) Add a comment
many successful years, Ken McLeod is stepping down from the running
of Long Melford Book Markets and passing the fair onto new owners.
From January 2007 the 'New Long Melford Bookfairs' will be run by
Stephen Cook of Churchgate
Books and John Crawford.
Stephen and John have many years' experience in the booktrade, both as specialist dealers and Fair Manangers for the PBFA. There will be much work to do to build and develop this fair. To begin with stand rents for exhibitors will be reduced in 2007 to make them better value and the entrance fee for the public will also be reduced.
They aim to make this a busy and exciting fair, with the hall full of exhibitors and a steady stream of discerning customers. For further details ring Stephen on 01284 704604. Add a comment
Best news for East Anglia for years, Long Melford changing hands. Stephen Cook & John Crawford have a lot to do to bring back the confidence, but at least will have many book dealers like me wanting to do it again. - Anon
Meaden is staging the first of what will be an annual Letchworth
Book Fair, on December 10th.
Barry describes it as: "A small selection of quality books from reputable dealers. The fair will be held in an indoor shopping mall in the vicinity of Gallimaufry Book Shop. Light refreshments and free parking are available. This is the first ever book fair in the World's first Garden City!" Add a comment
15.11.06. John Bacon alerts us to a change of organiser and date for the Kempton Book Fair. Apparently it is no longer run by HD Fairs, but has been taken over by Wendy and Peter of Thames Valley Bookfairs, who have brought the date forward from December 3rd to NOVEMBER 19th. Add a comment
the 4th & 5th of November the National Trust are holding a fund
raising book sale at Plas Newydd,
Also on November 4th, Douglas Armour is holding a Book and Record Fair in Lichfield. He describes it as: "... a mix of antiquarian and modern books alongside collectable vinyl records of all styles, for lovers of literature and music." Add a comment
06.10.06. Richard Jones advises us that the final monthly PBA fair at Cambridge was held in August. "It was announced some time ago that the fairs would finish at the end of the year but the closure was brought forward because of the ill-health of some exhibitors." The monthly Missing fair at Cambridge still continues.
26.09.06. Amongst the highlights at The Performing Arts Book & Ephemera Fair on October 7th, is Leon Bakst's The Inedited Works, illustrated with hand-coloured plates, and one of only 600 copies .. more Add a comment
25.09.06. Stephen Lloyd's fairs on the Isle of Wight seem to be working, because he's holding another on the 18th of November. This one is described as a "book fair with postcards and ephemera, including football programmes, and will be held in Newport. Add a comment
02.09.06 The Bristol Railway Collectors' Fair takes place on September 30th in Stoke Gifford, and is described by Tony Hillman as having "over 40 stalls selling railway books, ephemera, postcards, photographs, magazines, maps and tickets." Add a comment
02.09.06. A Postcard & Ephemera Fair is being held in Ventnor, the Isle of Wight, on September 16th. It's organised by Stephen Lloyd, who has recently run a number of fairs on the island, and he says it's "a small book fair, with postcard & ephemera dealers in attendance." Add a comment
01.08.06. Chris Maughan is holding a book fair in Heathfield on October 7th. This replaces his usual Mayfield fair in October, due to a mix-up over booking the hall. However, if the Heathfield Fair is successful, he may try it again next year. Add a comment
27.07.06. Ian Kahn's ever-readable (and recently reactivated) blog has his take on American book fairs as its 24th July entry. "I feel strongly that book fairs need to bring more to the table to draw people in the door...I do not think such efforts need to add much to the cost, but they do require more back office/organizational time" ... more Add a comment
10.07.06. Chris Missing is organising a new book fair at Great Dunmow in Essex. The first date is August 19th, and if successful, there will be more next year. Chris thinks the new fair will prove popular with the public - it's only ten minutes from the M11 - and there are currently only two annual fairs in the county. Add a comment
05.07.06. For 36 years it has given city people the chance to pick up books at bargain prices and educate underprivileged people around the world. The annual Feed the Minds book fair returned to Norwich today and will run each day until Saturday with thousands of bargain books on sale to raise money for the charity ... more Add a comment
30.06.06. Recurrent computer problems have kept us occupied for the past few days and it's possible we may have mislaid some email. If you have emailed us and not received a response, please do contact us again. Apologies for any inconvenience. Add a comment
22.06.06. A couple of days ago, Selma from Farringtons School in Chislehurst, Kent, contacted us to try and find a replacement bookseller for their Asian Earthquake Appeal fund raising event. "Just to let you know someone contacted us via your site and we have someone now for our event. Thanks again! " - Selma. Add a comment
21.06.06. Stephen Lloyd, who has been running book fairs in Newport on the Isle of Wight, is orgainsing a new one in Cowes, on July 29th. It's timed to coincide with Cowes week and there will be a wide range of books and ephemera as well maritime books. Add a comment
Museum of Transport in Manchester are holding a fund raising book and postcard fair on Sunday 13th August in the Museum. Dealers can book a stall here, or for more information call 0161 205 2122. Add a comment
Chris Phillips of Bath Old Books emailed to tell us that the PBFA has had to change the date of the Dublin Book Fair to 15th & 16th of September instead of 29th & 30th. We are most grateful to him and all of you who help us in the endless task of keeping this calendar updated. Add a comment
Farringtons School in Chislehurst, Kent, are holding a Summer Bazaar and Asian Mela on June 24th, in aid of the Asian Earthquake Appeal. The dealer who was going to run a bookstall has dropped out, and anyone who fancies taking their place should call Salma on 07966 426 776. Add a comment
It will be interesting to see how trade held up during London 'Book Fair Week' (4-11th June) which turned out to be the hottest week of the year so far. I look forward to Barry Shaw's detailed analysis of the numbers in Bookdealer and will give a Pr'ecis next week. Add a comment
One of the world's
earliest printed documents, Christopher Columbus's account of his
first voyage to discover the New World, will come up for sale in
London this month with a price tag of £500,000.
The Columbus Letter, or Epistola Christofori Colom, is the explorer's remarkably humane description of his first encounters with the natives of Hispaniola and other Caribbean islands early in 1493.
Peter Harrington Antiquarian Books, which will offer the letter at the Antiquarian Book Fair in London starting on June 8th, said yesterday that it was perhaps the first known example of "a papal press release" ... more Add a comment
the organiser of Tonbridge Book Fair, shares his thoughts on how
to make book fairs more interesting ... more
Keith Thompson disagrees: 'Presumably the object of a book fair is to sell books and whether or not it is "dull" misses the point' ... more
Gordon Hill exhibited at book fairs for nearly twenty years, so he feels qualified to comment ... more
Clive Keeble's prescription is simple - price the books to sell ... more
In Robert Brown's view, there are: 'Too many "booksellers", not enough retailers!' ... more
Your thoughts, as fair exhibitors, visitors and customers, could help organisers plan for the future, so please leave a comment
took us to task about a "Book Fair" we had listed, which
he said was tiny and had only one bookseller. When I investigated,
it turned out to be an individual dealer's "Book Sale",
but it had been submitted using the "Add a Fair" link
... so that's exactly what we had done. We've now remedied this
but Brendon's comments raise a couple of issues.
Firstly, perhaps we need another category of "Book Event" to accommodate those which are not traditional Book Fairs?
Secondly - but most importantly - it illustrates how vital reader's eyes and ears are in keeping TheBookGuide's listings relevant, by ensuring that we are well informed. Add a comment
An historic and influential film guide which dismissed modern-day masterpieces such as Citizen Kane, is for sale. Edward Maggs, the antiquarian dealer, is to offer the collection for £12,000 at this year's Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia, London, in June ... more Add a comment
its June date, Steve Marshall will take over the running of the
Book Fair from Bob Broadway. As a result there will be no fair
in May but then the dates will continue as usual for the rest of
the year. Add a comment
There are three book events being held in adjacent Sherborne halls on Easter Saturday, April 15th. Brian Basden reminds us that: 'The Sherborne Lions are having one of their twice yearly sales in the Masonic Hall, which is adjacent to the Age Concern Hall where my monthly Book Market will be held, which in turn is next to the Church Hall where a PBFA Fair is being run.' Add a comment
The London Map Fair on April 9th will be the last of the bi-mothly fairs held at the Rembrandt Hotel. Lack of international customers and the internet go some way to explaining the fair's decline. The June two day map fair at Olympia is not affected. Add a comment
Neville Chapman, who recently moved from Cornwall to West Yorkshire, is organising a new fair at Todmorden on April 9th. Refreshments are available, entry is by donation and the proceeds will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. We hope the fair is a success and will become a regular event. Add a comment
poster advertising an early Beatles concert at Harrogate's Royal
Hall goes on sale at the town's largest antiquarian
book fair next weekend, Saturday March 17th.
The fab four were probably the most famous act to perform at the Royal Hall, and the poster advertises a performance by "The Sensational Beatles" on Friday March 8 1963 - just weeks after the Liverpool band reached number one with "Please, Please Me "... more Add a comment
that this March we are listing 33 more fair dates than in 2005.
These are mainly new ventures by novice organisers, or in a few
cases, new locations by existing organisers.
Early feedback from some of the new organisers is quietly optimistic and provides a welcome contrast to the visible contraction of some of the fairs we regularly visit. However, even at those fairs where exhibitor numbers have continued to slide, some organisers are reporting significantly increased visitor numbers.
Although it's too early for a detailed analysis, these figures suggest that not only has the overall decline in fairs stabilised, but that we are actually seeing a modest growth of about 5%.
This represents the first real growth for five years and perhaps these new organisers will be able to build on their initial success.
Colin Baker mentioned to us that was planning to try a fair in Plymouth, the largest City in the region. I'm pleased to say that the initial fair will take place on April 22nd and will hopefully be the first of many. Add a comment
There have been
a few changes to the PBFA's fair dates, the most important of which
are the cancellation of Tiverton on February 28th and Aberdeen on
September 10th. However, Monmouth gains an extra date, February
We have now added all the Glasgow Botanic Gardens dates but are still unable to discover if the Chesterfield, Dronfield and Retford Fairs are to run this year. Add a comment
Joy tells me
that we now have the vast majority of known fair organisers dates
for 2006, with the exception of the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. This
is due to Richard Rogers still recovering from a knee operation,
but we should have these by the end of January.
The other remaining events are mainly single day fairs, the dates of which are yet to be determined. I will highlight these in this news section as they become available.
However, one organiser remains un-contacted, despite dozens of unanswered phone calls. If anyone can tell us whether the Chesterfield, Dronfield and Retford Fairs are to run this year, they will earn Joy's heartfelt gratitude.
organisers for their dates is always time consuming and it coincides
with a traditionally busy time for us. This year has been particularly
fraught due to the unusually high volume of bookshop updates and
correspondence. This is largely due to the unprecedented interest
taken by the national press and media in the supposed fate
of the UK's secondhand bookshops.
However, this is good news, as the stories have done a great deal to alert readers to what would be lost, if we were all become virtual book buyers.
04.11.05.Computer crash trashed our In Box and ate the last couple of day's emails. If you haven't received a responce or acknowledgement, please contact us again. Add a comment
Charity book sale at Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire, on 5th November
Andrew Harty has just informed us that his fair at Croston on October 23rd is CANCELED. I await confimation of the changes to his remaining dates.
A new fair to us in Settle on December 17th, described as having up to 18 stalls, of mostly antiquarian and collector's books.
Another correction, but not our fault this time :) Pete Fry's Clapham Village book fair is on the 23rd of October, not the 31st.
Jude Haslam was kind enough two send us details of the Bedale Book & Postard Fair on October 16th. There will up to 40 dealers stalls and the fair is held in aid of Friends of Chernobyls's Children.
The Morrab Library in Penzance, is holding its annual fund raising book fair on 5th November. According to Susan Hoyle, there will be rare and secondhand books, postcards, and from 2.00, local children's author Caroline Binch will be signing copies of her latest book, The Princess and the Castle. Susan can be contacted on 01736 810765
Two Dorset bookbinders will combine forces to give an exhibition of their craft at the Sherborne book fair on Saturday 1st October. There will be free advice, demonstrations, displays and bookbinding materials and tools for sale.
Apologies to John Beck for listing his Lewes book fair as being on October 1st, when in fact, it's on the 15th.
Thanks to Mrs E. Mann of Forest Books, Cheshire; for pointing out the script error in the September calendar link, which has now been fixed.
Jo Wyborn writes: "Unfortunately, we have to postpone the Atherstone book fair scheduled for September 17th, due to circumstances beyond our control (yes, that old chestnut!). It will be rescheduled for early 2006."
Greg Finn's two day fair at Oswaldwhistle on 10th & 11th September has been cancelled. If you are at a loose end, you could visit Jude Haslam's fair at Richmond Station on the 11th.
Trevor Cooke's New Forest Book Fair at Lyndhurst was booked for 27th August but the venue changed the date, and Trevor forgot to tell us... It is now to be held on 20th August.
Donald Male is organising a charity booksale of about 3000 volumes at Lichfield Methodist Church, Tamworth Street, Lichfield, on August 13th, 10.00 - 3.00, further details 01543 252653.
Jon Eadon of Trent Valley Bookfairs has cancelled his fairs on 25th September and 27th November at Mere Green, Sutton Coldfield. At the moment no further fairs are proposed at this location, but his Lichfield fair will continue as usual. Add a comment
I have just added a new monthly fair at Quality Mill, Croston in Lancashire. They are being held on the last Sunday in the month (except December), beginning on August 28th, and admission is free. Add a comment
19th was not only Kinver Book Fair's 25th anniversary, it was also
the hottest day of the year so far.
The heat was stifling and I'm sure we were not alone in our desperation to head for the shade of our garden at the earliest opportunity. Not the best of weather to judge any book fair, and Kinver certainly seemed much quieter than usual.
I've persuaded Ivor Simpson, the fair's organiser, to share some of his memories of this popular Midlands book fair and they will appear in August. Add a comment
Initial reports from the London fairs suggest that trade was 'all right'. I will try to provide some more detail when the ABA & PBFA release their figures. Add a comment
June is the
high point of the book fair calendar, with the London fairs offering
an unrivaled opportunely to get up close and physical with old -
and not so old - books. The ABA's prestigious International Book
Fair at Olympia 2, runs from the 9th - 12th June and features one
of the world's rarest books, a 42-page rant written, published and
signed by Galileo. Complimentary tickets are available from the
This year the PBFA's fair at the Hotel Russell on the 5th & 6th, is join by a second at a new venue - Novotel in West London - on the 10th & 11th of June. Admission to both fairs is free and catalogues are available by email.
Details of all the London fairs as well as more than fifty book fairs around the UK can be found in the June calendar. Add a comment
One of the world's biggest charity book fairs opens today (14.05.05) in Edinburgh, with more than 100 Scottish authors donating signed copies of their works to help the charity Christian Aid...more Add a comment
Jo Wyborn of Booktowns International, has asked me to add Atherstone's first book fair to our calendar. It's to be held on Saturday 17th September, stands will be £20.00, trade entry at 9.00 and you can find the full details here. Add a comment
of Bowdon Books writes: 'Reading your review of book fairs and their
performance, it's hardly surprising that the quality of stock offered
for sale at many book fairs continues to deteriorate.
When we went on ABE, about 4 years ago, there were approx 23 million books on that site. Now, there are 13,000 "dealers" and 70 million books on offer'...more Add a comment
Sue Pope is house manager of Dudmaston Hall, a late 17th century National Trust property near Bridgnorth, and is hoping to hold book fairs there on 24th July and 23rd October. Dealers interested in standing at this event should email her.
The River Mersey Book Fair is a new fair at the Birkenhead ferry terminal, with its first event to be held over the weekend of June 4th & 5th. Andrew Harty told me the aim was not only to attract dealers and collectors but also the general public, especially in the summer when a lot of people use the ferry terminal for day trips. Add a comment
A rather belated
listing for the Torquay Book Fair on March 20th. Colin Baker says
that there will be 15 Dealers with a wide variety of specialities,
including children's, fine art, modern firsts and topography. Full
details can be found in the calendar. Add
in its 28th year, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair
is one of the oldest antiquarian book fairs in the America, featuring
museum-quality works on paper for display and sale.
This year more than 135 dealers will gather at the Hynes Convention Center from November 19-21 to exhibit and sell rare, collectible and antiquarian books, modern first editions, manuscripts, autographs, maps...more Add a comment.
Trent Valley Bookfairs have cancelled the Mere Green Book Fair (Sutton Coldfield) on November 27th. However, there are new dates on Sundays planned for this venue in 2005.
analysis of the numbers from the York book Fair in
Bookdealer, provides an illuminating 'snapshot' of the state
of the UK's secondhand book trade.
Compared to 2003, sales were down (13%), exhibitors were also down (15.5%), but average takings and sales to the public were marginally up. No real surprises then, but an encouraging demonstration that the pubic can still be lured away from their screens, because, as Greg Smith commented, 'Its just not possible to fall in love with books on the internet'.
The new venue is a breath of fresh air after the tomb like claustrophobia of the Barbican, and seems to to have received widespread approval from both exhibitors and visitors. Add a comment.
We lost track
of the London Map Fairs when Robert Walker stopped running them.
Tim Bryars tells us that they are now held six times a year, have
a new website, and a change in venue to Rembrandt Hotel opposite
The two remaining dates this year are October 10th and December 12th and full details can be found in the calendar.
has pointed out that we have had the Bala book fair wrongly listed
as Saturday 25th September - it should be Saturday 18th.
Ray says "It is normally the last Saturday in September but not this year due to the venue being already booked for the 25th. I don't know who posted the date to you, presumably somebody who assumed it would be the last Saturday as normal."
to us, Torquay on September 12th - full details can be found in
As part of their conclave, the Miniature Book Society is holding a book fair at the Hilton Hotel, Bath. It's on Sunday, September 5th and public admission is from 1.00 - 5.00.
Clive Keeble reports the untimely death of Stephen Clarke, who traded as Clearwater Books...more
We have just
added a September fair at Retford, Nottinghamshire and two October
The 30th of October fair at Twyford, Berkshire is being organised by a local bookseller "as a fund raiser for the 1st Twyford Scouts, whose headquarters and equipment were destroyed by arsonists last winter".
October 31st sees a new (to us at least) fair at Dronfield in Derbyshire.
Full details of these fairs will be found in the monthly calendar.
traditional London book fairs post-mortem in Bookdealer
was as interesting and informative as ever. The PBFA's Commonwealth
Institute fair (probably the last at this venue) bucked the trend
by declaring a 10% increase in sales over 2003. The Russell's take
was down by 7% (-32% on 2002) and the 45th ABA fair, down 10%.
The general feeling among exhibitors seems to have been that the slow downward trend of bookfairs was set to continue. However, the strength of sales at the PBFA's fair demonstrates that quality mid-priced books continue to sell.
How are book fairs coping with the changing face of bookselling? TheBookGuide looks back over the last four years and finds a decline of 17.5%...more