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Book Fairs > News

Book Fair News - a chance to catch up on the news around the book fairs.


15.12.08. SJ Hamshere writes: "I have been going to this fair (Kinver Book Fair) for some years with my parents - who go almost every time - and always really enjoy myself. It's a small fair with mostly general secondhand books and ephemera, which suits me. It also has refreshments - with fabulous homemade cakes and apple pie, so we always make time for coffee and cake too!"  Add a comment

09.12.08. We have made a couple of small changes to the way next year's fairs are displayed. One change requested by a number of readers was to show the venue postcode (as well as using it to generate a map link) so that it could be used by Sat Nav devices.
    If you have any observations about the calendar or suggestions about how it might be improved, now would be a good time to make them.  Add a comment

08.12.08. Joy tells me that the majority of organisers have responded, leaving mainly those who only hold one or two fairs later in the year, to confirm. Needless to say, I will inform you as new dates are added.  Add a comment

01.12.08. Nancy Hamilton writes: "Please could you mention Trevor and Margaret Cooke's retirement after this month's Wimborne Book Fair on (November) the 29th. Really just to wish them both all the very best and thank them for running both these popular and enjoyable fairs (Lyndhurst and Wimborne), and to hope they will continue to pop in from time to time throughout 2009 as I will be keeping a stall with their name on!"  Add a comment

24.11.08. Andrew Weeks will launch the Mid Sussex Book Fair on Sunday 21st December, with a further four dates to follow in 2009. 20 dealers are booked to exhibit at the first fair, and they intend to offer a wide range of secondhand, collectable and antiquarian books. Please note that there will be no early trade entry.  Add a comment

20.11.08. The ABA reports that the level of sales achieved at the Chelsea Book Fair on November 7th was rather better than some had feared. Chairman Roger Treglown apparently thought that business could have been down by more than 25% but in the event, the overall take of £361,971 was only about 10% less than last year's figure. The average individual take of £4640 was down by 13% but this was shared between five more exhibitors than in 2007.  Add a comment

14.11.08. I'm pleased to be able to report that after a couple of fairs plagued by last minute exhibitor cancellations, the Bristol Book Fair on November 30th is fully booked. A further incentive to visit is the food, which is said to be so good that customers are buying extra portions for later consumption, and Jon Edgson says it's the best food he had ever had at a book fair!  Add a comment

10.11.08. I'm out of the office for a few days, so no news or updates until November 14th.  Add a comment

06.11.08. S A Stokes writes: " I went to the Horndean Book Fair a couple of weeks ago - first time I'd been to it, and the first bookfair I've been to for a while, and I have to say, I was quite impressed. I'd stopped going to fairs as the halls were half empty, and most people seemed to be either out to make ridiculous amounts of money, or the the stalls were selling dross. However, Horndean turned out to be a lovely fair, with a nice range of stock related to my interests (photography, literature, art, countryside, first editions, fiction, biography, cinema ... the list goes on!). The dealers were knowledgeable about their stock, and came across as real enthusiasts who actually read books rather than wide boys dealing for exorbitant profits. The location was good, and relatively easy to find, and didn't take too long to get to (considering I live on the south coast of the New Forest). Parking was plentiful too. This was a book fair like they used to be ..."  Add a comment

27.10.08. I can't say that we have been deluged with next year's fair dates since my appeal at the beginning of the the month -- indeed, a trickle would be much nearer the mark. The PBFA already have their 2009 dates up, but I still don't have enough dates from other organisers to make it worth putting up a provisional calendar of our own. We will start emailing and phoning this week, but experience suggests that it will be the middle of November before we have anything worth posting.  Add a comment

23.10.08. Book enthusiasts will be in their element on Sunday as a fair featuring thousands of books as well as storytellers, games, quizzes and advice on publishing takes place in Tonbridge. The West Kent Book Fair is held at Tonbridge School and will feature sellers from around the south of the country ... more  Add a comment

19.10.08. Debbie Evans has recently been appointed Show Director for the Cornwall Spring Flower Show which will be held at Boconnoc, home of the Fortescue Family on 4th & 5th April 2009. The show has been running since 1897 and attracts 6000 visitors over the two days. She asks if anyone specialising in gardening and related subjects would be interested in standing at the event, and can be contacted on 01209 714488.  Add a comment

16.10.08. More than 30 traders have taken stalls at the antiquarian and second-hand book and post card fair, which is being held at Bedale High School, in North Yorkshire, on Sunday ... more  Add a comment

12.10.08. Barry Thurston writes: "I'm sorry to say that the Book Fair at Calderglen Country Park advertised for the weekend 18th and 19th October has been cancelled. This is due to circumstances outside our control."  Add a comment

11.10.08. I'm out of the office until October 16th, so no news, reviews, or updates until then.  Add a comment

02.10.08. I know it's only the begining of October but I've allready had a number of requests from both the trade and customers for next year's dates. If fair organisers could let me have their 2009 dates at the earliest opportunity, I will post a link to them.  Add a comment

23.09.08. Michael Lieberman recently speculated in his Book Patrol blog about the future of smaller regional book fairs in the USA. Whilst it would be unwise to attempt to draw direct parallels between US and UK fairs, much of what he has to say will strike a cord with both exhibitors and visitors in this country ... more  Add a comment
    Morrab Library (Penzance) bucks the trend if "Regional bookfairs are struggling" with over 500 through the door & many dealers taking record amounts on Saturday 27th September. - Kelvin Hearn 30.09.08.

18.09.08. John Bradley has pointed out that we hadn't listed the 26th Annual Belfast Book Fair, which takes place on October 18th. This year's event sees new organisers, and we seem to have dropped out of the loop when they took over from Jiri Books.  Add a comment

13.09.08. I'm out of the office for a few days, so no news or updates until 18.09.08.  Add a comment

09.09.08. Peter Hames will be staging the second Appledore Book Fair on October 4th. This year there will be 15 booksellers from all over the West Country, and the event is part of the Appledore Book Festival, which runs for a week from September 27th.  Add a comment

05.09.09. Jude Haslam, the organiser of the Richmond Book Fair on September 28th, draws our attention to the town's Walking & Book Festival, which will run from September 26th - October 5th. Books and boots in Swaledale seems like an unbeatable combination to me, and I'm sorry I have to be elsewhere.  Add a comment

02.09.09. Books at the Botanics, whose next fair at Glasgow Botanic Gardens will run from Friday 26th to Monday 29th of September, have a new website.  Add a comment

26.08.08. I've just discovered that there is to be a book fair in Appledore, North Devon, on October 4th -- more details details as soon as I have them.  Add a comment

26.08.08. Castle Square Church in Caernarfon are holding a sale of of late 19th and early 20th century books from their former Sunday school and church library, on September 3rd.  Add a comment

14.08.08. Aimed at reaching a public who haven't started to collect books yet, but who might want to, "Start Collecting Books Now", a new PBFA initiative, is to be launched with distribution of 10,000 free booklets at the York National Book Fair on 12th September 2008. You can read more about this initiative , or print a complimentary ticket for two, on the York National Book Fair website.  Add a comment

07.08.08. Title Page Book Fairs are organising a new fair in the Court Area of Croydon Clock Tower, on Saturday November 1st. The Clock Tower is home to the Central Library, Museum, and Art Gallery, and the Court Area is a busy thoroughfare for people using these other facilities. If this event is successful, others will follow in 2009.  Add a comment

01.08.08. The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association and the Women's Library are presenting a major selling exhibition entitled Women and the Book. 370 items cover all aspects of woman and the printed word, and range from Dame Juliana Berners' Boke of St Albans printed by Caxton's successor Wynkyn de Worde at Westminster in 1496 to a 1997 proof copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling. Literary heavyweights such as Jane Austen, Mary Wollstonecraft and Virginia Woolf will rub shoulders with presentation and association copies, as well as ephemeral items such as Suffragette board games. The price range is £40.00-£75,000, the exhibition runs from August 8th-20th, and you can read the full press release here.  Add a comment

29.07.08. A rather late entry for Bernard Parkin, who is organising a small book fair in Hawes, North Yorkshire, on August 16th. Bernard has organised regular craft fairs at this venue, and is being ably assisted by the owner of Bloomingdales, the secondhand bookshop next door.  Add a comment Saturday's Cheltenham Book Fair was the first of the small clutch of new, town centre book fairs, that I've been able to visit. I was particularly interested because I've long thought that the pre-internet economics that drove book fairs to out-of-town locations are much less relevant today ... more  Add a comment

17.07.08. I hope it's true that no news is good news, because that's exactly what I've got - no news! I confess that I've never really understood why the 1000's of readers who use this database have so little to say about the fairs they visit, and what they find there.
     This is certainly the case when compared to the number of comments we receive about the UK's secondhand bookshops. And although a surprising number of these are "not for publication", there seems to be a lively interest in commenting on, and reviewing, shops.
     Many readers find these reviews and comments most useful when deciding which shops to visit, and I would have thought they would be equally grateful for similar comments about book fairs.  Add a comment
   As a regular seller at the London and South East bookfairs a typical month follows a fairly predictable pattern with all energies, and the bankers, focused on the National ... more

12.07.08. I'm out of the office for a few days -- so no news or updates until my return on July 17th.  Add a comment

10.04.08. "What an amazing site! It's been a while since I found something this useful on the net ... I will be sure to check in regularly." Sue Stephens also commented favorably on the speed and accuracy of the book fair calendar database -- but she also raised some interesting questions about usability.
    Pointing out that using the Show More Options link above the Search Fairs box would allow her to access the fair information in the form that she found most useful, simply highlighted the fact that this page badly needs to be redesigned, to make the search options much more prominent. Now if I could only find a way to cram a few more hours into the day ... :)  Add a comment

05.04.08. After some delay TheBookGuide bookmark has finally been reprinted. It was a challenge to obtain a quality card stock that wasn't ruinously expensive, but our local printer finally found one.
     The bookmark has proved to be an extremely effective way of promoting this guide, and therefore, your events. So if you organise or stand at a fair you might want to give some of them away for us. You can find more details here  Add a comment

27.04.08. It's been some years since Cheltenham has enjoyed a monthly book fair, but Brecken McPhee hopes to change that with the launch of The Cheltenham Book Fair -- the first of which is to be held on the 19th of July. Despite the current economic gloom, Brecken believes that a Saturday fair in a town centre location, which offers books to suit every taste and pocket, will prove to be a winner.  Add a comment

21.04.08. Judith Goodman contacted me yesterday to say that her week-long fair at The Wulfrun Centre in Wolverhampton had been wrongly advertised as running from June 14th-20th. It is actually to be held from July 14th-20th. My apologies to those who made a fruitless journey - we do ask all organisers to check their entries but ...  Add a comment

13.04.08. Terry Coupland has just sent us details for this year's Lichfield Book Fair, which is to be held on 6th September and 27th December.
     2008 sees the return of the fair to a more central location, where it's hoped that it will benefit from its proximity to all the other city centre tourist attractions.  Add a comment

09.04.08. I've just added Claire Bradley's Morrab Library Book & Postcard Fair, which this year is being held on 27th September.
     All proceeds from the fair go towards supporting the Morrab Library - the largest of only nineteen independent libraries left in the UK, and the only one in Cornwall.
    The library houses a number of local history collections as well as some 3,000 pieces of Napoleonic memorabilia. Situated in the beautiful Morrab Gardens, it is well worth a visit, and is open Tuesday - Friday 10.00 - 4.00 (1.00 on Saturdays).
  Add a comment

03.04.08. The ABA Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia is one of the most prestigious and exciting events of its kind, and this year runs from Thursday 5th to Saturday 7th June.
     Amongst the treasures on offer from over 150 leading dealers are an unbroken run of John Wisden's Cricketers' Almanack, which totals 145 volumes and has a price ticket of £180,000. Jonathan Potter will bring John Rocque's 1750 map of London and its environs, which includes the undeveloped farms and gardens on the site of the Fair's venue on the Hammersmith Road. But perhaps the star of the show will be Bernard Quaritch's unique surviving copy of Percy Bysshe Shelley's Poetical Essay on the existing State of Things, printed in Oxford in 1811, and with a rumoured price of £500.000.
    Complimentary tickets to the event are available here.  Add a comment

26.05.08. I'm off for a few days in Norfolk, so no news or updates until my return on June the 3rd.
  Add a comment

20.05.08. A couple of very late additions. The first of Judith Goodman's Church Stretton fairs is on May 31st, and the first of two Bedale Book & Postcard Fairs is on June 1st.  Add a comment

16.05.08. The London book fair "week" is nearly upon us, and this year it spans June 1st - 8th ... more  Add a comment

16.05.08. The London book fair "week" is nearly upon us, and this year it spans June 1st - 8th. The PBFA are staging two International bookfairs this year, the first will be held at the Hotel Russell on Sunday 1st June, and the second at The Novotel London West on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th of June. The Bloomsbury Book Fair is on June 1st, as is The Bonnington In Bloomsbury Book Fair, and Tim Harper's Military, Aviation & Navel Book Fair. Tim is also organiser of the Book Fair at the Hand & Flower on the 4th. As usual you can print complimentary tickets for The Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia, which runs from Thursday 5th to Saturday 7th June. And you can round off the week with a visit to the London Map Fair on the 7th & 8th.  Add a comment

15.05.08. It's not too late to catch the annual Christian Aid Book Sale, at St Andrew's and St George's Church on George Street in Edinburgh, which runs until Friday 16 May. With more than 100,000 books, ranging from a 1578 book of Plato in Greek and Latin to the latest bestseller by Irvine Welsh, it's said to be the world's biggest secondhand charity book sale. The sale has raised more than £1.5m since its inception in 1974, and once again organisers hope to raise more than £100,000 for the charity.  Add a comment

01.05.08. Another new fair to look forward to later in the year, this time in Lancashire. Gerry Cotter will be holding the first Hornby Book Fair on Saturday 11th October. He has space for about 20 stalls, and if you would like one, contact him on 01524 752968. If this initial fair is successful it will become a regular biannual event.  Add a comment

24.04.08. Another new fair to look forward to in the South West, with Peter Hames Tiverton Book Fair on May 11th. Unlike the PBFA event later in the year, this one is to be held in the Hartnoll Hotel, which Peter says serves refreshments and meals, has good wheelchair access, and free car parking.  Add a comment

20.04.08. The PBFA are holding a new fair in the South West on April 27th, at Hestercombe Gardens, on the outskirts of Taunton, Somerset. Hestercombe is best-known for Edwin Lutyens formal garden, with its planting scheme designed by Gertrude Jekyll. But it also has a recently re-discovered Georgian landscape garden, long overgrown and derelict, but currently being restored. Books and gardens - for me - an unbeatable combination :)  Add a comment

16.04.08. A reminder to those visiting the Ephemera Society's Spring Bazaar on Sunday April 20th - whilst the venue remains the same - the Bonnington Hotel has changed its name to The Park Inn.  Add a comment

12.04.08. Following a change of fair organiser, we somehow managed to get the dates for the Wing and Berkhampsted fairs mixed up. They have now been corrected - sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. The next date for Wing is the 4th of May, and the 7th of June for Berkhampsted.  Add a comment

09.04.08. April 19th - 26th has become (albeit unofficially) Hampshire Book Fair Week.
     On Saturday April 19th the Southampton Book Fair will feature a number of local dealers offering books and prints for every interest and pocket.
     Sunday 20th April sees the second Horndean Book Fair, which serves readers and collectors in the Portsmouth and Petersfield area. Once again, dealers from a wide geographical area will offer special interest books, alongside more general and fiction and non-fiction.
     Finally, on Saturday 26th the New Forest Book Fair at Lyndhurst will attract customers from across the region, with its offering of good quality books - from holiday reading paperbacks to antiquarian books.  Add a comment

07.04.08. David Pott has just set us his Ludlow Book Fair dates for 2008, the first of which is on Sunday 13th of April. As usual, they are combined with a craft fair and held in Castle Square, so lets hope for good weather.  Add a comment

01.04.08. Mike Corfield is organising the Sussex Book Fair in Haywards Heath on May 4th. He says that the sports hall in which it will be held, is large enough to accommodate 100 stands, and he currently expects at least 50 dealers to attend. If you would like to swell the ranks it will cost you £35.00.  Add a comment

25.03.08. Gwyn Davies has pointed out that the Welsh Book Fair at Aberystwyth is being held on May 10th, NOT the 3rd, as we originally had it listed. This year there will be fifteen - twenty stalls selling mostly books of Welsh and Celtic interest.  Add a comment

18.03.08. Terry Bull is manager of the new PBFA Midlands Crossroads Book Fair at Crick in Northants, on March 22nd. He tells me there will be 30 book stands, a number selling ephemera, and a room of exhibitors donated bargain books, the proceeds of which will go to local charities.  Add a comment

17.03.08. The date of the PBFA Natural History Book Fair in Cambridge on 19th April has been changed to 26th. There will also be a PBFA 'book sale' in an adjacent room, and admission to both events will now be free.  Add a comment

10.03.08. Described as Scotland's Smallest comic event, Prestonpandemonium III will offer vintage American and British comics, the latest Marvels and DCs, as well as underground and small press comics. It will be held on May 31st at the magnificently named Prestoungrange Gothenburg, and is part of the Three Harbours Arts Festival.  Add a comment

02.03.08. My thanks to Nancy, and all you other readers who take the trouble to report bugs, typos and my spelling outrages. I couldn't manage without you :)  Add a comment

01.03.08. Barry Thurston has just sent in details for the Calderglen Country Park Book Fair, the fist of which will be held over the weekend of March 15-16th. He has also added two dates to his Glasgow Botanic Gardens Fair - Saturday June 14th and Sunday 15th.

22.02.08. As you can see, fair organisers are increasingly realising just how cost effective advertising on the UK's only comprehensive book event calendar can be. However, space is limited and we obviously need to plan ahead - so we are currently offering advertisers a reward for prebooking.
    For a limited period any five prebooked weeks will cost just £40 - a saving of 20%. For more information about advertising on TheBookGuide look here. Or you can email or give us a call on 01453 759 731 to discuss your requirements.  Add a comment

19.02.08. Nancy Hamilton has just confirmed that her first Hampshire Book Fair in 2008 will be held in Horndean on Sunday 20th April. 
    If you are feeling adventurous you could check out the Maastricht Antiquarian Book & Print Fair, which this year will be held over the weekend of March 6th - 8th. 40 national and international antiquarian booksellers who will be presenting the best of their collections, and a taster can be found on the website.  Add a comment

11.02.08. I've recently added Gerry Mosdell's Bonnington in Bloomsbury Book Fair, which this year is being held on June 1st. And here are Steve Marshall's dates for Tunbridge Wells and the Darent Valley Book Fair at Otford, Kent.
    Later in the season, Tony Mulholland's Rye Book Fair will be on November 15th.  Add a comment

05.02.08. Jacqui Raggett is once again organising the annual Epsom Charity Book Sale, which this year will run from April 17th - 19th. As usual there will be thousands of books including antiquarian, out-of-print, children's, fiction and nonfiction. A dealers' preview is being held between 6.00 - 9.00 pm on Wednesday 16th April, for which you will have to stump up ten quid.  Add a comment

24.01.08. Charity and library book sales seem to be popular with the public and trade alike, and we have been listing them separately for the last couple of years. This hasn't really worked, perhaps because the listings were tucked away and not very well used.
    This year I'm going to experiment with listing charity and library book sales alongside book, ephemera and collectors fairs, in the same database. All types of event will be appropriately titled, and the only problem I foresee is the possibility of the listings becoming too long.
    As ever, your comments and suggestions are most welcome.  Add a comment

22.01.08. The first Cardiff Book Fair of the year takes place at the Albany Baptist Church Hall in Blenheim Road, Roath, on Saturday ... more  Add a comment

14.01.08. The addition of Colin Baker's two Torquay dates and David Derbyshire's Hoghton book fair, bring the number of dates listed so far to 490.  Add a comment

12.01.08. I'm gratetful to Terry Coupland and Michael Compton for pointing out some errors in our PBFA listings. They have now been corrected.  Add a comment

09.01.08. Encouraged by the response to her first fair at Horndean last December, Nancy Hamilton is relaunching the Shaftesbury Book Fair. It was always a very friendly, if small fair, and there will be about eight dealers - usually from Dorset, Devon, Somerset and Hampshire. However, it is intended there will be the occasional "guest appearance" from further afield, so there should always be something new for the customer every month. The first date at it's traditional venue is Feburary 9th.   Add a comment

01.01.08. Welcome to the Book Fair Calendar. We are currently showing 459 of the 567 dates we listed last year.
    Some fairs will not be returning this year, most notably Chris Missing at Cambridge and Lewis Donaldson at Mugdock Country Park. Both losses are the result of venue difficulties and together they account for 33 dates.
    However, experience suggests that dates will continue to trickle in over the next few months, with some remaining unconfirmed until the second half of the year. I will as usual report every addition in this news section.  Add a comment

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