Book Fairs | April 16, 2013

“Books Not Books” Exhibit at Olympia Book Fair

The ABA (Antiquarian Booksellers' Association) will be hosting what is thought to be the first ever “Books NOT Books” exhibition at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair which opens on Thursday June 13th and runs until Saturday June 15th, in the National Exhibition Hall at Olympia, West London. 

“Books NOT Books” will be an amusing, informative and deceptive exhibition showing the book in a variety of different forms — Books as Art, Books as Boxes, Books as Anything-other-than-Books — whether it is a handbag, pin box or biscuit tin! The majority of the objects on show have come from a single collection, but the ABA is encouraging anyone who would like to lend an object to let them know — the more offbeat the better!

Exhibition Curator and Bath-based bookseller Ed Bayntun-Coward commented: “I'm working on the old cliché, ‘You can't judge a book by its cover’. Books are the most instantly recognisable of objects. I believe that if Richard III had happened to have risen after 528 years under a Leicester car park, he would have been most surprised by his surroundings (cars, cameras, mobiles, etc.), but the printed book has changed little. Over time some clever craftsmen, even artists, have had fun either disguising a book as something different, or making another object look like a book and my aim is that this exhibition reflects this!”

For more information please visit or follow the Fair on Twitter @OlympiaBookFair.

  • Founded in 1906, the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association is the senior trade body for dealers in antiquarian and rare books, manuscripts and allied materials in the British Isles. For well over fifty years the Association has run a small number of high quality book fairs: at Olympia each summer; in Chelsea during November; and in Edinburgh each spring.
  • The oldest Book Fair in the UK, the London International Antiquarian Book Fair, will take place at Olympia. The fair, now in its 56th year, attracts nearly 200 of the world’s best dealers offering a range of fascinating books, maps, prints, manuscripts and ephemera from the earliest days of printing and before to modern first editions. 
  • Seven Fairs have come together to set up the first London Book Fair Week from Saturday 8th to Sunday 16th June 2013. This is the first time all the fairs organisers have joined together to create a major event for both trade and public by holding all the major summer fairs in one week. This will make it the biggest celebration of Print-on-Paper in the World - with seven different fairs in nine days. The fairs will be offering antiquarian and rare books, maps, manuscripts, prints, posters, ephemera and photographs. A specially designed Book Fair Week ticket is available, which means that visitors just need this single ticket to find out about the fairs - and the joint ticket will give entry to most fairs FREE of charge.