Fairs | November 2011 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Bound for the Boston Book Fair

Coming up this weekend is the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair. Whether you're in the market for a first edition of Louisa May Alcott's Flower Fables (at Second Life Books of Lanesborough, MA) or a unique Bonnie and Clyde crime collection (including bullets, at University Archives of Westport, CT), or you'd simply like to take in one of the fair's activities--talks about collecting and expert appraisals--there will be something for every booklover in Beantown.

Sadly I won't be walking the floor; if I were, Mac Donnell Rare Books would be my first stop. They're bringing a leaflet that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow printed up to give away to children who visited him at Craigie-Longfellow House. It would also be very cool to see Athena Rare Books' first edition of Alfred Dinsdale's Television, the first book in English on that "vast wasteland." They also have a signed second edition.
Three items in Artisan Books and Bindery's book fair catalogue caught my eye. The one pictured here might garner some local New England interest--it's a small spiral-bound sketchbook contenting fifteen original pencil drawings from WWII-era life in Maine. The artist is professional, but unknown. Another item is the pristine Arion Press edition of Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (John Ashbery, editor) that comes in a stainless steel case. And, the rare and highly sought-after 1868 book, The Game of Base Ball by Henry Chadwick.

Plath.jpgFrom Between the Covers, you can score Larry Bird's college yearbook! Or, Sylvia Plath's copy of Edna St. Vincent Millay's The King's Henchman (pictured here). It was given to Plath by her mother, Aurelia Plath, with an inscription. Looks like they're bringing a broad selection of modern firsts. See the whole list here.

While in town, don't miss the Boston Book, Print & Ephemera Show at the Park Plaza on Arlington St. (Eric C. Caren Archives, Peter Masi, Peter Stern, and so many more) or the Skinner auction of Books & Manuscripts, featuring a signed George Washington letter and Isaac Newton's The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.