Fairs | May 2018 | Marc Harrison

A View from Europe: Preparations for the London Fair

It is that time of year again, when Marcia and I must put all thoughts of road trips to one side, whilst we concentrate on preparing for the PBFA London Antiquarian Book Fair. As the name suggests, this is in London, has lots of antiquarian books, and is put on by the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association (PBFA). We manage the fair -- so it keeps us pretty busy.

ilec1.jpgThis year, we have once more gathered a group of over 100 exhibitors who come to London to buy and sell beautiful books, maps and other works on paper. Dealers come from every part of the world to be part of the fair. This year at the Ibis Hotel, Lillie Road, we will welcome dealers from Canada, including Aquila Books and Voyager Press. From America, B & B Rare Books and D & D Galleries. (My new policy of only accepting Americans who use initials for their trading name seems to be bearing fruit.) We also have friends old and new from Europe. Christian Haslinger and Antiquariaat Talke will both be presenting their usual impressive stands. We are also bringing along a contingent of Dutch booksellers this year, who we have met on our travels.

ilec2.jpgOf course our core membership are the stalwarts of the PBFA. We are very pleased that we span the generations of the organisation. Gerry and Glenda Mosdell from the Junction bookshop are amongst the "founding fathers" of the association, and at the other end of the spectrum, we are pleased to once again welcome the Bibliomaniacs, a group of booksellers from Papplewick school in Ascot, who proudly claim themselves as the youngest antiquarian booksellers in the world.

ilec 3.jpgWhatever your particular taste in books, you will find examples here. From the fine bindings of Temple Bookbinders to the modern firsts of Holybourne Books and Cheltenham Rare Books. From the ancient manuscripts of Alastor and Modern First Editions to the Antarctic explorations of Kingsbridge Books and Meridian Books. Naturally there will be a variety of maps and prints from the likes of Michael Morris and several others.

As usual, the event is part of Rare Books London, which sees London present a variety of book fairs and events to the world. We hope you will be able to come and visit the fair. If you do, be sure to say hello to Marcia on the reception, and Marc on the Harrison-Hiett stand.

--Marc Harrison and his wife Marcia run Harrison-Hiett Rare Books in The Netherlands. Images courtesy of the author.