Fairs | April 2010 | Rebecca Rego Barry

What's New for New York

We're coming upon one of (dare I say THE) best book fair of the year: The New York Antiquarian Book Fair. In our spring quarterly, writer Christopher Lancette talked to show organizers and booksellers who were confidently gearing up for the Big Apple. What are they bringing? Martin Luther's will, to name just one extraordinary piece (from Inlibris Gilhofer Nrg.). And today my inbox was flooded with booksellers' catalogues and emails related to the NY fair -- the book world is abuzz.

Here's something really interesting that I'd like to share. This year, the Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Company (PRB&M) is filling its front showcase entirely with books, manuscripts, and broadsides costing $500 and under! According to co-proprietor Cynthia Davis Buffington, the impulse isn't so much about the economy as it is about enticing younger book collectors and to promoting book-collecting to beginners. Bravo!

A sampling of what will be available in that PRB&M front case: an array of nineteenth- and twentieth-century "pamphlet scriptures," a group of seventeenth-century sermons, some fine bindings, a series of nineteenth-century American woodcut-illustrated "toy" books, illustrated books, and several volumes in travel, Mexicana, and Americana, including "a classic life of Washington in a gorgeous gilt-stamped striped cloth binding."

I'm planning to be at the show on Friday and Saturday and will post updates. Stay tuned.