A View from Europe: the Amsterdam ILAB Book Fair

Last week saw the return of one of my favorite book fairs -- the annual Amsterdam book fair. This is hosted at the Marriott hotel, by the NVvA, which is the Netherlands branch of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. What better way to start the day than this view of the Reichsmuseum from my hotel room?

amsterdam morning copy.jpgAlthough a relatively small fair (there were 48 exhibitors this year) it is very friendly, and expertly managed by the fair team. The fair is just the right size to spend time at every booth, so you don’t feel that you have missed much. Naturally this leads to me spending far too much money! Every booth had brought their best to Amsterdam, my personal favorite being a huge copy of Oriental Field Sports by William Howitt, on sale at the Aix La Chapelle booth.

oriental field sports-1 copy.jpgOne of the nice touches at Amsterdam is that there is always an event for the exhibitors as part of the stall fee. This year we attended a party hosted by Antiquariaat Schierenberg at Prinsengracht in Amsterdam. Here is Jereon looking somewhat relieved the day after.

schierenberg copy.jpgThe following day saw a return to the fair, and more gazing enviously at other people’s stock, including these fine book boxes on Michael Solder’s stand. It is always good to see friendly faces and other associations attend the fair, and to see the beautiful objects they bring.

solder book copy.jpgSo we are all packed up, and back on the circuit for the next fair. For me this is the Bibliomania fair in Paris. Marcia is extremely worried that a five-day fair here gives me far too many purchasing opportunities. Wish me luck.

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

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