One of the nicest fairs in the cycle of our year, is the Chelsea book fair. This is managed by Graham York, on behalf of the ABA, and is held in Chelsea Old Town Hall. This is a beautiful venue, with tapestries and paintings from English history adorning the walls, and oozing with that easy charm that this part of London does so well. We were all slightly less "easy" this year, as the town hall has just been fully refurbished.
After a busy fair in Amsterdam, there was just time to repack my stock and change my socks before heading off to Paris for the autumn edition of Bibliomania. This is a large event held in the Espace Champerret. Conveniently located just on the peripherique, we checked our bags into our apartment and went to set up.
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?
I would like to say that after organizing the London PBFA book fair, Marcia and I had a well earned rest. In fact we moved house, which has kept us busy for the last month. But now our gaze returns to the books, and one of the largest fairs of the year is the Dordrecht book market (or Dordtse Boekenmarkt as it is properly known).
Sometimes a book is as much about its provenance as the item itself. For example, this eighteenth-century encyclopedia of China, finely illustrated by the Osaka artist Tachibana Morikuni owes much of its interest to the fact that it came from the collection of James E. Fagan.
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.
After the joy of the Colmar fair, it was time that we prepared our new stock and set off for the Maastricht Antiquarian Book & Print (MABP) fair. Maastricht is in the very south of the Netherlands, in South Limburg, a thin strand between Germany and Belgium. The MABP is a lovely little fair. In St Jan's church, in the centre of the old town, overlooking the market square.
Pausing only to put our snowshoes and extra warm jumpers away, Marcia and I went to the airport to go to the SELAC fair (Salon européen du livre ancien et de la gravure de Colmar).
Colmar is a very nice little town in Alsace, just inside France. The border is so close that in the airport you choose whether to walk through customs into France, Germany, or Switzerland.
One of the reasons my wife and I chose to move to The Netherlands was so that we could easily travel to more of the many European book fairs and have bibliographic adventures. Last weekend we did just this -- flying from Amsterdam to visit the 57th Stuttgart Antiquarian book fair, organized by the VDA (the German national bookseller association, which is a member of ILAB).