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Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association (PBFA)
The Knavesmire Suite, York Racecourse
York
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"One of the most enjoyable book fairs I have visited for a long time" (Rare Book Review). From modest beginning with just 20 exhibitors at the White Swan Inn in York in 1974, the York Book Fair has grown into the largest, and many say friendliest, rare, antiquarian and out-of-print book fair in the U.K. Held over two days, around 200 of this country's leading booksellers offer for sale a breathtaking diversity of books, as well as maps & prints, ranging in price from just a few pounds up to tens of thousands of pounds. There will also be a range of trade stands related to the book trade.


The York National Book Fair opens on Friday 14th September!


This prestigious event, staged annually, has grown to be the largest of its kind in Britain. Around 210 exhibitors, including key London and International dealers as well as more locally based booksellers, will be descending on the City to display and sell the best of their stock. The variety of exhibitors ensures that there will be a huge range of books, maps and prints, at all prices, to be found on literally miles of shelves.

In looking through the highlights already being advertised for the fair it seems as if everyone is striving to bring the rare and unusual. There are some wonderful items each with their own unique selling point. Adrian Harrington Rare Books, from London, is bringing a selection of signed items, many with local interest. With Hockney so much in the news this year amongst their items is David Hockney’s That's the Way I See It. Edited by Nikos Stangos. London [1993] which sports an original full-page gouache painting by the author on the half-title of a hand in brown against a background of blue and a black ink grid, holding a green sign surrounding the printed half-title with the painted words "For Caren" and inscribed by the artist, with the date 2nd April 1994.  £7500. Mike Kemp from Kent is advertising  an important collection of Alice in Wonderland related material from one of Dodgson’s child friends containing previously unrecorded presentation copies, letters and an interesting and amusing unpublished manuscript poem previously unknown to scholars. £35,000. Then there are rare maps. Clive Burden Ltd. is bringing the only known example in private hands of Robert Harman’s, A Plan of ye South Prospect of ye Ancient Burrough of Richmond. Seated on ye River Swale in ye North Riding of ye County of York. 1724. London. 885 x 1080 mm., four sheets joined. He describes this as being with some minor repairs at double folds, otherwise in excellent condition. £8500.  

Expensive and rare don’t always go hand in hand. One thing that caught my eye being exhibited by Bernard Quaritch Ltd is a First World War recruitment poster, “You’re proud of your pals in the Army, of course! But what will they think of YOU? Think it over” London, Johnson, Riddle & Co, Ltd. 1914 - 1915 which must be an uncommon survival. £100.

Of course the real unique selling point of the York National Book Fair is its size and scope and the possibility of finding some unconsidered trifle not known, recorded or catalogued by the 100s of booksellers who attend. Each year someone seems to find something special. There are whispers around the venue as some new treasure surfaces.

Highlights for the fair are advertised on the York National Book Fair website.

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