Start spreading the news: the 54th Annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair opens tomorrow! As I type, over 200 American and international exhibitors are converging on the historic Park Avenue Armory, unpacking crates of rare books, ephemera, maps, prints, manuscripts, and other gems. If you've never attended, you'll be amazed at the amount and range of material that our exhibitors have in each booth, their mini-stores for the weekend.
The fair has been referred to as a treasure trove and it's an apt description. Exhibitors spend countless hours curating their most interesting material and arranging their booth displays in the most enticing manner. As the Armory slowly fills up with the most knowledgeable specialists in the trade and their extraordinary material, each booth becomes a unique, not to be missed exhibit in a truly living museum. Living, you see, because at ABAA fairs you have the chance to look at and to hold items that you can't otherwise find outside of a museum or special collections library. What's even more remarkable is that you are afforded the opportunity to speak with the curator of each exhibi who would love to send you home with a priceless souvenir.
This is my fifth NY Book Fair, and I have some advice for first time attendees. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer size of the event and intimidated by the material on display. I felt this way myself during my first visit to an ABAA fair. But push past these feelings, walk the show floor, and enjoy yourself! Exhibitors are the foremost experts in their field of specialty, but they are also approachable. I encourage you to ask questions, take catalogs to peruse later, and try to find something to take home with you. There is something for everyone, in respect to both interest and price point.
If you have any questions or need any direction, please don't hesitate to stop by the ABAA table (located at the entrance to the fair).
Don't miss NYC's premier book fair!
Busting with excitement or need a little more enticement? Check out this list of highlights from Fine Books & Collections for a very small sampling of what you will see at the fair.
54th Annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair
Park Avenue Armory (643 Park Ave, between 66th & 67th)
Preview: Thursday, April 3, 5-9pm
Friday, April 4, Noon-8pm
Saturday, April 5, Noon-7pm
Sunday, April 6, Noon-5pm