Why Would You Go To A Book Fair?

If you like books, whether you buy them to read, collect them, or collect and read them, the book fair is the place to go. Where else can you go where 35 to 45 different booksellers bring their best books to sell? Even in this age of internet bookselling, there are many desirable books that do not get listed online, but can be found at a book fair.


Here you will find an incredible concentration of first editions, fine bindings, vintage postcards, pamphlets, prints and other ephemera. Instead of visiting forty separate shops, you can visit their owners and peruse their samplings in one afternoon!


Many of the dealers have their own interests. They are always glad to “talk shop” with you about your particular interests in books.


If you are thinking about selling your private library, go to the book fair to find which booksellers might be interested in looking at your collection.


You are sure to see books and other materials that you never knew existed. You might find a gem that you just have to own, but you won’t find it unless you attend the VABA Book Fair this Sunday, March 23, at the Sheraton in Burlington, VT (additional information at http://www.vermontisbookcountry.com/ ).


Stop in and visit us! I’ll be at the Catamount Books booth. Hope to see you this Sunday!

2012 Summer Bookfair ~ Floorplan of Exhibitors

The VABA Summer Bookfair is less than two weeks away! To date 41 exhibitors have signed up.  If you are a book or ephemera seller, there is still time to register for a booth by contacting Garry or Karen Austin at mail@austinsbooks.com or 802-464-8438

You can view the floorplan of the fair and the list of this year’s exhibitors by going to the following link —


See you at the fair!

Join Us for the VABA Summer Book Fair ~ August 12 ~ Brattleboro, Vermont

The Vermont Summer Book Fair Returns To Brattleboro
and highlights new features!
The Vermont Summer Book Fair, inaugurated over 30 years ago  by the Vermont Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association (VABA) gathers 40 plus dealers in fine old books, maps, ephemera, manuscripts, postcards and paper to the Withington Skating Facility at Living Memorial Park in Brattleboro, Sunday, August 12, 2012. Fair hours are 10am to 4pm.
This year’s fair features the “Ten Minute Symposia”, a series of impromptu dealer talks. Hourly, designated dealers will discuss an aspect of the old book business, collecting, or their particular specialty in the trade. Each talk will be held in the respective dealer’s booth and will be followed by a Q & A session. We encourage all interested visitors to join in and ask the questions that may have intrigued or puzzled you about old & rare books and related subjects.
Ben Koenig of The Country Bookshop, a frequent contributor to WCVT FM 101.7 Classic Vermont will be one of our speakers as will Garry Austin of Austin’s Antiquarian Books in Wilmington VT, a specialist in all aspects of Theodore Roosevelt material. There will be a schedule in the Fair program.
VABA is also proud to have with us this year the Philadelphia Printshop and Don Cresswell.  You will remember this affable individual from his many appearances on “The Antiques Roadshow”. Don will be sharing some behind the scenes “Roadshow” stories and will be taking your questions as part of the “Symposia”.
Just off Exit 2 of I-91, on Rte 9, The Park complex is identifiable by the local landmark of the Creamery Covered Bridge. Plenty of parking surrounds this well-lit spacious exhibition arena that is home to the Brattleboro Winter Sports Program and events like the “Home Show”. At the Vermont Summer Fair you will see names that you recognize from the the New York, Los Angeles, or Boston ABAA shows, however you will also find some dealers that exhibit only regionally. Some come from as far away as Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and others travel from New York and all our neighboring New England states and Canada. They will all be bringing their fresh material garnered from auctions and attics, barns and book sales, housecalls and pickers. The variety of the dealer offerings will be amazing. Of course you will find books in almost any subject, but the ephemera, maps, autographs, documents, photographs, post cards, prints, and exotica are head turning.
Whether you are an experienced or novice book collector, a librarian or an archivist, a scholar or an academic, or are simply interested in books and the book arts in general, you will find something to your taste. We invite you to visit the fair, explore the booths, and purchase the treasures on display. Listen to a discussion, ask a question or two and enjoy the show. Show hours are Sunday, August 12, 10 am to 4 pm. The show admission is $5.
Posted by:
Garry R Austin
Austin’s Antiquarian Books
PO Box 730
Wilmington, VT 05363
802 464-8438
c2012 VABA

The VABA 2012 Spring Book Fair ~ In Words and Pictures!

The VABA Spring Book Fair was a rousing time for all participating and those attending… here are some notes and photographs from those who were there!  –

Donna Howard of The Eloquent Page, our intrepid book fair organizer!
[image: from Rachel at Old Saratoga Books]

And please plan to join is for our next fair on 12 August 2012 in Brattleboro – click here for more information.

Rachel at Old Saratoga Books was an exhibitor – she writes about her experience on her blog Book Trout and shares it with us here:

Rachel at Old Saratoga Books

Here’s a helpful travel tip. When traveling in the pre-dawn hours to a destination you are unfamiliar with in a vehicle you are unsure of, it’s helpful to avoid spooky mountain roads where your cellphone doesn’t get reception. I foolishly set off at 4 am  from Saratoga County, New York to exhibit my wares at the Vermont Book and Ephemera Fair in Burlington, hoping to arrive early for the setup. The plan was to arrange my book booth and then stroll around leisurely with a strong cup of coffee to see what my colleagues were selling before the official opening at 10 am.

While I spent a lot of time rehashing my book fair packing list (I remembered my cash this time, unless last November’s Albany Book Fair, when I had to beg for singles from another bookseller) and picking out the books I wanted to bring to Burlington, I was less diligent about researching my driving route and ended up taking Route 9N through the Adirondacks to Ticonderoga, where I collapsed into a fast food restaurant after almost two hours of hairpin turns, a couple of deer in the headlights, 20-30 mph driving through villages through rain and fog and having my check engine light come on after grinding up a particularly steep incline. The cheery counter lady assured me that Burlington was only another hour and a half away, which proved to be the case and I made it in plenty of time to be set up…. ” ~ Read More…


Barbara Harding of Otter Creek Used Books in Middlebury, VT wrote on her blog:

I did it! My thoughts and plans came together and above shows my booth at the recent VT Antiquarian Book & Ephemera Fair – the Spring show – over the past weekend – Sunday, March 25 – in Burlington.”  Read More…

[Otter Creek Used Books]


Some images of a lovely bookish day from Patty McWilliams at Hermit Hill Books:



Joe Trenn from The Book Shed in Benson, VT writes:

“A steady stream of customers came through The Book Shed booth at the VABA Spring Book Fair. We enjoyed a good amount of sales but the greatest pleasure of the day was the opportunity to talk books with fairgoers and see the material brought by the other vendors. My personal highlight of the day was finding a new addition for my London books collection at the Craftsbury Antiquarian Books booth hosted by Tom Twetten. Shakespeare’s Second Globe: A Missing Monument by C. Walter Hodges was among Tom’s offerings and at a very attractive price. Hodges, an illustrator, made the case for rebuilding the Globe with this 1973 illustrated work. A close analysis of Wenceslaus Hollar’s magnificent Long View of 17th century London was used to demonstrate the feasibility of a rebuilt Globe. As a result of his and other’s efforts 21st century visitors to the great city can now see Shakespeare’s plays in a replica of his famous theater. Hodges’ book, which was not published in the US, was a great find and a great addition to any London lover’s collection. Thanks Tom for bringing it along. I’m looking forward to the August 12th VABA Summer Fair in Brattleboro for another opportunity to spend the day amongst books and book lovers. Who knows what treasure will turn up there?

Front panel

Rear Panel

Test your knowledge of London and Shakespeare by identifying the
mistake on the above image of the dust jacket!
[leave a comment with your answer in the “reply” box below] 


From George Singer, of Ashley Book Company in Burlington:

“I spent well over an hour at the Fair. There was plenty of room to maneuver, the books were nicely displayed for the most part, and the dealers were uniformly welcoming. All in all a delightful experience, positive enough so that next year I plan to have a booth.” 


Ben Koenig of the Country Bookshop in Plainfield, VT commented:

“This year’s VABA Burlington Book Fair was a breath of fresh air. Well run and well attended – who could ask for anything more? But wait – people were also buying books, old paper and old postcards. Customers were entering my booth with packages from other dealers and, amongst those who knew me, they couldn’t wait to share their excitement about their recent purchases. Yes, I sold books. But even better was the feeling that a shift was taking place. After years of depressing faces and poor attendance I was seeing the excitement of a crowd hooked on books.”


If anyone would like to share their thoughts about the day, please comment!

[All Images courtesy of the booksellers depicted, with thanks to all]

@2012 VABA