An original manuscript by Charles Dickens
What do Bill Gates, JP Getty, Keith Richards and Brad Pitt have in common? They’re all book collectors, and come October, you too can join their ilk at the London Rare Books Fair – officially number 202,120 of fabulous things to look forward to once this interminable lockdown is finally over.
Keep those splendid reading habits of the past year going in style at London’s premier destination for one-of-a-kind books, maps, manuscripts and other historical items from over a hundred international booksellers.
A previous Rare Book Fair with lots of a pop up stalls
Especially thrilling for the fair’s 64th annual outing is the news of its migration from its usual hinterland in Battersea Park to a grown-up venue with a rock’n’roll touch: Chelsea’s Grade II-listed Saatchi Gallery, following feedback from exhibitors and members of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (ABA), who sensibly agitated for a total change of scene after the year we’ve all had.
The Saatchi Gallery
CK Travels / Shutterstock
The Saatchi’s high-ceilinged spaces and engaged cultural following will offer a brilliantly buzzy platform for exhibitors and buyers – plus, of course, you never know who will spill off the King’s Road to add a touch of glamour to proceedings. Though it’s just the place to pick up that Shakespeare folio you’ve always wanted, organisers are keen to stress that ownership of a soaring wood-panelled library is not obligatory for attendees.
‘We are very lucky to have this kind of fair,’ comments Stephen Fry, previously a special guest of the ABA. ‘It’s not elitist, it’s not specialist, you don’t have to be a scholar, you just have to be someone with an immense thirst for the glory of books.’ Watch this space for more information, including details of programmes, special guests and fringe events. It promises to be a very rare treat indeed.
For more information, visit firstslondon.com
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