Book Fair Begins with Really Rare Books

A million-dollar book, Shakespeare, handwritten songs by Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan, this fair's got it all.

The Antiquarian Book Fair has started. Patch file photo.
The Antiquarian Book Fair has started. Patch file photo.

A million-dollar book of John James Audubon's animal prints was one of the items on display today as the Antiquarian Book Fair, billed as one of the world's largest exhibitions of rare books, kicked off in Pasadena.

The fair, which is in its 47th year, coincides with the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, according to organizers. Thousands of book lovers are expected to attend the event, which runs through Sunday at the Pasadena Convention Center.

Other items on display include a 17th century Shakespeare copy valued at $625,000, handwritten song lyrics by Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan, and books signed by Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and Jack Kerouac.

Memorabilia from the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and first editions of children's classics such as The Cat in the Hat, are also on display.

The books, manuscripts, autographs and photographs showcase five centuries of printing, as well as original manuscripts that predate the Gutenberg Bible, according to Michael R. Thompson, Book Fair chair of the Southern California Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America, which organizes the event.

Attendees will also find a special exhibit honoring Shakespeare called “What Shakespeare Ate” and seminars exploring collecting. On one day of the fair, attendees can bring in their books to be examined by experts for free.

“Because of Shakespeare's enduring influence on literature and the arts, we couldn't let this milestone birthday pass without celebrating his genius,” Thompson said.

Book Fair hours are 3 to 8 p.m. today; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets bought today cost $25 and provide three-day admission.

To learn more, visit http://www.sfbookfair.com/.

--City News Service


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