Rob and I have just returned from the PBFA York Book Fair. This January fair is the smaller of the two fairs that the PBFA run in York. This one had a mere 120 or so dealers offering around 400,000 books. We've been to this fair before but only as customers, this time we were exhibiting our own stock at stall number 61.
It was hard work, as we knew it would be, but we benefited from lots of advice before hand from the lovely Heather and Jeff at Peakirk Books as well as from the fair organisers. It was lovely to meet lots of new customers as well as the other dealers. It was also lovely to meet one other book blogger, the writer Martin Edwards from Do You Write Under Your own Name.
Speaking to Martin, it occurred to me that though I often read posts by bloggers about a wonderful bookshop they've been to, or a great library, or even what they've bought from a charity shop, I rarely see posts about book fairs. In fact Martin is one the few people I've seen write about bookfairs (and again today, you can read his review of York). In an age when the economics of selling mean that so many sellers, like myself, can only trade from behind a keyboard, a book fair is great opportunity for buyers to chat to dealers and browse the physical books.
Why do bloggers not go to bookfairs then is the burning question? Have you ever been to one, PBFA or otherwise? Did you enjoy it? Do you know how to find out about book fairs? I'd be interested to know!
On that last question at least I can help:
For PBFA Fairs you can browse the PBFA's fairs calendar. There are fairs coming up at Stratford, Poole, Cambridge, Durham and Edgbaston in the next few weeks and many more throughout the year. They're all over the country including Scotland and Ireland.
For other fairs you can try the monster The Book Fair Calendar from the The Book Guide which lists PBFA fairs along side many other major book fairs plus many smaller independent fairs. There are fairs listed for Lewes, Sherborne, Winchester, Preston, Kinver, Tenterden and Long Melford for this month alone.