by Elizabeth Johnson
Books on paper are “In” again Of course, they never really were out of style, as those who love books already knew. Long Island is the home to one of the best established and longest running, semiannual book fairs, the Long Island Antiquarian Book and Paper Fair, which will take place on Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3, at LIU Post B. Davis Schwartz Library.
It used to be a lot easier to find used and rare books on Long Island. Every little town and hamlet had its own used book store. The Internet and rising rents made it difficult for all but a few to survive. The enterprising and dedicated booksellers started exhibiting at book fairs a few times a year to showcase best books, and maybe pick up a few new customers. Now, the book fair is the life blood for many antiquarian book and paper dealers. What the dealers bring to the fairs has changed, too. The rarest and finest books are there for advanced collectors. There are very affordable books in every subject and price range. In addition to books, there is a wide selection of ephemera—paper collectibles from comics to broadsides, to pamphlets to political posters, to menus to whatever, most are one of a kind. A smattering of prints and other art work is also available.
Amazon, the successful Internet seller, are opening brick and mortar stores. Currently they have one retail store in Seattle, WA, but are considering opening 300 to 400 more. They have discovered that there is nothing like the feel of a real book. Ordering from a picture or catalog is fine for some things, but a book needs to savored. And, as Willis Monie, a dealer in ephemera stated, ” It would take longer to describe a letter from James Madison than to look at it and read it.”
The Long Island Book and Paper Fair is the place to see it all and everything is for sale.
The event will take place LIU Post has a noted Library School, and the library itself is the home of many special collections. Jarron Jewell, the acting cirector of the special collections, noted, “Appointments can be made to view some of the Theodore Roosevelt, Eugene O’Neill, or American Juvenile collections.”
The current exhibit in the LIU Post Hutchins Gallery is Shakespeare Forever which commemorates 400 years since Shakespeare’s death.
Visitors to the fair are encouraged to ask questions and can bring up to three books with them on Sunday, from 12 to 2 p.m., to discover the value of what they have.
The book fair is at 720 Northern Blvd. in Brookville. Saturday hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking is free. Admission is $7 ($1 off with any ad or notice). LIU Post students and faculty admitted free. Children under 14 admitted free. Dealers interested in exhibiting should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, call 516 516-627 8688.