February 1-10, 2019

Book Fairs

The 52nd California International Antiquarian Book Fair

The 52nd California International Antiquarian Book Fair

The world’s largest antiquarian book fair returns to the Oakland Marriott City Center, February 8-10. The three-day event, sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, will feature more than 200 booksellers from around the world, offering a rich selection of books, manuscripts, maps, and other printed materials. Special events include an exhibit from the Book Club of California highlighting women printers and book artists, as well as some of the club’s oldest and most sought-after books; an exhibit of the works of L. Frank Baum from a private collection, and several lectures. A run-of-show ticket costs $25; Saturday/Sunday combination ticket is $15. Free for students with valid ID.

Courtesy of the CA Book Fair.

Codex VII Book Fair and Symposium

Codex VII Book Fair and Symposium

The Codex VII Book Fair will take place February 3-6 at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, California. The fair draws nearly 200 international exhibitors devoted to preserving and promoting the handmade book as a work of art in the broadest possible context. A multi-day admission is $30; single day is $10; students are $5. This year’s symposium, focusing on books from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, will be held at the Berkeley City Club, February 4-5. Keynote speakers include Thomas Milroth and Susanne Padberg.

Courtesy of the Codex Foundation.

Rare Books LA

Rare Books LA

Kicking off California’s rare book week on February 1-2, Rare Books LA features more than 100 leading specialists in rare books, fine prints, photography, ephemera, maps, and more from throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Held at the Pasadena Convention Center, the fair is produced by ABAA/ILAB members Jen & Brad Johnson, owners of johnson rare books & archives, who said: “This is a rare book fair for the modern age … We strive to create a book, fine art, and photography fair as diverse as our own business.” In the spotlight will be books from the private library of Playboy founder Hugh M. Hefner, including this signed presentation copy of Ian Fleming’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Tickets are $20 for Friday (2 p.m.-8 p.m.) and Saturday (10 a.m.-6 p.m.); $10 for Saturday only.

Courtesy of Rare Books LA.


PBA Galleries, San Francisco

Sticking to its usual Thursday auction schedule but changing venue, PBA will host The Book Fair Century: One Hundred Fine Books & Manuscripts on February 7, beginning at 11 a.m. at the Oakland Marriott. Part of the sale will benefit the ABAA Benevolent Fund, which provides financial support for scholarly research and education relevant to the antiquarian book trade. Sale highlights include a first edition of Madeleine L’Engle’s 1963 Newbery Medal winner, A Wrinkle in Time, in dust jacket, estimated at $5,000-8,000, and a rare, French Boccaccio set with 20 added erotic plates, from 1757-1761, estimated at $4,000-7,000.

Courtesy of PBA Galleries.

Exhibits & Events

Book Club of California

Book Club of California

Several special events are planned by the Book Club of California. In collaboration with CODEX, the BCC will host a talk by Imi Maufe, founding member of Codex Polaris, on book arts from Northern Europe on February 4 from 5 - 7 p.m. at its San Francisco headquarters, 312 Sutter Street, Suite 500. Then, on February 7 from 6-8 p.m., Rare Book School Director Michael Suarez will present “Printing Abolition: How the Fight to Abolish the Slave Trade in Britain was Won.” (This event will be held at the Commonwealth Club of California, 110 Embarcadero, San Francisco). If you’re still in town on February 11, the BCC will host a talk on the menu as a literary document, from 5-7 p.m. An exhibition highlighting women printers and book artists, as well as some of the club’s oldest and most sought-after books, will be on view at the Oakland fair.

Courtesy of the BCC.

Legion of Honor

Apropos to the Codex fair, San Francisco’s Legion of Honor opens Small Inventions: Artist’s Books by Charles Hobson on February 2. The exhibition celebrates the museum’s acquisition of 29 works by San Francisco artist Charles Hobson as a gift of collector Marian Kinney. According to the museum, Hobson’s “process calls for expanding the definition of what can be called a book and devising a unique form for each volume in relation to its content. His books become physical embodiments of their textual concepts, engaging the reader as an active collaborator and transforming reading into a participatory rather than passive activity.” Pictured here is Hobson’s accordion-style book, Man Ray’s Kiss, 1995, published by Pacific Editions, San Francisco. The exhibit is open through June 30.

Image courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

The San Francisco Center for the Book

The San Francisco Center for the Book

The SFCB will open a new exhibition, POSTED/UNPOSTED++, with a reception on the evening of February 2 from 6-8 p.m. Following on the Codex Nordica theme of this year’s Codex Fair, the exhibition will include the work from the original POSTED/UNPOSTED exhibition, plus a selection of artists’ books from participating Nordic artists. (Note that the title of the exhibition has two plus signs at the end indicating that it is “in addition to” the original exhibition.) The SFCB, located at 375 Rhode Island Street, also offers workshops in letterpress, bookbinding, and related arts. If you’re in town for the book fairs, check out the online calendar.

Credit Nina Zeininger.

Bookish Browsing

Arion Press

Demonstrations of the historic printing and bookmaking facilities of Arion Press and the historic typefoundry of M & H Type are held Thursday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. and last approximately an hour and a half. Price: $10. The gallery featuring a rotating exhibition of Arion’s latest projects, is open free to the public Monday through Friday, from 10-5, or by special appointment.

Flickr: Nick Sherman.

Mechanics’ Institute Library & Chess Room

A member-supported general-interest circulating and research library in San Francisco that boasts the oldest chess club in the United States and an active program of literary and cultural events. Located at 57 Post Street.

Flickr: Brandon Doran.

City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

Located at 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco’s City Lights is a literary landmark, founded in 1953 by Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter D. Martin. Visitors are ever hopeful to catch a peek at Ferlinghetti, whose new book, Little Boy, will be published on his one-hundredth birthday this March.

Flickr: Mobilus In Mobili.