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The Philadelphia Rare Book Fair Returns with 25+ Exhibitors Offering Tens of Thousands of Rare Books, Prints & Ephemera

The Philadelphia Rare Book Fair Returns with 25+ Exhibitors Offering Tens of Thousands of Rare Books, Prints & Ephemera
Photo Credit: Philadelphia Book Fair


 PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Philadelphia Rare Book Fair will be held in the historic Trinity Memorial Church at 2212 Spruce Street in downtown Philadelphia on Dec. 7 to 9, 2023. The historic space which will be transformed into a haven for bibliophiles, with over 25 exhibitors from across the USA coming to display a broad range of books and ephemera. 

The fair will kick off on Thursday, Dec. 7 with a preview party with cocktails and canapes from 5 PM to 8 PM. Tickets $50.  The fair, which is FREE and open to the public, will run on Friday, December 8 (11 AM – 6 PM) and Saturday, December 9 (11 AM – 5 PM). The public can bring their books to be appraised for free by Cynthy Buffington and David Szewczyk of Philadelphia Rare Books and Manuscripts. 

This year the fair will showcase tens of thousands of beautiful and rare books, prints, works on paper, and ephemera from around the globe. Exceptional examples that will be offered include the original first printing (1 of 500) of Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling($225,000), a first edition of Stephen King’s Carrie, a signed limited edition copy of Virginia Wolf’s On Being Will, and a first British edition The Great Gatsby in rare dust jacket for $125,000.  Controversial and once-banned books that will be offered include a first edition of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, first edition of William S. Burrough’s Naked Lunch, and a rare and beautiful copy of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, with a variant cover. 

In conjunction with the fair, attendees can attend talks by University of Pennsylvania law professor Kermit Roosevelt on book banning, local author Steven Ujifusa on his new book The Last Ships from Hamburg (Harper Collins, 2023) and listen to Kelsey Scouten-Bates, John. C. Haas Director of The Rosenbach, Harriett’s Bookshop owner Jeannine Cook, Curator of Special Collections at the Winterthur Museum Allie Alvis and Darren Winston, director of America’s oldest auction house Freeman’s.

Eve and Edward Lemon founded Fine Books Fairs in 2022, creating fun, affordable and welcoming fairs that instill the joy of books in a new generation of collectors.  The couple, who are in their 30s, are respected collectors and experts in the field and host five fairs throughout the year. 

“As a Millennial couple, we wanted to breathe new life into the world of book collecting by making it fun, inviting, accessible and entertaining,” said Mrs. Lemon.  “While technology reigns supreme, there is a growing population of younger enthusiasts who have discovered a passion for books and collecting.  Our fairs allow people to not only explore their passion for books, but also enjoy the entire experience.”

Exhibitors include Old Editions Bookshop, Jeffrey Bergman Books, Christopher’s Rare Books, Bluemango Rare Books and Manuscripts, Captain Ahab’s Rare Books, Kevin Sell, The Rare Book Sleuth, Stan Gorski, Between the Covers, Walnut Street Paper, Brenner’s Collectable Books, First Place Books, B&B Rare Books, McKittrick Rare Books, Yesterday’s Muse, Lizzy Young Bookseller, Zoe Abrams Rare Books, Capitol Hill Books, Bauman Rare Books, Back Creek Books, Vintage Books and Fine Art, Haec City / Also Books, Mori Books, MacManus and Company, Cleveland Book Company, Jeannot Barr Prints and Timeless Tales Rare Books. 

About Fine Book Fairs:

Fine Book Fairs was founded by Eve and Edward Lemon in 2022 to promote book and print fairs across the United States. Each of the fairs is a unique social event that combines rare books and prints, bespoke service to both exhibitors and attendees, live music, food and drink in a historic venue.  Since its inception, Fine Book Fairs has hosted internationally attended book fairs in D.C., Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and New York, helping to make collecting accessible to a new generation of fans.

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