PBFA London International Fair

The fair is nearly upon us. This year, the fair at the ILEC suite is our biggest ever. We have more dealers than ever, with a wider range of stock. Please do come and join us at the fair. We will have regular free buses up to Olympia so that you can enjoy both fairs.

PBFA London International Fair – Ibis Hotel, 47 Lillie Road, London. SW6 1UD

Here is the floor plan and exhibitor list for the PBFA fair:

floor plan 2017 – wall copy

(I’m afraid you have to click on that one for a pop up!)

Pitch Dealer Name
A1 Veronica Watts
A2 Chris Mees
A3 White Fox
A4 Harrison-Hiett Limited
A5 Jonathan Kearns (Martin Stone)
A6 Rare & Antique Books
A7 Lorych Books
B1 Ballantyne Way (Roger)
B2 Antiquariaat Christian Haslinger
B3 Michael Morris Maps
C1 Nicholas Daly Books
C2 Unsworth Antiquarian
C3 Wildside Books
C4 Grove Rare Books
C5 Nicholas Bernstein
D1 Besley’s Books
D2 Paul Bostock
D3 Collectable Books
D4 Lymelight Books
D5 Interamnia
E1 J & S Bonham
E2 Matthew Butler
E3 Marcus Campbell
E4 Old Town Bookshop
E5 A G Cram
F1 Extraordinary Editions
F2 Bow Windows
F3 Love Rare Books
F4 Wool House Autographic
F5 Adrian Harrington
G1 John Underwood
G2 Sarah Key Books
G3 Lucius Books
G4 Voyager Press
G5 C.R. Denistoun
H1 Meridian Rare Books
H2 Rainford & Parris
H3 B.J. Walsh Old Books
H4 Robert Frew
H5 Pablo Butcher
H6 Peter Harrington
I1 Mayfly Ephemera
I2 Imperial Fine Books
I3 Bookmark Children’s Books
I4 Sevin Seydi Rare Books
I5 Zimnol Books
I6 Fine Books at Ilkley
I7 Demetzy Books
J1 West Hull Rare Books
J2 Aquila Books
J3 Dik Ramkema
K1 Petersfield Bookshop
K2 Turner Donovan Military Books
K3 Antiquarian Book Company
L1 Steven Ferdinando
L2 Keogh’s Books
L3 Deverell Books
L4 Peter Foster Books
M1 The Bibliomaniacs
M2 Any Amount of Books
M3 The Book Business
M4 Hans Lindner
N1 Eclectica
N2 Walden Books
N3 Sportspages
N4 Claude Cox
O1 Rochdale Books Company
O2 Barnaby Chiari
P1 Yesterday’s Books
P2 Simon Finch
P3 Fawsley First Editions
P4 Mark Sutcliffe
Q1 Wilfrid M. de Freitas
Q2 G. Mosdell T/A Junction Bookshop
Q3 Jarndyce
Q4 Peter Whetman
R1 E. J. Morten Books
R2 D & D Galleries
R3 Bauman Rare Books
R4 Staniland Books
S1 Alastor Rare Books
S2 London Rare Books
S3 Wykeham Books
S4 Modern First Editions
T1 B & B Rare Books
T2 Edmund Pollinger
T3 Robert Kirkman Ltd
T4 Picture This
U1 Prior Books
U2 G David
V1 Michael Kemp
V2 Scott Brinded
V3 Shapero Rare Books
V4 Holybourne Rare Books
V5 Cheltenham Rare Books
V6 Tittle Books
W1 Hereward Books
W2 Peter Hill
W3 White Eagle Books
W4 Design for Today
W5 Chantrey Books
W6 World’s End Bookshop
X1 Kingsbridge Books
X2 Gresham Books
X3 R.E. & G.B. Way
X4 Antiquates Ltd
X5 Antiquariaat Talke
X6 Reigate Galleries

If you would like a ticket to both the PBFA fair, and the ABA Olympia fair – please click on the link below:

Joint Ticket download

I hope we shall see you there soon.

 

 

Jewellery and Vagueness

Jewellery and Rings (first published June 2007)

Woman walked in this afternoon.

“Have you got any rings”

“Rings madam?” says I (Come on then – what would you say?)

“Yes, rings – the charity shops are closed – I need some rings and don’t know where to go – I’m new to Salisbury.”

“This is a bookshop Madam.”

“But I want to buy a ring.”

“How about a jewellers madam.”

“Do you think so ? – I’ll try that then”

And she walked out.

A Little Vague (first published September 2007)

“Hello,I was watching an interesting programme with Simon Schama on the History Channel last night. He was talking about the history of Wales, and carrying a book. Can you get me a copy of it please.”

Now people, you just KNOW that he didn’t have any clues about author or title. The only extra bit of information I managed to get was “It might have been a Penguin”

Special Secret Knowledge

The Fount of All Knowledge (first published March 2007)

Young man comes into the shop.

“I want to buy a book to learn stuff”

“What sort of Stuff”

You know …. I want a book to teach me things – can you recommend a book that will give me knowledge”

“Knowledge about what exactly ?”

“Oh everything ……I brought my mum a book for Christmas .. It was on Naturamony”

“Naturamony ?”

“You know – Bones and stuff”

“Ah, anatomy ….. Is she a nurse ?”

“No she works in a cafe… But i liked the pictures of bones and stuff…..

“Has she read it ?”

“She’s looked at it… Don’t think she’s read it. ……. David Ike is good isn’t he – he talks a lot of sense – who would have thought the royal family are all aliens”

“Well there are some who would question whether everything David Ike says is true”

“No its true, I saw it in a book – he says you have to wear blue to be safe from the aliens. Thats the sort of knowledge I want to learn”

“Ah sir, you will be needing our paranoid conspiracy theory utter rubbish section then”

Psychic Booksellers (first Published April 2007)

“My friend in Cornwall has quite a few Cricket books. How much are they worth ?”

Too Much Information (first published March 2007)

Guy comes in – also the worst for drink, and asks if I buy books.
“Sometimes”, say I “What sort of books are they?”

“Oh I don’t know, all sorts” He replied “How much will you pay me for them”

“I would have to see them, it varys from a pound or so, up to a few thousand, usually the former”

“But you must be able to give me some idea – can’t you guess?”

Pah.

Metal, Pot & Students

Hardcore Heavy Metal (first published Dec 2006)

You get some very odd ones in Antiquarian bookshops….

So here I was, innocently working away in my little shop……..
When a very respectable chap walks in.
Typical customer. Mid Sixties, smartly dressed with a checked jacket (and obligatory hankerchief to top pocket)
Tie, neat trousers, brogues etc: Neat moustache.

“Can I help you” I intone in my nicest, middle english bookseller voice.

“I do hope so” came back. “Do you have any biographies on Marilyn Manson, they’re my favourite band, they’re awfully good.. Do you know them?”

Not enough Pot (first published Dec 2006)

Chap comes in, up to the counter and asks if I have any books on Antique Pot Lids. I ask him what sort of pots he means, and he tells me he wants a book on the lids of jam jars, honey pots, glass and ceramic – as long as they are over 50 years old.

I ask him about the pots themselves, and he looks at me as if I’m an absolute idiot.
“Why would I want a book about those? It’s only the lids i’m interested in!”

Drama school (first published Jan 2007)

Student walks into the shop.

” I am a drama and film studies at the local college.

We want to film a fight scene in a library, but the college won’t let us use theirs. Could I borrow about a thousand books for a week or so. I’ll bring them back. ”

Now guess whether I said yes or no to him…….

 

Religious week in the bookshop

Damned Communists (first published December 2006)

What have I done to deserve this week? (Please don’t rush to answer this – I’m sure there is some karmic reason somewhere – but I don’t really want to know).

Today was the turn of the American Evangelical Christian. Here I am, sat innocently behind my desk, tapping away on my little computer, when a nondescript American with about 5 cameras around his neck comes up and asks me where the Bibles are. I show him to the Christian books, where I have bibles in Greek, Latin, Welsh, a couple of old Apocrypha and of course the Talmud in Hebrew. He is disappointed that I don’t have any modern Bibles, and I explain a bit about the economics of 16th Century Bible good – 20th Century rather common.

He browses for a little while and then appears again at the desk, and begins a fine rant on how I have lots of evil books – but no bibles in English. Here I am expecting the esoteric section to come in for a bashing, but instead he turns on the Karl Marx books, and complains about how Jews and communists are ruining God’s world – and how Marx is in fact the Antichrist and the Endtimes are here.

Always nice to have a reasoned intellectual discussion at work.
He didn’t buy anything!

Enough Religion already (first published Dec 2006)

So here we were, sat in our little shop, minding our own business and enjoying a little freedom of Religion
when a lady walks in and up to the counter.

“Are you Jewish?” she asks

“Not I” was my reply, while I hurriedly hid my Menorah (one can never be too careful near Hanukkah)

On being told that I’m not, she asks who is Jewish in the shop.
I explained that as far as I know, there was no-one Jewish working in the shop, although Mitchell the Mutt has Hasidic tendancies and Rosie is prone to Pharrisaic opinions

She told me that she had been sent by the Methodist Church, who thought that this might be a Jewish bookshop and that she was working for inter-faith and reconcilliation for the Jewish Community.

It seems there are 73 Jews in our town – split into three groups – Orthodox – Reformed and another faction that I didn’t follow! – Without us, there are now probably only 72 – pity. However, this fine lady is working to reconcile the groups.

She went away, quite cheerfully and invited us to Hanukkah anyway.

It got a little stranger later in the day.
I was relating this tale of religious tolerance and joy to Holly (Quaker – I do hope you are keeping up!),
when a head popped up from behind the Natural History section (always a worry)
“I’m from the Methodist Church and know the lady you are talking about” he stated
I did a quick double take to make sure I hadn’t been too insulting about the Methodists in the last half hour – he seemed cheerful though, so it must be ok.

Apparently, the Jewish Lady in question, had gone to the Methodist Church, and told THEM that we were Jewish, and that she was on the way here to be reconciled with us.

So the question of the day for us, is Who DID tell her we were a Jewish bookshop?

 

Books brought and sold (sometimes)

The Literary Festival. (first published Dec 2006)

A decidedly odd day in the shop.

We have been getting publicity for our support of the local festival. Waterstones have decided not to support the festival – which would have lost all of its literary element. The four independant bookshops in town have come together to put up the cash / support

First customer pops in and walks to the counter. She says “I just wanted to congratulate you on supporting the festival” and walks out.

Next customer appears, makes their way to the counter and tells us “Well done for supporting the festival – that will really put the people behind you” and leaves.

Third customer is clutching a Waterstones bag, and tells us how wonderful it is that the independant bookshops are supporting the festival, and goes.

Another customer walks in ………

Oh I can’t be bothered…..

A tempting offer. (first published Dec 2006)

I received a phone call today.
Chap had been into the shop and had a good look around, and decided to offer to sell me some books…

He asks me if i was interested in buying some management and marketing books. When I declined, he told me that these can fetch some very high prices and I am a fool to pass them up.

Then he asks me about paperbacks – all around 20 to 30 years old. I replied that I couldn’t pay much for these, as I sold them for about £1 – £1.50. He decided it wasn’t worth selling me those then!

In passing, he told me that he was, of course, selling all his good books to London dealers as complete libraries (Guaranteed to make me feel favourably towards him!) and he wanted to know what sort of books I did bother to buy then. On my replying that I would be interested in high quality and antiquarian books, he asked me if I would purchase some biographies from him.

When I tried to pursue idea of the “good books” he told me that he wouldn’t sell those to me, as otherwise he would never get rid of the rest of the rubbish !

I was good….. I didn’t swear………. I just quietly hung up the phone and stomped around the shop for a while sobbing gently into my coffee.

The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth (first published Dec 2006)

I was asked recently how much of the blog I had made up / invented.

Now, much as I would be the last person to let truth get in the way of a good story, I can assure you all, that I have no need to exaggerate or make anything up. These people are real, and the things they come out with a real.

Sad but true – I am surrounded by muppets, lunatics and booksellers.

Memoirs of a bookshop dog

I have been looking over my old blog today. This covered the time that I had a bookshop in Salisbury. It was a commentary on the customers, books and events – partly from the perspective of my dog Mitchell. When i read them now – I realise that I probably have more in common with Bernard of Black Books than I like to admit. Certainly, the blog entries would suggest I cultivated his approach to customer service. Many of these should be consigned to history – but there are some that I hope may still appeal to a bookselling and book buying audience.  So I shall offer them up here now and again!

Some people are never satisfied .  (First published Dec. 2006).

So here i am, polishing my leather with gay abandon, when a chap walks in.
He starts with the preliminary introduction of  “Do you Sell books?”

I resist scornful comments about generally being more of an exhibition or library and say yes, we do try to. Then announces that he needs a copy of a woodcut. Particularly, it must be mid eighteenth century, by a botanical artist rather than an illustrator, and must be of an Oak leaf, and an acorn.

This sounds fairly specific to me – so it is with joy in my heart, and a slightly smug and self satisfied spring in my step that I go straight to the “Illustrators of Oak Leaves” department, where I find a perfect original print of an Oak Leaf, botanically produced, with an acorn to the side and a cross section of both Leaf and Acorn (let me know If I am boring you!!). Beautiful condition, printed in 1750 (For the less historical of you, the is about as “middle of the Eighteenth Century” as it is possible to get). And best of all, £4.

I show this to the chap. Of course you have already figured what is coming next………”It’s not quite what I had in mind”

I can now feel a wave of the Little Britain “Shop of Horrors” sketch floating over me. It was all I could do to resist shouting at him “What the f*&&K do you mean it’s not what you had in mind – Not Oaky enough for you? Want something a little less Acorny? Leave now and encumber my bookshop no more with your fetid presence” but I settled with a “Sorry that’s the best I can do”.

(Sobs sadly into his coffee mug and dreams of normal people.)

By the way – I was offered a book on Porcelain Pot Lids today!! I refused to buy it our of spite!

Sinks and Soda.  (First published Dec. 2006).

Chap walks in
Comes up to the desk and announces that he has a ceramic Belfast / Butler type sink
He tells me that I have a lot of books
What should he use to clean it with?
Apparently the sink has no chips or damage!

I asked him if he had used Caustic Soda
And he replied no – he would try some immediately.

Next questions was about which Caustic Soda stockist I would recommend locally!!!

The Weirdness of Victorians

It is a well know fact that the Victorians were an odd bunch. Honestly, they were very strange. From their obsession with sewers to the colonial eccentricities. From their bizarre sports rules to the madcap mustaches. It probably all stems from the public school system – but who knows.

Anyway – I know this is a busy time of year for everyone, so I have been off searching for the best in weird and wonderful Victorian Christmas cards – just to save you the trouble. I hope you enjoy these, and that they bring some light and joy into your Christmas holidays.

_87035150_frog-murder

Because nothing says  Christmas like the robbery and murder of a frog.

I am sure the inspiration for Chewbaka started here.

Eating fat children is always a possibility if the turkey runs out!

_87038618_deadbird21880s

But he is dead – DEAD – how sick is that – share the joy of the death of a little bird.

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lobster-christmas

A mouse riding a lobster – it must be Crimbo.

This Christmas wish with you abide. Victorian Christmas card

If the relatives annoy you too much……

2f8df2d200000578-3369090-this_card_features_a_rather_menacing_looking_jester_and_a_man_in-a-14_1450775511895

This is the way my wife makes me eat her Christmas pudding as well.

Actually this pair a quite cute – and the world needs more kittens.

victorianxmas13

This is my personal favourite. Nice motor though – it may be a tad post victorian.

And of course, after the Christmas joy, I must also wish you a very happy New Year

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Be careful out there children – 2017 is the year of the giant killer hornets.

Last call for the Christmas fair

Hot on the heels of our Chelsea photographs – here is another late blog – this one a quick plug for the PBFA Kensington Christmas Fair.

It starts tomorrow (Saturday 3rd December) at 11am. This year, we are in the Hilton Olympia Hotel – so please do come along to visit, and bring wheelbarrow of cash for all the lovely items that will no doubt be on sale.

For many of us, this will be the last fair of the year, so I hope you will be able to join us.

Ho Ho Ho.

Belated Chelsea Blog

We may be a little behind the times here at Harrison-Hiett, (We are old booksellers after all), but we have finally caught up clearing out our photographs. 

This year saw another fine ABE Chelsea book fair – with many thanks to Graham York, Giles Lyons, and the rest of the crew. Takes certainly seemed healthy from Graham’s reports, and it felt like there were plenty of visitors passing through.

chelsea-panorama

 The view from the stage. Marianne and Camilla working hard to the left. 

The Annexe (where my stall was) & Graham attempting a complex operation during the show.

chelsea_1

Our stand at the show.