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Notes & Notices

The Broom and the Book

29 June 2014


The Early History of the London Book Fair

28 June 2014

By Keith Fletcher, the sole surviving continuous exhibitor.

The idea that the ABA could organize book fairs to give provincial antiquarian booksellers (of which there was still at least one in most of Britain’s market towns in the 1950’s) a temporary shop window in London came from a small group of booksellers who, in the summer of 1957, rented one of Sotheby’s galleries in Bond Street during the auctioneer’s closed season and offered their books for sale on some simple shelving.
The ABA committee had long been aware of an imbalance in the benefits...


How to sing the Blues

27 June 2014

When I worked for Jack and Sam Joseph in Charing Cross Road in 1958 I became friendly with another young assistant there, Paul Breman, newly arrived from Holland. The basis of our friendship was a mutual interest in “The Blues”; a subject in which Paul was already a published author. Many years later the following appeared on his website, and before it was taken down following his death I managed to copy it. I post it here in memory of the polymath that was Paul.

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Shelf-maker to the ABA

27 June 2014

Bill Fletcher building the shelves for the first ABA Book Fair, National Book League, 1958. [Unpublished cartoon by Ken Hunter]