So – here I am (in my freshly tidied book-room) dreaming about all the treasures I’m going to find at this week’s Chelsea Book Fair. Well – I say freshly tidied (see last post). It just about passed muster at this morning’s inspection. Just about. The exact rhetorical diasyrm used was a kindly and encouraging, “Well, I can see you have been trying”.
Enough of that – I now have some freshly excavated shelf-space and I’ve found the cheque-book. No other way this can end but in some determined book-hunting at Chelsea. Better still, I don’t have to say too much this week because I’m going to see you all there – at least I hope so. What excuse could you possibly have for not being there?
A lovely venue, books to suit all tastes, some of the best booksellers in the country (and a fair sprinkling from overseas) with the latest of their wares. Whatever your interests, whatever your level of experience, whatever the breadth or depth of your pockets, there will be something there for you. And as if that’s not enough, that bookselling genius Arthur Freeman will be signing his new book on Friday. For those needing tips and pointers there will be guided tours on Saturday (and flyers for the free monthly seminars on book-collecting can be picked up too).
Friendly faces all around (it’s always been the friendliest of fairs). Old friends to see – and all the latest gossip to catch up on. New friends to find – several people exhibiting here for the first time. Good luck to them.
I can’t wait. Booksellers love selling books, of course – but most of them prefer buying them. That’s the fun part. And the joy of an event like Chelsea is the certain knowledge that you will find something. I’ve found some fantastic things there over the years – the discovery of the book you didn’t know you were looking for – an experience you can’t replicate online. Books to cherish, handle and talk about even if you can’t quite afford. I guarantee you I will find something to blog about next week (I’ve had a dream). And you will find something just as good – but only if you are there. Just get on to the Chelsea Book Fair website (www.chelseabookfair.com) and sort yourself out a complimentary ticket. I’ll be touring around and looking for books on Friday afternoon and again on Saturday morning. I’ll see you there – do say hello.