Pasadena welcomes booksellers and bibliophiles from around the world to share their love of books, fine prints, maps, ephemera, and more on Sat.,Feb 3 and Sun., Feb.4, 2024 at the Pasadena Convention Center. This event is often considered the shadow fair; it is hosted by Rare Books LA. It is an alternative and complement to the ABAA fair which will be held in San Francisco Feb. 9-11. (See separate story)
The Pasadena fair "is a can’t miss whether you’re searching for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for the book lover in your life or just want to spend a fun and educational day with a loved one,” said Rare Books LA Director Jodi Tolan. In addition to rare books, visitors will see everything from historic maps and original artwork to artist’s books and punk zines. “There is something for everyone all under one roof."
The Pasadena event features 96 exhibitors. It is expected to draw several thousand attendees to the 20,000 sq. ft. venue according to Jen Johnson, communications manager for the fair. A list of exhibitors, from California, the West, other parts of the US and international locations including London, Amsterdam, Vancouver and Melbourne can be found at https://rarebooksla.com/index.php/pasadena-exhibitors/
Two items of special note Johnson said include a 1956 typed signed letter by Sylvia Plath to Ted Hughes exhibited by UK bookseller Peter Harrington (Booth 207). Also of interest is a collection of about 300 items of 20th century marijuana ephemera presented by Johnson Rare Book and Archives of Covina, CA (Booth 200)
Tickets are $25 for a weekend pass, $20 for just Saturday, or $15 for Sunday only. A special promotional admission for two people for both days is $40 which includes admission, a tote bag and a red rose. Find out more about the Pasadena event including more about ticketing and parking information at https://rarebooksla.com
Also included in the price of admission are seven in-person book related talks on Sat., Feb. 3. Although there is no additional charge for these presentations, a courtesy Eventbrite registration is requested.
Schedule of seven talks at Pasadena Fair on Sat. Feb. 3
11:00am-11:45am: The History of Hearts in Art: Valentine’s Day Lecture
Ever wonder why we associate hearts with Valentine’s Day and with love? Join author and writer Kim Keeline to learn more about the history of hearts in art.
12:00pm-12:45pm: Dark Archives: Books Bound in Human Skin
Librarian and author Megan Curran Rosenbloom discusses her book Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin, which was a New York Times editor’s choice.
1:00pm-1:45pm A Woman of Influence
Historian, writer, and curator Vanessa Wilkie presents her New York Times bestselling book A Woman of Influence: The Spectacular Rise of Alice Spencer in Tudor England. It tells the story of Lady Alice Spencer, her relationship with her daughters, and how she used the labyrinthine court systems of England to bring her family to greater power. Wilkie is The Huntington Library’s William A. Moffett Senior Curator of Medieval Manuscripts and British History and Head of Library Curatorial.
2:00pm-2:45pm Building a Series Book
Learn how series books were produced, published, and promoted with examples from the Stratemeyer Syndicate and Trixie Belden in this talk by author, researcher, and lecturer James Keeline He is a researcher, writer, and web designer who has long been fascinated by series books. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/774918210227?aff=oddtdtcreator
3:00pm-3:45pm Learning History Through Landmarks
Local historian and vodcaster Etan Rosenbloom offers an introduction to some of the Southern California sites he’s visited, and the triumphs and pitfalls of learning history through landmarks.
4:00pm-4:45pm The Art of Alchemy
Author and curator David Brafman presents his new book The Art of Alchemy, the first to explore how the art of alchemy globally transformed human creative culture from the ancient world to the modern scientific age. Brafman is the rare books curator at the Getty Research Institute and former adjunct professor in the NYU Classics Department and resident-expert at H.P. Kraus, Rare Books and Manuscripts. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/774921620427?aff=oddtdtcreator
5:00pm-5:45pm Kaos Theory – The Afrokosmic Ark of Ben Caldwell
Join author Robeson Taj Frazier with artist Ben Caldwell to learn more about the new book The Afrokosmic Ark of Ben Caldwell. It tells the story of filmmaker, educator and community activist Ben Caldwell and KAOS Network, the media-arts center he founded in LA’s Leimert Park neighborhood. Frazier is a writer and associate professor in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California and director of the Institute for Diversity and Empowerment at Annenberg (IDEA).
Pasadena Book Fair 2024
Presented by Rare Books LA
Sat., February 3: 10am-6pm
Sun., February 4: 11am-4pm
Pasadena Convention Center
300 East Green Street
cell/text: (626) 634-005
Ticket, parking and other information at: