The 33rd Annual Belfast Book Fair will take place in the Wellington Park Hotel, Malone Road, Belfast on Saturday the 10th October 2015, opening to the public at 10.00AM and closing at 5.00PM. There is an admission charge of some £ 2.00 per head, and for this sum, you will have the opportunity to explore and examine the contents of some 30 stands set up by leading antiquarian, rare, secondhand and out of print book-sellers, located throughout the island of Ireland and further afield.
As usual there will be books available for purchase, on a wide range of subjects including Local History; Irish History & Topography; First & Second World War Histories; Ulster Scots & Irish Language titles; Children’s titles, Irish Regimental Histories; Aspects of Church History; Works published by The Linenhall Library and Books published by local history societies.
One of the star turns of the day, will be an appearance by Dr Alan McCutcheon, the eminent industrial archaeologist who will not only have some of his many publications on sale and for signing on the day, but will also have a number of books and pamphlets for sale from his own personal research collection.
On the literary front, there will be a large number of signed first editions available from such notable authors as W.B. Yeats, James Stephens, Flann O’Brien, Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon to name but a few. There are many more unsigned First Editions including works by Jules Verne, P.G.Wodehouse, Flann O’Brien, Patrick McGill and some early first editions of the works of Samuel Beckett.
One of the great joys, on a day such as this is the unexpected discovery of books that you were not expecting. Last year we found a copy of the Templepatrick Masonic Bazaar buried in a box of oddments, and a copy of a 1690’s illustration by Richard Blome of the building known as King Solomon’s Temple. This was an important illustration taken from Blome’s work entitles “History of the Old Testament” originally published between 1688 and 1690. If you are really lucky, you should be able to pick up a copy of Freemasonry in Northern Ireland by the late Rt Wor Bro Samuel Leighton, first Librarian and Archivist of The Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim and a past Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim Organist. It should be available in the £ 20 – £ 25 range and is full of interesting facts on the history of Freemasonry throughout the county of Antrim from the 18th to the early 20th century. So, if you happen to be in Belfast tomorrow, find some time and pop in for a look through this magnificent collection of interesting, unusual and challenging books. Who knows, you may find something of interest that will keep you reading for the next week or two.
Finally, if you do catch the bug and develop an interest in antiquarian and similar books, then please put a note in your diary to remind you that the Dublin City Book Fair will be held on Sunday the 27th October 2015 in the Tara Towers Hotel, Merrion Road, Dublin. Happy Hunting!