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International Booffair Honors Shakespeare's 450th Birthday

The thousands of book lovers, rare book dealers, and scholars who will converge at the Pasadena Convention Center for the 47th California International Antiquarian Book Fair Feb. 4-9 will help celebrate William Shakespeare's 450th birthday.
Recognized as one of the world’s largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, the Book Fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about and purchase the finest in rare and valuable books, manuscripts, autographs, graphics, photographs and more.
Many Southern California institutions will be among those participating in the event, which will also feature the collections and rare treasures of 200 booksellers from the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. The event will present volumes from five centuries of printing, as well as original manuscripts that predate Gutenberg.
Books will cover every imaginable area of interest -- from the history of travel and exploration, early science and medicine to classic literature, modern first editions, children’s and illustrated books, and the arts. Items range in price from a few dollars to more than six figures.
“Because of Shakespeare’s enduring influence on literature and the arts, we couldn’t let this milestone birthday pass without celebrating his genius,” said Michael R. Thompson, Book Fair Chair of the Southern California Chapter of the ABAA, which organizes the event. “The Book Fair is all about bringing people closer to books by giving them a chance to browse, touch and even go home with items that they might imagine could only be found in a museum or special collections library. We're really excited about connecting people with Shakespeare in the same way.”
The Book Fair’s tribute will include a special exhibit featuring some of the finest expressions of Shakespeare through the centuries. A display from the Huntington Library and Memorial Gardens will focus on its Shakespeare scholarship since 1920. Fine art and private press books from the Ella Strong Denison Library at Scripps College will show how Shakespeare has inspired the art of the book. Prompt books with actors’ handwritten notes and costume and set designs from the Honnold/Mudd Library at the Claremont College Library will offer insights into stage productions.
Rare books on food and cookery in Elizabeth times from The University of California San Diego library and a related special panel "What Shakespeare Ate: Dining in the Elizabethan Age" will further immerse Book Fair visitors into the world of the Bard. Panelists include Los Angeles Times and Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold; noted food historian Charles Perry; cookbook author and founder of the Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne Anne Willan; and bookseller Ben Kinmont who specializes in antiquarian books on gastronomy. Los Angeles Times columnist Patt Morrison will moderate. Those who want to start their own collections of the plays or sonnets will find many opportunities to acquire items from individual dealers who will be displaying their finest Shakespeare works at the Book Fair.
The Book Fair is the perfect introduction for those new to the world of rare books and includes a seminar on the basics of collecting. Sunday, February 9 is Discovery Day, which gives attendees the opportunity to present up to three items to experts for free examination.
Book Fair hours are Friday, February 7 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, February 8 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, February 9 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pasadena Convention Center, located at 300 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91101. Tickets on Friday, February 7 are $25 and provide three-day admission. Proceeds from Friday tickets will benefit and offer free admission to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens during the month of February. Tickets purchased on Saturday or Sunday are $15 and include return entry and free admission to the Huntington during the Book Fair.
Purchase tickets for the Book Fair at Eventbrite. For more information, visit www.cabookfair.com or call 800-454-6401. Connect with the Book Fair at http:/twitter.com/cabookfair or http://www.facebook.com/CABookFair.