Inaugural Empire State Rare Book & Print Fair to Take Over St. Bartholomew’s Church, October 5-7




The Empire State Rare Book and Print Fair, featuring 50+ exhibitors from across the country, will take over St. Bartholomew’s Church (St. Bart’s) at 325 Park Avenue in New York City, beginning Thursday, October 5th through Sunday, October 7th, 2023.

This fair will showcase tens of thousands of beautiful and rare books, prints, works on paper, and ephemera from around the globe.  Exceptional examples that will be offered include the original artwork for the cover of the children’s classic Charlotte’s Webb by E.B. White  ($400,000), a first printing of Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (1 of 500) for $225,000, a first British edition of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald in its iconic jacket ($125,000), and a first edition Galileo by Galileo Galilei from 1635, which was banned in Italy ($100,000).

Image courtesy The Empire State Rare Book & Print Fair

On Thursday the fair kicks off with a Preview Party featuring wine, hors d’oeuvres, live music, and a preview of the exhibitors’ treasures from 4:30 to 8:30 PM.  Ryan Miller, the lead singer of the band Guster, will perform his hit Empire State live accompanied by New York Philharmonic harpsichordist Paolo Bourdigon, the Associate Director of Music at St. Bart’s.

Eve and Edward Lemon founded Fine Books Fairs in 2022, creating fun, affordable and welcoming fairs that instill the joy of books in a new generation of collectors.  The couple, who are in their 30s, are respected collectors and experts in the field and host five fairs throughout the year.

“As a Millennial couple, we wanted to breathe new life into the world of book collecting by making it fun, inviting, accessible and entertaining,” said Mrs. Lemon.  “While technology reigns supreme, there is a growing population of younger enthusiasts who have discovered a passion for books and collecting.  Our fairs allow people to not only explore their passion for books, but also enjoy the entire experience.”

Image courtesy The Empire State Rare Book & Print Fair

Admission is FREE on Saturday, from 3 PM – 5 PM, and patrons may bring in their own books for a complimentary appraisal service by a leading expert.  General admission on Friday and Saturday is $15, $10 for students, and free for those under 16 years of age. Tickets to the Preview Party are $125 and $225 for the VIP Reception and include admission to the fair.  Link to buy tickets HERE. Tickets to an intimate and private VIP reception, dinner, and a conversation with Hugo Vickers, biographer, lecturer, broadcaster, and expert on the Royal Family at Lotos Club are $375 Link to buy tickets HERE

A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to the  Antiquarian Booksellers’ Benevolent Fund which is dedicated to providing timely financial assistance to those in the book trade who find themselves in a time of need.

Exhibitors include Adam Weinberger Rare Books, Anima Sola Fine Books, Appledore Books, Back Creek Books, Battledore, Ltd., Bauman Rare Books, B & B Rare Books, Bergen Book Studio, Better Read Than Dead Books, BlueMango Books and Manuscripts, Books of Wonder, Brenner’s Collectable Books, Capitol Hill Books, Captain Ahab’s Rare Books, Christopher’s Rare Books,Colebrook Book Barn,Craig Olson Books, De Wolfe & Wood Rare Books, Dividing Line Books, Edward T. Pollack Fine Arts, Ellipsis Rare Books, E.M. Maurice Books, Enchanted Books, Faenwyl Bindery FineArt Rare Books, Imperial Fine Books, James Cummins Bookseller, Jeffrey Bergman Books, John Bale Books, Laureate Fine Books, Livres Dalleau, Lizzyyoung Bookseller, Lorne Bair Rare Books, Maggs Bros Ltd., Michael R. Weintraub, Inc., Owl of Athena Books, Pryor-Johnson Rare Books, Quill & Brush, Rarities etc., Rodger Friedman Rare Book Studio, Sanctuary Books, The First Edition Rare Books, The Lawrence Lithography Workshop, The Verne Gallery, Timeless Tales Rare Books, Walnut Street Paper, Weinberg Modern Books, White Fox Rare Books and Antiques, Wiggins Fine Books, W. S. Cotter Rare Books, and Yesterday’s Muse.

Image courtesy The Empire State Rare Book & Print Fair

Additional highlights throughout the weekend include a series of speakers and VIP events:

Friday, October 6:

  • 12 PM – 1 PM Panel on Print Collecting w/ Kimberly Henrikson, Executive Director at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking (CCP), and Allison Tolman, who represents leading Japanese artists whose principal medium is paper.
  • 1 PM – 2 PM – The Nation That Never Was w/ Kermit Roosevelt III, the great-great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt and author of The Nation That Never Wasand The Myth of Judicial Activism.
  • 2 PM – 3 PM – John Milton Cooper Jr., an American historian, author, and educator who specializes in late 19th and early 20th-century American political and diplomatic history.
  • 3 PM – 4 PM – Writing Fiction w/ novelist Daisy Waugh, granddaughter of Evelyn Waugh.
  • 4 PM – 5 PM – Philosophy & Genius w/David Edmonds, author of many books, including Parfit, The Murder of Professor Schlick, Would You Kill the Fat Man? and (with John Eidinow) the international bestseller Wittgenstein’s Poker.
  • 5 PM – 6 PM – Sir Michael Lindsay-Hogg, the son of English baronet Edward Lindsay-Hogg and glamorous Irish actress Geraldine Fitzgerald, is an author, artist and acclaimed director, including The Rolling Stones, The Who, and The Beatles videos, including Let it Be.
  • 6:30 PM – VIP dinner with Hugo Vickers, biographer, author, lecturer and expert on the Royal Family, the Lotos Club.

Saturday, October 7:

  • 12 PM – 1 PM – Book Collecting w/Jesse R. Erickson, Astor Curator and Department Head, Printed Books and Bindings at the Morgan Library, and Angelo J. Cifaldi, President and Managing Director of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A.
  • 1 PM – 2 PM – The Future of the Monarchy w/Hugo Vickers, author and broadcaster, who has written biographies of many twentieth century figures and Royals.
  • 2 PM – 3 PM – Peter McCrea, son of Hollywood stars Joel McCrea and Frances Dee, is the President of American Impact Capital Foundation.
  • 3 PM – 4 PM -Poetry and Music with Christopher Peacocke, author and Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, and Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced Study, in the University of London.
Image credit: The Empire State Rare Book & Print Fair

About Fine Book Fairs:

Fine Book Fairs was founded by Eve and Edward Lemon in 2022 to promote book and print fairs across the United States. Each of the fairs is a unique social event that combines rare books and prints, bespoke service to both exhibitors and attendees, live music, food and drink in a historic venue.  Since its inception, Fine Book Fairs has hosted internationally attended book fairs in D.C., Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and New York, helping to make collecting accessible to a new generation of fans.

The Empire State & Rare Book Fair will take place from October 5 through October 7 at St. Bartholomew’s Church, 32 Park Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets, NYC.