Antiquarian Book Fair Celebrates Women's Suffrage and More

No matter how digital we become as a culture, there's no replacement for the alluring aroma and feel of aged paper of an old book. If you're drawn to the rare, the antique and the unique, you'll be in your element at the 53rd California International Antiquarian Book Fair Feb. 7-9 at the Pasadena Convention Center—the largest and most prestigious event of its kind.

Sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), visitors shop to their literary hearts' content and learn about rare books, autographs, maps, fine prints, photographs, ephemera, and more. This year's event celebrates the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage —a fitting reminder in an age when our democracy still struggles to maintain fairness in elections and civil rights for all.

"As we look ahead to the important role women will play in the 2020 election, it is particularly relevant to shine a light on the long struggle for women to secure the right to vote," said Jennifer Johnson, Book Fair committee chair. "Through the writings of leaders of the movement such as Susan B. Anthony, graphics and imagery designed to advance the cause, the Votes for Women special exhibit paints a fascinating portrait of this revolutionary crusade for social change. For those who want to go home with a piece of women's history, many of the exhibiting booksellers will also be showcasing items with significance to women's suffrage and the ongoing fight for equal rights."

Sci-fi fans can geek out over original Fahrenheit 451 manuscripts (originally titled "The Fireman") and other items from one of the genre's most iconic authors, Ray Bradbury; the lecture program includes an expert panel called "Something Wonderful This Way Came: 100 Years of Ray Bradbury."

If you're wondering about the value of some old books in your own collection, you can also get up to three appraised for free on Sunday from 1:30-3 p.m.

And sure, you can find nearly anything you'd like online, but there's no replacement for full-fair experience and the people you'll meet while you're there. "Book fairs mean different things to different people; to me, they are all about wonder and discovery," said Vic Zoschak, ABAA President. "Visitors come face to face with fine works they may have only heard about, or saw in a museum or specialty library, and here, in this book fair, they have the opportunity to see, hold or even go home with these admired treasures. Where else can such magic happen?"

53rd California International Antiquarian Book Fair

  • Friday, February 7th - Sunday, February 9th
  • Tickets start at $15, discounts available. Free admission for ABAA and ILAB members.
  • Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena - Google Maps

*For tickets and full event information, please check here