A double-page spread from Slightly Foxed but Still Desirable, satirist Ronald Searle’s humorous take on the world of book collecting, which is available from Paul Foster Books at the York book fair. Published in 1989 this signed first edition costs £425. In its review of the book PBFA said: “A splendid book…reminding both booksellers and book collectors that the business can be fun.”

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The association also launched three new book fairs this year: at Brockholes Nature Reserve at Preston in Lancashire, Hay-on-Wye in Powys and there is a one-day upcoming fair in Oxford to add to the existing two-day event in the city already in the calendar.

A new fair in south-west England is planned for next year and as 2024 is PBFA’s 50th anniversary there will be even more to celebrate.

Reflecting those positive vibes, bookseller Janette Ray, publicist of the annual two-day PBFA York National Book Fair, said: “Book fairs seem to have taken on a new lease of life recently.” At around 180 exhibitors including poster dealers Kiki Werth and Chris Bailey plus three standholders from the US, this seems to be the case for the annual fair which runs on Friday and Saturday, September 15-16, at York Racecourse.

Scrolling through the highlights of PBFA fairs is always a pleasure and those for the York book fair throw up plenty of delights. From Ashton Rare Books at £1750 is Temples of Power, published in 1979, which sparked an interest in power stations and is thought to have been the inspiration for the Tate Modern which was reborn from the Bankside Power Station.


A set of six original posters illustrating various regions of France designed by Salvador Dalí for the French National Railways (SNCF) in 1969 is on offer from David Maynard who has priced the set at £1650. Auvergne is the subject here.

Books of local interest include Yorkshire Wolds, a mid-19th century sketchbook of rural views and villages in the East Yorkshire area from Ken Spelman at £495.

New exhibitor Cooper Hay in Glasgow has a section on trials on its website.

These include at £120 an 1831 bound report of the trial for sedition in Scotland in 1793 of the political reformer Thomas Muir.

Arrested in France, Muir was sentenced to 14 years transportation, escaped from Australia on a trading ship, survived shipwrecks, arrest by the Spanish and the loss of an eye before dying in France aged 33, having been made a Citizen of the Republic.