From the sunny west coast of Florida to the cloudy and rainy weather of London, booksellers traveled far and wide to make an appearance at the 40th anniversary of Florida’s Antiquarian Book Fair in St. Petersburg’s historic building, the Coliseum. The Florida Antiquarian Book Fair is known for being the oldest and largest book fair in the Southeastern United States. Booksellers from 75 different bookstores spent their weekend in St. Petersburg from Mar. 10 through 12 for this annual event.
The Coliseum is a grand building located in downtown St. Petersburg, built in 1924 and purchased by the city in 1989. After undergoing renovations, the atmosphere of this historic building makes it the perfect host to a variety of events including concerts, trade shows, weddings and more. Due to its flexibility as a venue, the building was the ideal space to host the 40th Florida Antiquarian Book Fair.
Many unique vendors from a variety of locations traveled to make this event possible. Some booksellers came from Georgia such as Americana Books, while others hailed from New York like Bauman Rare Books. Quadrille, owned by Valerie Jackson-Harris, traveled the farthest in order to attend. Located in London, this bookseller is also a member of the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association (PBFA) and specializes in ephemera, commemoratives and other items relating to the history of London.
Familiar faces also made an appearance as well. New College’s favorite used bookstore, Shelf Indulgence, offered their own collection of rare books. These items ranged from first edition books to signed copies. They also offered their signature “Blind Date with a Book” for attendees to buy as well.
There were other local used bookstores in attendance as well, such as A. Parker’s Books, located in Downtown Sarasota and Copperfish Books located in Punta Gorda. These booksellers supplied attendees with a wonderful selection of old books, collectibles and rare books.
Florida’s Antiquarian Book Fair was a sight to behold and any book lover’s dream. Between the beautiful and historical Coliseum and the wide selection of books, maps and other unique items, this event was the perfect way to spend the weekend. Be sure to look out for this event next year!