Newberry Book Fair | Newberry Library | Literary Events | Chicago Reader

Newberry Book Fair Recommended Free Agenda Image

When: July 24-27 2014

Dan Crawford has helped organize every Newberry Library Book Fair since the event began in 1985. Thirty fairs later, the 56-year-old is still excited by the wonderfully random and rare literature donated to the annual sale of more than 120,000 books. "I'm still seeing things I haven't seen before," he says. "You just never know what people have in their basements." Recently, a man donated a large collection of Asian studies. "He planned to own a bookstore when he retired. When he finally did retire, his wife told him he would, in fact, not be opening a bookstore." Crawford's job as fair manager is a full-time gig, since people drop off books all year round. While most of the stock is affordable, the 30th anniversary's big-ticket items include autographed titles by three Nobel Peace Prize winners (Barack Obama, Albert Schweitzer, Desmond Tutu) and an English first edition of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy for $3,000. "Not really an impulse purchase, but it might go the first day," Crawford says. "A couple of years ago we had a first edition of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged—a $2,500 book, and it went the first night." Continue reading >>


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