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Rare Book Fair in Village Celebrates Century-Old Editions

By Andrea Swalec | February 22, 2013 8:32am

MANHATTAN — Kindle, schmindle.

A rare book fair returning to the West Village for its 34th year this weekend will be celebrating the printed page.

The Greenwich Village Antiquarian Book Fair will bring more than 50 book dealers to P.S. 3 at 490 Hudson St. Saturday and Sunday, with all proceeds benefiting the school.

A spokeswoman for the fair said the event with literary picks across centuries and genres has something for serious collectors and casual browsers alike.

"The fair is of interest to the general public [for] its accessibility and variety," she said, noting that at last year's fair, her 13-year-old son was delighted to find vintage baseball magazines.

The antique books at the fair this year will include a copy of the first American edition of the 1881 Henry James novel "The Portrait of a Lady." Available for $750, the book bound in dark brown cloth has gold details, floral endpapers and the original owner's notes made in pencil and dated December 1882.

A flier for an 1853 performance of "Hamlet" at the Broadway Theater will also be on sale at the fair. For $700, Shakespeare fans can have this "important piece of American theater history, in near-fine condition," according to the Brooklyn-based vendor of the book, Honey & Wax Booksellers.

The book fair is scheduled to be open Saturday from 12 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. Tickets cost $10 for a two-day pass or $5 for admission on Sunday only.