Discover Rare Finds at Ann Arbor’s 43rd Antiquarian Book Fair



The 43rd annual Ann Arbor Antiquarian Book Fair in Michigan drew booksellers from around the country. The event, which began in 1976, allows book collectors and enthusiasts to browse and buy rare and out-of-print books. Despite the ease of accessing books online, the fair’s organiser, Jay Platt, highlighted the special value of handling physical books, likening the event to a museum where visitors can interact with the display.

Michigan Union Hosts 43rd Ann Arbor Antiquarian Book Fair

The Rogel Ballroom in the Michigan Union was abuzz with activity on Sunday afternoon as students, book collectors, and literary enthusiasts searched through hundreds of rare books at the 43rd annual Ann Arbor Antiquarian Book Fair. Over two dozen booksellers from across the country attended this year’s event.

Kickstarted in 1976 as a three-day event, the fair has become a much-awaited annual gathering for readers and collectors to explore stacks of used books. The event was organized by Jay Platt, owner of the West Side Book Shop, who highlighted the thrill of finding rare book copies in an interview with The Michigan Daily.

Platt emphasized the importance of physically handling books, a unique experience that online platforms can’t replicate. He believes that the Antiquarian Book Fair plays a crucial role in promoting the value of this tangible experience.

Eli Forrester, a Rackham student, compared the experience to a museum visit where visitors could physically interact with the exhibits. Despite not being a book collector, he found the event intriguing.

Jett Whitehead, who ran the poetry table, explained that poetry books are often rarer due to smaller press runs. Africa Schaumann, owner of the Dawn Treader Book Store, described her process of curating a selection of books specifically for avid collectors.

Forrester, a previous visitor, expressed his admiration for the fair’s wide geographical reach, attracting booksellers from across the nation. Schaumann also appreciated the opportunity to connect with fellow booksellers and discuss their shared passion for literature.

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