May 26

The Closing Chapter

The Washington Antiquarian Book Fair – which began as a fundraiser for a small primary school in Chevy Chase, Maryland in 1975 and grew into a 44-year tradition – has been a labor of love for all who’ve been a part of this fabulous event. So it is with a heavy heart that I share the news that the time has come for the WABF to retire.

I’ve been at the helm for the last 10 years and as a volunteer the eight years before that. During that time we’ve witnessed record attendance after the Washington Post featured us on the cover of the Weekend Section in 2004, the economic crisis in 2008, changes in technology affecting booksellers and book fairs alike, and the upending of the book fair calendar. Back in 2016 when the New York ABAA moved its premier event from April to March it had a ripple effect on the regional spring fairs and as a result the WABF was faced not only with a new date but a new location. The date and location change was the most daunting change and as a “one woman shop” it has turned out to be the most difficult one to recover from.

In other news, I’m pleased to share that a new fair is being planned for April of 2020 and you can find out more about it here. Many WABF exhibitors are expected to participate.

The WABF has survived and thrived to this point because of the fervent support of booksellers, dedicated fair-goers, and countless others. I will be forever grateful.

With deepest thanks,
Beth Campbell



Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan