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Rare Books LA – the new face on the book fair scene


A new book fair is about to make its debut. Rare Books Los Angeles occurs on February 1 and 2 at the Pasadena Convention Center. It is organized by Brad and Jen Johnson, the husband and wife bookselling team behind Johnson Rare Books & Archives. They also run a bricks and mortar bookshop in Covina on the outskirts of Los Angeles.

More than 100 sellers, including many of the world’s top antiquarian dealers, will be offering rare books, prints, photos and ephemera at Rare Books LA.

“Our guiding principle is to be inclusive,” said Brad Johnson, “And to bring in a lot of trades that are allied to the rare book business. We are working closely with the International Fine Print Dealers Association and a consortium of mostly Los Angeles-based specialists in classic photography. There’s always been a lot of overlap between their worlds and the book trade, and we thought it would be a great opportunity to get everyone under one roof.”

If you wish to visit Rare Books LA, then it’s at the Pasadena Convention Center on Friday 1 Feb from 2pm to 8pm and Saturday February 2 from 10am to 6pm.

A ticket costs $20 on the Friday, which is good for both days and proceeds benefit the Huntington Library, and tickets will cost $10 on the Saturday.

However, there is an online promotional code for AbeBooks customers which entitles you to a 50% discount on tickets to the fair. Just use ABEBOOKS when prompted in the checkout process.

More details and tickets can be found at rarebooksla.com

Listen to our podcast interview with the Johnsons where we discuss Rare Books LA plus their bookshop dog (Elke), heavy metal books, Wayne’s World, acting, menus, vintage board games, and Hugh Hefner’s library.

The Johnsons…. organisers of Rare Books LA

And yes, we do mean heavy metal books, which is a particular passion for Brad. Frustrated that books and ephemera about the punk era gets all the attention, Brad is on a mission to discover and highlight key moments in the 50-year history of heavy metal through books and other printed matter.

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