Drawing the East Coast's best book dealers, this year's 2-day fair offers both the serious bibliophile and the casual browser a delightful opportunity to peruse rare and vintage books spanning the 17th through 21st centuries, including children's series and illustrated books, modern first editions, art, photography and design, maps & prints, political flyers, unusual paper ephemera and memorabilia; also Dickensiana, paleontology, architecture, autographs, African American studies, film history and comics.
Sponsored solely by the parents of the culturally diverse student body of PS 3, many of whom are writers and artists, the fair is the lead fund- raiser to help preserve the school's well-regarded and perennially under-funded (by the NY Board of Ed) music, art, and science programs. Calvin Trillin, a quintessential New York scribe sent his daughters to P.S. 3 in its early days, forging a the trail for families who believe in the merits of a well-rounded arts education.
GVABF is one of the school's cornerstone events, and like the school community itself, the Exhibitors and their collections are comprised of interesting, colorful characters and rare gems. It is truly an "only in New York " experience, one that newcomers to the city congratulate themselves for finding . . . and an experience that, in our otherwise on-lined and chain-stored book world, long-term residents and participants hope won't disappear.
Every winter, this annual fair helps turn the clock back on the West Village’s literary roots, when tiny bookshops lined the streets, and Dylan Thomas (the man, not his ghost) was writing and drinking at the nearby White Horse Tavern.