The 2014 Tennessee Antiquarian Book Fair

The 2014 Tennessee Antiquarian Book Fair will be held July 26-27 at Sewanee.

I know what you’re thinking. This must be a view of the little-seen South Wing of the Lauderdale Mansion. And yes, it looks somewhat like it, minus the aluminum siding and the 2 x 4s holding up the crumbly brick walls. But actually, this is the lovely chapel on the campus of the University of the South, just east of Nashville in Sewanee, Tennessee.

And the reason I’m showing it to you is because this summer Sewanee will host the 2014 Tennessee Antiquarian Book Fair.

Now I normally spend my days talking about people, places, and events in Memphis — or at least Shelby County — but I’m mentioning Sewanee here because the book fair, now in its fourth year, is taking place there July 26 and 27, and you might as well mark your calendars now, because quite frankly I think it’s an event worth attending.

And really, have I ever steered you wrong?

Here’s what the organizers have to say about the event:

“Now in our fourth year, the 2014 Tennessee Antiquarian Book Fair will be held July 26-27 at McClurg Hall on the campus of the University of the South at Sewanee. Booksellers from more than half the states east of the Mississippi River and at least one foreign country will exhibit at this year’s fair. Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Kansas, and Florida are just some of the states represented by booksellers. We are happy to be back on campus this year and look forward to a great weekend of good books and good friends.”

Speaking of good friends, my pals Susan Davis and David Brown from Memphis, well-known local booksellers and collectors, who have been guests at the Lauderdale Mansion more times than I can remember, will be representing Memphis at this event. If you don’t drive to Sewanee in July and buy some books from them, then you will come OFF my Christmas card list, that’s all I'm tellng you. Fair warning.

Admission is only $10, and that actually will be refunded in the form of two $5 coupons for use at the fair. According to the promoters, there will be books for sale at prices from $10 all the way up to $50,000. I know you’re wondering what book could possibly cost 50 grand, and I’ll just say right now that you will probably have your choice: a first-edition copy of Gone with the Wind autographed by Margaret Mitchell. Or a first-edition, 27-volume set of Bound for Glory: The Amazing Story of the Lauderdales in America (1616-2014). So if you’ve only got $50,000 to spend that day, well, you’ve got a tough decision to make.

But really, don’t you already know how Gone with the Wind ends?

For more information, including a complete list of booksellers who will be at the fair, contact the Tennessee Antiquarian Booksellers Association, or email the group’s president, Joel Tomlin:

And if anybody wishes to ride with me in the Daimler-Benz all the way to Sewanee, well ... wish again.

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Ask Vance is the blog of Vance Lauderdale, the award-winning columnist of Memphis magazine and Inside Memphis Business. Vance is the author of three books: Ask Vance: The Best Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History and Trivia Expert (2003), as well as Ask Vance: More Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History Expert (2011) and Vance Lauderdale's Lost Memphis (2013). He is also the recipient of quite a few nice awards, the creator of several eye-catching wall calendars, and the only person we know with a vintage shock-treatment machine in his den. 

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