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The monthly online book fair organised by the PBFA is set to be more than a temporary fill-in.

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The association’s David Maynard said: “We started these in April when we knew it was going to be difficult to organise our live fairs. They run on the 29th of each month with modern firsts and foreign travel remaining popular buys. Unsold items remain on the site.

“Recent fairs have seen items that ranged from £7 to £25,000 for an immaculate early copy of Tolkien’s The Hobbit. In the November fair we had 80 participating dealers and more than 1000 new items.”

Among the books Paul Bostock of Nottingham sold in the November online fair was Peking and the Overland Route by Thomas Cook, 1917, at £125. Bostock said: “A positive point about the online fairs is the range of different countries I’ve sent books and ephemera to since they began – Australia, Hong Kong, USA, Canada and France. It shows they are viewed worldwide, not just at home.”

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A plate by the peerless illustrator Ralph Steadman from 'The Mildenhall Treasure', 1999, based on a short story by Roald Dahl, is for sale at £120 with bookseller William Cowan of Oban at PBFA’s continuing online fair.

Maynard added: “We feel our investment in our online fair identity has been justified, not just as an extra sales outlet for our members but to help the PBFA presence.

“The extra traffic to the site will help advertise our live fairs and we will keep our online fairs as a permanent fixture.”

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