Monday, May 15, 2017

Saturday, May 20: Rare Book Cafe goes to federal court with the attorney challenging California's anti-bookseller law

Rare Book Cafe's May 20 program picks up a story we've been following since last fall: AB 1570, California's passed-with-no-thought bookseller regulatory nightmare law.

The law, which went on the books January 1, imposes all sorts of crushing and irrelevant record-keeping requirements on booksellers who deal in autographed books as collateral damage to actor Mark Hamill's beef that fake-autographed Star Wars memorabilia cuts into his income.

Passed with no serious debate and signed by Governor Brown with no apparent thought, the law makes book dealers liable for actual damages, punitive damages, and legal fees for selling a signed book without a certificate of authenticity that, in the case of old signed books is literally impossible to comply with.

Further, a California resident who doesn't like a book s/he bought online can sue any bookseller in America for failure to comply with California law. One of Rare Book Cafe's hosts, Lindsay Thompson of Henry Bemis Books, announced a regretful embargo on sale to California residents the day the law went into effect.

Co-host Steve Eisenstein hosted The Churchill Book Collector co-owner and former California State Assembly aide Mark Kuritz last November 28 to discuss AB 1570; LA dealer John Howell was a guest on Rare Book Cafe to talk, in part, about the law last January 28.

Saturday's guest will be Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Anastasia Boden, who has filed a federal court case against the California Attorney General to block enforcement of the law and have the court declare it an unconstitutional infringement of Americans' First Amendment free speech and expression rights.

The show streams live on the Cafe and Florida Antiquarian Book Fair Facebook pages and will be archived on the Book Fair's YouTube Channel with nearly two hundred hours of past programs and other book events video.

Join us for this fascinating discussion, starting at 2:30 pm, Saturday,May 20! Until then, here is attorney Boden explaining the basis for her suit the day it was filed:

Hosted by Miami book dealer, appraiser and’s Bucks on the Bookshelf radio show creator Steven Eisenstein, the program features a revolving set of cohosts and regular guests including Thorne Donnelley of Liberty Book Store in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Lindsay Thompson of Charlotte’s Henry Bemis Books; miniature books expert Edie Eisenstein; Little Sages Books owner Kara Accettola, and program creator/producer T. Allan Smith.

Rare Book Cafe program encourages viewer participation via its interactive features and video: if you've got an interesting book, join the panel and show it to us! If you’d like to ask the team a question or join us in the virtually live studio audience for the program, write us at

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Rare Book Cafe 3.0: Owen Felix O'Neill and the $25 million book -- an hour of fun with our favorite Tipperary bookseller

Welcome to the first in the series of Rare Book Cafe 3.0. Our guest for this episode was Owen Felix O'Neill, a book collector and sometimes bookseller in Tipperary County, Ireland.

This is the return of Felix to our show after a long absence. He first visited our show during the original Blab episodes of Rare Book Cafe. In this episode, Felix discusses some newly acquired 1800s-era travel books covering parts of the United States and South America that he had rebound using period vellum from old land deeds.

Felix also discusses his latest project, a plan to digitize the Tyndale Bible in its original form, and publish it, making it available to scholars, libraries, and others. The digital reproduction of the book is made from Felix's personal volume, which he says is the only complete Tyndale in the world.

Rare Book Cafe originated on in 2015  but the platform shut down in August 2016. The program was on hiatus for several weeks and in the fall broadcast the first episode of Rare Book Cafe 2.0 on YouTube (streaming live on Google Hangouts on the Air).
Now the program has moved to the platform on Facebook Live. The program is live streamed on the Rare Book Cafe page on Facebook and is recorded and posted on YouTube and the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair blog on

Rare Book Cafe is the first live streamed regularly scheduled program devoted to antiquarian books, book collecting, and related subjects.

It is hosted by Steven Eisenstein, owner of A-Book-A-Brac Books in Miami Beach, Thorne Donnelley, owner of Liberty Books in Palm Beach Gardens and Lindsay Thompson, owner of Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte, North Carolina, , who also serves as associate producer. Edie Eisensein is featured regularly discussing miniature books. The program also features a rotating cadre of guest hosts.

T. Allan Smith is creator and executive producer.

Rare Book Cafe is sponsored by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, celebrating its 37th year on April 20-22, 2018 at The Coliseum in downtown St. Petersburg. Florida Antiquarian Book Fair features more than 100 booksellers offering rare, used, and collectible book, vintage prints, antique maps, vintage photographs, autographs, and collectible printed matter of all kinds.

#floridabookfair #rarebookcafe