Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Book dealers go high tech to tout their passion

Modern technology is changing the landscape for many endeavors, including the antiquarian book business. Some decry the advent of iPads and iPhones and Nooks and Kindles, with gloomy predications of the demise of the traditional book. More optimistic souls note that the more books are digitized and put on electronic devices, the more valuable traditional paper books become, scarcity and demand being the operative factors.

And, though, some antiquarian book dealers certainly eschew anything that smacks of modernity (including email), a new breed of booksellers is wholeheartedly embracing modern technology that helps them spread the word about their passion – antiquarian books. Podcasts have been around for years, of course, but this marks the first time we know of that they've been used to talk about the Florida Antiquarian book Fair.

This year, before and during the book fair, dealer Steven Eisenstein of A-Book-A-Brac Shop in Miami Beach, recorded an Internet radio show. We'll have more about that soon but we also wanted to tell you about another podcast recently published.

Mike Cotter and Keith Wallace of Yeoman's in the Fork in Franklin, Tennessee, teamed up with their colleague, Greg Snider (who is responsible for the Internet presence at Yeoman's), to produce an interesting podcast of their recollections of this year's Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. We thought you'd enjoy listening to their program.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

These are a few of our favorite things

We we saw all the people at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair on Friday night lugging away boxes and package it brought to mind Oscar Hamme4rstein's lyrics from The Sound of Music: "... brown paper packages tied up with string. These are a few of my favorite things." Never mind that the book lovers we saw had boxes and plastic bags. We know that these are a few of their favorite things, too.

And why not? Book lovers know what they love and they know they'll find something to love at the book fair. Judging by the sizes of the packages many were carrying, they were finding many things to love.

The book fair continues on today and Sunday, of course, and we're certain that book lovers will ferret out the most wonderful tomes. See you at the book fair.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Book fair opens tonight at 5 p.m. See you there!

Well, the weekend we've been waiting for all year is finally here. The Florida Antiquarian Book Fair opens tonight at 5 p.m. There is always a crowd waiting to get in so if you want to be near the front of the line it's best to get there early. You can get an advance look at who will be at the book fair by downloading a program. Just click on the link. Download a program. There's so much to see at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair that it's never a bad idea to plan to come all three days. Tonight you can get a lay of the land, browse through the entire fair so you have an idea what's where. If you've been to the fair before, you know you're going to see old friend. Most of the booksellers come back year after year so you get to know them and they get to know you.

Come back on Saturday for some serious digging. Often dealers bring more great items than they have room to display. You'll only find out about them if you talk to them. That's also a good way to learn more about your particular interest. These folks are knowledgeable and they're perfectly willing to share their knowledge but they won't know what you're looking for if you don't tell them. There's so much to explore and so little time so make the best use of it by spending Saturday delving into what interests you. A word of caution, though. If you see something you've got to have, buy it right then. Don't wait. If you do, it might be gone.

On Sunday, you can relax and enjoy the day. Revisit some dealers and some items you've been mulling over. Providing they are still there, of course, you can decide to go ahead and purchase them. In any case, get around to dealers you might have missed. Make new friends. Exchange email addresses so you can stay in touch.

It's over all too quickly so savor it why you can. See you at the book fair.