Are we there yet?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

We can't wait for Downton Abbey's fifth season

No one anticipates the new season of the PBS hit Downton Abbey more than fans of the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. It's a natural fit. It's inevitable, we think, that people who are attracted to beautiful leather-bound antiquarian volumes, antique maps, vintage photographs, historical ephemera, and the myriad other items found at the book fair, are going to gravitate to a post-Edwardian costume drama with plenty of plot twists served up amid delicious period detail.

And why not? Many of the treasures found at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair would be quite at home in the Yorkshire country estate of Lord Grantham and his family. It's too bad we rarely get to see much of what's on the shelves in the library but there's far too much intrigue among the family members and the staff for anybody to take time to look at the the books. Still, we'd guess there would probably be some volumes on English history, and maybe some English literature.

Wonder what else might be there? What are your thoughts? Who would Lady Mary read? What about Cora or Lord Grantham? Do you suppose Tom Branson would have quietly added some political treatises? What do you think Lady Edith might be reading?

Awhile back, the New York Public Library compiled a list of books likely to be of interest to Downton Abbey fans. It included such favorites as E.M. Forster's A Room With a View and Howard's End as well as Ken Follett's Fall of Giants, Kate Morton's The House at Riverton, Katharine McMahon's The Crimson Rooms, Frances Osborne's Park Lane, Eva Ibbotson's A Countess Below Stairs, Daisy Goodwin's The American Heiress, and Edith Wharton's The Buccaneers. Nice list.

We know where we'll be on Sunday, January 4. Glued to the television (a rarity for us) for the premiere episode of the fifth season of Downton Abbey. Yes, we're well aware that the new season already aired in Britain and is readily available for viewing online. We prefer to wait for the PBS airing. It's better quality and if it helps PBS and our local PBS station, we're happy to do it.

Meanwhile, we've already blocked out Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, March 13, 14, and 15 on our calendar. We'll be at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair immersing ourselves in all the beautiful books, prints, maps, and more.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Among booksellers, the more the merrier

Bookseller Mike Cotter, left, with author Robert Olen Butler at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg.
One of our great exhibitors at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair every March raises interesting questions about whether dealers should let their fellow dealers know where they'll be exhibiting.

Mike Cotter of Yeoman's in the Fork in Franklin, Tennessee, suggests that some dealers may not want their competitors to know where they're finding their great treasures.

In his blog, Mike lists the pros and cons about using an events page to let customers (as well as other dealers) know where they'll be at any given time.  But we think Mike comes down on the right side of that question, with an inclination to put the events out there on the calendar and let everyone know where to find him.

Dealers who are showing at various book fair around the country, as Mike and his colleagues do, have access to far greater selections than dealers who simply stay at home. Clearly, they also are likely to have a broader customer base. Booksellers who come to the annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair have built up a cadre of followers who always make sure they come to the book fair to see their favorite dealers.

Booksellers make great book buyers. Dealers always buy from each other. Mike note that he loves to go to shows to buy inventory for his great customers back home. He notes, though, that some dealers may be concerned that competitors will scoop up the treasures if they find out where to get them. We like that Mike comes down on the side of those who believe that what's good for the industry is good of everyone involved.

We, too, believe that booksellers as well as book collectors should become as knowledgeable as possible, and they do so by being in contact with as many like-minded book lovers as possible. We share the belief that the more book lovers are exposed to great books and friendly, informed dealers, the better it is for everyone.

When the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair rolls around in March, we hope you'll come by for a visit. Stop by and say hi to Mike Cotter. You'll be glad you did.

Friday, December 12, 2014

How to be a hero to your book lover


It's really not too early to think about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. Here's why! Yes, the book fair isn't until March but Christmas is just around the corner. A perfect gift for the book lover in your life might be the experience of attending the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. You can order tickets right now thanks to the miracle of modern science and our friends at Eventbrite. Here's the link. http://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-florida-antiquarian-book-fair-tickets-9658568037 Buy the tickets. You'll get a confirmation by email that you can print out. Slap a bow on it and you're done. Plus, you're a hero to your book lover.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

For book lovers, Tennessee this weekend

Our friends at the Tennessee Antiquarian Booksellers Association are gearing up for the Tennessee Antiquarian Book Fair this weekend. The annual event is held at the University of the South in Sewanne, Tennessee.

The book fair is open Saturday, July 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, July 27 from 11 a.m to 4 p.m.

More than 40 dealers from around the country will be there. The fair will include a variety of collectible and rare books, autographed documents, and other ephemera.

The book fair will be held at University of the South, McClurg Dining Hall. University Ave. Sewanee, TN 37383. That's enough to get you complete directions on Google Maps. It's close to a 10-to 11-hour trip from the Tampa Bay area.

Admission is $10, which will go toward book purchases.

You can get some more information here: www.tennaba.org

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Jeff identified with the boy in Rawlings' story

Jeff Klinkenberg, who writes about Florida culture for the Tampa Bay Times, took time out to talk about his favorite "grown up" children's book, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' The Yearling.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Peter and Jeanne created a book for their children

Poet Peter Meinke shared some of the books he enjoyed as a child and, as a special treat, reads from The Legend of Larry the Lizard, a book he wrote and his wife, Jeanne, illustrated for their children. Join us at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair as we celebrate Children's Literature: Pages of Wonder.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Stand-Up Librarian at The Dalí Museum

Stand-Up Librarian Meredith Myers visits with Pam Whiteaker of the Salvador Dali Museum to talk about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, volunteering, and children's books.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Stand-Up Librarian visits American Stage

Stand-Up Librarian Meredith Myers is on her Out and About Tour with a visit to American Stage and a hilarious conversation with Artistic Director Todd Olson. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Treasures We're Bringing: Ivanhoe, first edition

 From Lighthouse Books, ABAA, St. Petersburg Florida: 
[Scott, Sir Walter] Ivanhoe, A Romance. By "The Author of Waverley," &c. Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co., 1820. 3 volumes. 1st edition, 1st issue, with pages 195-306 misnumbered 151-298. Octavo, early full tan polished calf rebacked in calf with contrasting calf labels. Bound with half-titles present, but without the 2 pages of ads found following Volume III. Grolier, English One Hundred, No. 100. $1,750.

TREASURES WE'RE BRINGING: This is a series that reveals some of the special books dealers will be bringing to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. Watch for more coming soon.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Treasures We're Bringing: A scholarly Devil

 From Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, Florida:
The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil by Paul Carus. Chicago: The Open Court Publishing Company, 1900. First edition, illustrated. A scholarly approach to the exploration of evil and the concept of the devil at the turn of the 20th century.

TREASURES WE'RE BRINGING: This is a series that reveals some of the special books dealers will be bringing to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. Watch for more coming soon.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Treasures We're Bringing: Caldecott winner

From Books Tell You Why, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina:
A signed Caldecott Winner AND Academy Awards winner: # 14921
Selznick, Brian - The Invention Of Hugo Cabret; USD 200 Scholastic Press, 2007; 1st Edition, 1st Printing. A First Edition in its First Printing in dust-jacket, SIGNED and dated "2007" by author Brian Selznick directly on the title page. A spectacular, seemingly unread copy, As New. Hugo Cabret lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station. He is orphan, clock keeper and thief, and his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. His undercover life and most precious secret are endangered when he meets the owner of a toy booth and an eccentric bookish girl. With the 284 pages of original drawings Selznick has created a new reading experience, combining elements of picture book, graphic novel, and film. 2008 winner of the Caldecott Medal. Basis for the Academy Awards winning 2011 Martin Scorcese movie starring Jude Law, Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ray Winstone and Sir Ben Kingsley.

TREASURES WE'RE BRINGING: This is a series that reveals some of the special books dealers will be bringing to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. Watch for more coming soon.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Delicious visit for the Stand-Up Librarian! Yum!

Stand-Up Librarian Meredith Myers is out and about around Tampa Bay visiting favorite places and talking about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. Look where she just went.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Treasures We're Bringing: First Cat in the Hat

 From Lighthouse Books, ABAA, St. Petersburg, Florida:
First Appearance of The Cat in the Hat: Seuss, Dr. [Theodor Geisel]. The Cat in the Hat. New York. Random House, (1957). 1st edition, 1st issue, in illustrated mat boards, with "200/200" on the front panel of dust jacket, no mention of the "Beginner Books" series on the rear panel, and with the four paragraphs of educator's review instead. Bearing a former-owner signature; otherwise very clean and tight in a chipped dust jacket. $1,500.

TREASURES WE'RE BRINGING: This is a series that reveals some of the special books dealers will be bringing to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. Watch for more coming soon.

Monday, February 24, 2014

You can buy Book Fair tickets right now! No waiting.

BUY TICKETS NOW! You can buy your tickets to the 33rd Florida Antiquarian Book Fair right now online. Buy now and have no waiting in the box office line. What's more you can get a discount by using the promotional code "saveabuck" (without the quotation marks). Here's the link.

 Be THAT kind of friend and share this, too.

Treasures We're Bringing: Dickens limited edition

 From Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, Florida:
 David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. Norwalk, CT: Easton Press, 2011. A deluxe facsimile limited edition, number 175 of 400. Phiz illustrations, reproductions of the original serialized parts.

TREASURES WE'RE BRINGING: This is a series that reveals some of the special books dealers will be bringing to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. Watch for more coming soon.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Treasures We're Bringing: First Caldecott winner

 From Books Tell You Why, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina:
 Here's a remarkable book that fits the Children's Literature: Pages of Wonder theme of the Book Fair. It's the first edition of the first winner of the Caldecott Medal in 1938.

Fish, Helen Dean [; Dorothy P. Lathrop] - Animals Of The Bible; USD 490
Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1937; 1st Edition, 1st Printing. A charming First Edition in Nearly Fine condition in the scarce, chipped dust-jacket with few tears and tape repair to the backside of the jacket. Second state with "Lathrop" correctly spelled on the of spine of book and dust-jacket with $2.00 publication price present, illustrated end-papers with prancing dear in front and back.  Helen Fish wrote the introduction and selected passages from the King James version of the Bible which accompany the beautiful drawings of Dorothy Pulis Lathrop. Winner of the first Caldecott Medal for best illustrated children's book in 1938. An important book in children's picture book history.

 TREASURES WE'RE BRINGING: This is a series that reveals some of the special books dealers will be bringing to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. Watch for more coming soon.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Stand-Up Librarian is out and about

Here is a new video about the 33rd annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair featuring Stand-Up Librarian Meredith Myers. Meredith interviews Ray Hinst, co-owner of Haslam's Book Store, a fixture in St. Petersburg for 80 years. Haslam's is a member of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association and a great supporter of the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair.

Meredith holds a master's degree in library science, works as a stand-up comedian, designs literary-themed clothing and accessories, and is a big fan of the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, where she sold her first book-themed purse three years ago.

The Florida Antiquarian Book Fair features more than 100 dealers in books of every age and subject matter, antique maps, prints, autographs, ephemera and more. The 33rd annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair will be presented in The Coliseum in St. Petersburg on March 14-16, 2014.

Visit the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair online. 
Visit Meredith, The Stand-Up Librarian online.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
Buy tickets online

Treasures We're Bringing: Amazing Mark Twain

From Blind Horse Books, Key Largo:
Here are three amazing volumes by Mark Twain


 Mark Twain [Samuel Clemens] A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. New York: Charles L. Webster, 1889. FIRST EDITION Mixed state: no "s"- like ornament in caption p.59 but with perfect type on p.72.  No half title on fly leaf. Rarely seen in this binding. Publisher’s brown half morocco over brown pebbled cloth. Marbled text-block and end-papers. Former owner name stamped to margin of one text page (p.47), Edges/corners with light wear, small breaks on three corner tips, else a very bright and clean copy. Pages evenly toned.  575 pp, 2 pp. adv. FIRST EDITION Mixed state: no "s"-like ornament in caption p.59 but with perfect type on p.72.  No half title on fly leaf. Publisher’s stamp on lower rear end-page indicating book was for subscribers.

Mark Twain [Samuel Clemens] Roughing It and The Innocents at Home. London: George Routledge and Sons, 1882. First British edition, first printing. 12mo. 7 3/8 in tall. [xvi, 495 pages.] Contemporary half leather with light rubbing to extremities. Joints and hinges sound. Bindings tight and Square. 200 Illustrations by F. A. Fraser.

 Mark Twain [Samuel Clemens] Twain, Mark. [Samuel Clemens]. Tom Sawyer Abroad by Huck Finn . New York: Charles Webster & Company, 1894. First edition. Octavo. 219 pages, [4] publisher's catalog pages. Illustrations by Dan Beard. Publisher's original pictorial tan cloth with titles stamped in gilt and featuring a scene of two young boys running from a lion. Boards with modest shelf wear and some soiling. Spine toned. Wear showing to corners with a slight bump to top front corner. Contents clean. Former owner's bookplate mounted to the front pastedown. In a chemise and custom half-leather slipcase.

TREASURES WE'RE BRINGING: This is a series that reveals some of the special books dealers will be bringing to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. Watch for more coming soon.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Treasures We're Bringing: Stephen King, signed

From Blind Horse Books, Key Largo:
 Stephen King. The Eyes of the Dragon. Signed with Inscription by King on the half title, dated 7/18/92. /For Dan – Best Wishes/. New York: Viking, 1987 Illustrations by David Palladini. (8vo) cloth-backed boards, Dust jacket. First Trade Edition. 326 pages.

TREASURES WE'RE BRINGING: This is a series that reveals some of the antiquarian books, rare volumes, and special titles dealers will be bringing to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. Hope you enjoy it. Watch for more.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Stand-Up Librarian Meredith Myers touts Book Fair

We're delighted that Stand-Up Libriarian Meredith Myers will be working to help draw attention to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair this year.

Meredith, who holds a masters degree in library science, performs stand-up comedy at libraries and book events across the country. In connection with the Book Fair, Meredith will make appearances around the Tampa Bay area to highlight this year's theme, Children's Literature: Pages of Wonder.

In this video, Meredith introduces herself, gives a brief tour of her studio, and reveals her favorite childhood book. Meredith has been performing stand-up comedy for a dozen years, ever since she checked out a library book (of course) on comedy.

Meredith designs and constructs her own literary-themed costumes and accessories. During a visit to the Book Fair three years ago, fairgoers expressed interest in her book-themed purse and she sold it on the spot. That led to her development of a literary fashion business. You can find out more about Meredith at StandUpLibrarian.com and StandUpLibrarianDesigns.com

Feel free to share this video and others we'll be posting here soon. We want everyone to know about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair and our celebration of children's literature this year.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sad loss of O.J. Brisky brings liquidation of store

O.J. Brisky looks over one of the thousands of books at his store, O. Brisky Books, in historic downtown Micanopy
in this photo by Jon Singley in the Gainesville Sun. Here is a link to an excellent article about O.J. that appeared
in the Gainesville Sun

We are saddened at the passing of colleague O.J. Brisky, who operated O. Brisky Books in Micanopy for decades. O.J. was a founding member and stalwart supporter of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association. For many years, he was an exhibitor at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. He is remembered for his sly wit, his exceptional intelligence, and vast knowledge of antiquarian books.

O.J. was a fixture on Cholokka Boulevard in Micanopy, where he opened his 55,000-volume store about a quarter century ago. He specialized in Florida history, military history, natural history, art, and architecture volumes. Many book dealers coming to Florida in the spring made O. Brisky Books a stop on the way. Before he moved to Micanopy, O.J. owned a book store in Tarpon Springs.

Fellow bookseller Gary Nippes, who is a regular at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, is supervising the liquidation of O. Brisky’s. He’ll have the store open only on the weekends, and expects the process to take four to six months. Beginning this weekend, February 15 and 16, all books in the store will be 50% off. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It will be closed on March 15 and 16 so that Gary can be at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair.

If you have questions, you can reach Gary at (352) 466-3910 or (352) 373-4541.

Pass this on to someone who will appreciate it

The Florida Antiquarian Book Fair theme for 2014 is Children's Literature: Page of Wonder. We're featuring a series of quotations from children's books and from writers about children's books. We hope you enjoy them. Please feel free to share them with people you think will appreciate them.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

He identified with the hero in Pioneer Sodbuster

Theme of the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair this year is Children's Literature: Pages of Wonder. In this video, Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of The Studio@620, discusses his favorite childhood books, Islands of the Dolphin and Pioneer Sodbuster, and why he enjoyed them. What's your favorite childhood book? Leave your comments below.

Friday, January 24, 2014

A lifetime of reading began with books on sports

Theme of this year's Florida Antiquarian Book Fair is Children's Literature: Pages of Wonder. In this video, Steve Bolter of Sleuth Books in Palm Coast, Florida, shares his childhood books. Steve will exhibit at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair in March. What's your favorite childhood book and why?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Here's how to avoid waiting at the box office

Now you can buy tickets online at Eventbrite for the 2014 Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. Tickets are $10 (plus a small service fee) for the Friday Night Preview and they are good for all weekend. You also can buy individual day tickets for Saturday or Sunday. They are $6 each (plus as small service fee). It is the convenience of already having your tickets with no need to wait in line at the box office. The time you save can be devoted to looking at all the wonderful books on display. And since you’re reading this, you can save a dollar on each ticket by entering the promotional code “saveabuck” (without the quotation marks). So buy your tickets today and have no waiting in the box office line.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

SRO for author Tim O'Brien at Writers in Paradise

The audience applauds author Tim O'Brien at the end of his reading.
It was standing room only Saturday as best-selling writer Tim O’Brien read from his phenomenal short story collection The Things They Carried (1990) on the opening night of Writers in Paradise. It’s always pleasing when there’s an enthusiastic response to literary events in town, so we were particularly delighted to see Miller Auditorium full of devoted readers. 

Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried
Host Dennis Lehane had the audience in stitches with his introduction as he recalled his first encounter with O’Brien many years ago when they were both appearing at a Boston bookstore for a book signing. O’Brien was the seasoned professional. Lehane was the awestruck newbie with his first book just coming out. Lehane considered the encounter a disaster. Fortunately, he said, O’Brien didn’t remember it.

The audience seemed spellbound as O’Brien read some of his short story How to Tell a True War Story in The Things They Carried, a fictional recounting of his experiences with a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War. The New York Times listed the critically acclaimed work as one of the 22 best books of the last quarter century. It received the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award in fiction and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and the National  Book Critics Circle Award.

Later, O’Brien entertained the audience as he talked informally about his work, readers, war and peace, and other topics with Lehane.

Host Dennis Lehane, conference co-director
O’Brien also wrote If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home (1973), Where Have you Gone, Charming Billy? (1975), Going After Cacciato (1978), which won the National Book Award, The Nuclear Age (1985), In the Lake of the Woods (1994), Tomcat in Love (1998), and July, July (2002).

We don’t know for sure, but it wouldn’t be surprising to find some of O’Brien’s books at the 2014 Florida Antiquarian Book Fair.

Throughout the week, students enrolled in the 2014 Eckerd College Writer’s Conference will attend workshop classes, roundtables, and panel discussions in nonfiction, novel, screenwriting, short story, and young adult writing.

The free Evening Reading Series is open to the public and continues nightly (except Wednesday) through next Saturday, January 25. A wine and cheese reception begins at 7:30. Readings follow at 8 p.m.

Lehane is conference co-director with author Sterling Watson. Lehane has published 10 novels, including Mystic River, Gone, Baby, Gone, and Shutter Island, which were adapted into award-winning films. Watson was director of creating writing at Eckerd College for 20 years and is the college's Peter Meinke Professor Emeritus of Literature and Creative Writing. He is the author of six novels, including The Calling, Sweet Dream Baby, and Weep No More My Brother. His most recent novel is Fighting in the Shade.
Audience listened intently as O'Brien talked about his work and other topics with Dennis Lehane.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The younger fans of the book fair

These fun-loving people were at the 2013 Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. We came across their picture the other day and it reminded us that the book fair appeals to all ages.

Granted, their attendance probably helps skew the average age of fair-goers a bit lower but it's a welcome trend we're seeing year-after-year. And why not? Love of traditional books certainly isn't limited to the silver-haired crowd. It's a trend being noted at book fairs all across the country. Indeed, Booktryst observed a couple of years ago the large number of young people seen walking the aisles at the California International Book Fair, and even imagined them becoming passionate book collectors.

Four years ago,  Sally Burdon wrote on the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) blog about seeing young collectors at the Hong Kong Antiquarian Book Fair. And last year, Chris Volk, writing in the IOBA Standard, the Journal of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, noted seeing "lots and lots of young adults" at places like the Los Angeles Times Book Festival and the Tucson Book Festival.

For years, the doom and gloom set have been predicting the demise of printed books, but we're not having any of that theory. From our observation and what we're seeing around the country, the young of America (at least some of them ) are discovering a passion for antiquarian books. We're thrilled.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Grover Cleveland and the Mugwumps

Love that headline. (Sounds like an early '60s rock band.)

We spotted this poster at the 2013 Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. It must have been delicious discovery for students of American political history. It's from the presidential campaign of 1884. Grover Cleveland and Thomas Hendricks ran against James G. Blaine and John A. Logan. Household names, all. ;-)

Okay, so Grover Cleveland may be one of the more obscure presidents in American history. Still, as any history major will tell you, there's an interesting story there, even for civilians.

Seems Cleveland won that election because of the Mugwumps. (Now there's a term you don't hear every day but you might have come across it sometime or other.) Cleveland was a Democrat; in fact, he was the first Democrat to get elected president since Reconstruction after the Civil War. Six terms the Dems were out of office, and Republicans ruled the roost.

Anyway, the reason Cleveland won: Mugwumps. They were renegade Republicans who took a dim view of their candidate's financial scandals (railroads had paid him off to dispose of mortgage bonds and land grant bonds for them). So the Mugwumps decided to buck the system and support Cleveland. They were ridiculed as fence sitters, political creatures with their mugs on one side of the fence and their "wumps"on the other.

So, the point of all this?  It's just another illustration of the amazing items you'll find at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. Okay, so maybe 130-year-old political ephemera isn't for everybody but this kind of thing will thrill some people.  We know a history prof who'd love to get his hands on something like this.

Stay tuned. In future posts, we'll have more examples of the kinds of must-have items you're likely to find at the 2014 Florida Antiquarian Book Fair.




Monday, January 13, 2014

We cannot live without books, and book lovers

This gentleman attended the 2013 Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. We like his way of thinking as reflected on his t-shirt. We cannot live without books, either.

Interesting thing about that Thomas Jefferson quote, though. It's incomplete and it's taken out of context. Here's what happened:

John Adams was the second president of the United States when Congress agreed to spend $5,000 to set up a library. It became the Library of Congress (of course). Jefferson, who was the third president, encouraged expanding the library. So did James Madison, who succeeded him. The Americans had quite a nice little 3,000-volume library by the time the British attacked in 1814, burned the Capitol (where the library was housed) and pillaged the collection.

Jefferson was crestfallen, and decided to do something to help. At the time, the ex-president had the largest personal library in the country. He hit upon an idea that he thought would help the country quickly regain it's national library (not to mention helping himself acquire much-needed cash. He decided sell a large portion of his personal collection to Congress. He received $23,950 for about 6,500, which works out to be about $3.69 a book.

Anyway, he wrote to Adams explaining his reasoning for the sale. "I cannot live without books," he told John Adams, "but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object." Jefferson wanted to send his books to a place where they would be used. So, actually, Thomas Jefferson was talking about downsizing, not adding to his collection.

However, judging from the cottage industry that has grown up putting Jefferson's words on not just t-shirts, but also tote bags, hats, coffee mugs, posters, note pads, tea towels, and pillows, it seems clear that a significant number of people hold the sentiment suggested by the partial quote, which is just fine with us.

We know that many book lovers who agree will attend the 2014 Florida Antiquarian Book Fair in March. We'll be there to enthusiastically welcome them because booksellers can't live without them.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

He read to his children 'til the book fell apart

Larry Baker is the author of The Education of Nancy Adams (2014), Love and Other Delusions (2012), A Good Man (2009), Athens, America (2005), and The Flamingo Rising (1997), which was adapted for television as a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. He teaches writing at the University of Iowa.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

How many hidden words or phrases do you see?

Put your answer in the comments section below and share this puzzle with your friends.

Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, March 14-16, The Coliseum, St. Petersburg, Florida.

Click on the puzzle to enlarge it enough to actually be able to read it.

Friday, January 10, 2014

It's amazing! It's unusual! It's our book fair!

Bookseller Vivian Moore of Alpharetta, Georgia, will return to the book fair in March.
We were pondering the other day all the amazing things you see at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair each year. This year the theme is children’s books, and we know that our dealers will have plenty of unusual children’s books to see. But, as always, the book fair is much more than any one theme.

When you think about it, it’s really hard to take it all in. Veterans of the book fair say it’s a good idea to plan to come all three days because you couldn’t possibly take it all in on just one day. You really need time to leisurely browse all the booths then home in on the items that really interest you.

Actually, the name book fair is so inadequate because it is so much more. Don’t worry, we’re not changing our name to the Florida Antiquarian Books, Regular Cool Books, Children’s-Books-You-Remember-From-When-You-Were-A-Kid, Signed-First-Edition-Books, Antique Maps, Illuminated Manuscripts, Vintage Photographs, Antique Autographs, Cool-Printed-Pieces-From-The-Civil-War, Awesome-Sauce-Extremely-Rare-Published-In-The-16th-Century-Books, And-Other-Stuff-We-Haven’t-Even-Mentioned Fair.

Book Fair will have to do.

Besides, you already know that “Book Fair” really means much more. It’s sort of a code phrase, isn’t it? Sort of like a speakeasy in the Roaring Twenties – knock on the door, say the secret password and they let you in. Those who know the code know the joys of the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. Of course, there's no password at the book fair but you get the idea.

This post started out to be about the picture you see at the top but obviously we got a little sidetracked. That’s our friend Vivian Moore, who will be exhibiting at the book fair in March. Vivian lives in Alpharetta, Georgia, now but she used to live in Tampa, and she was part of the very first Florida Antiquarian Book Fair 33 years ago.

We don’t know exactly what Vivian will be bringing to the book fair this year, but we do know that what she brings is always fascinating. In this picture, she’s holding a very cool photo post card of downtown Tampa in the 1920s produced by the Florida News Company.

See, now that’s what we’re talking about. How very amazing! How very unusual!  It is discoveries like these that keep people coming back year after year. There’s only one Florida Antiquarian Book Fair and it only happens once a year. That’s why people mark it on their calendar and make sure they are here.

“Yeah, it’s a Book Fair.” (Delivered with an arched eyebrow and a knowing smile.)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Books brought a lifelong love of discovery

The library in my small hometown was my favorite place in the whole world. I was safe, warm, protected, and could be alone in my own little world. It was wonderful.

One of my favorite books from the library was The Secret Garden. I loved the story. It inspired and nurtured in me a great gift – the gift of compassion, of transference of feeling from one human being to another. It opened my heart and soul to another’s pain, another’s joy, another’s tribulations. I was probably 10 years old when I read the book. I felt so much

When I was 14, I began reading my mother’s magazines. They were magazines like True Romance, Real Romance and True Story. She would drop my dad off to work at 5 a.m. and then go back to bed. My sister and I would crawl into bed with her and read the magazines with her. Those stories, too, taught me about kindness, love, misery, heartbreak, perseverance, patience and all those many attributes a person needs to get through life, to get through each day’s challenges.

Those stories took me out of myself, transported me to other worlds, introduced me to so many different, interesting personalities. They helped me to realize that life could be full of joy and sorrow at the same time, that life was a mixture of good and bad, and that we have choices. They taught me that we are our best friend and worst enemy, and that, no matter what, we can prevail.

My education happened at the Winona Public Library. It was my supplemental grade school, my supplemental high school, and my entire college. Through books, I learned how to start and run a successful business. I learned how to be a kind, caring, compassionate person.

That is what The Secret Garden introduced me to – the love of reading, which has led to a lifelong love of discovery, of adventure, of learning – all through the marvelous, amazing world of books.

Sherry Pringle, Spare Room Mini Storage

SHARE YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD BOOK: We'd love to hear about the book (or books) that made a difference to you as a child. It can be a video or an essay. Here's a link that gives you the guidelines.

Monday, January 6, 2014

We're counting down to the big day!

Well, it won't be long now. More time has passed since the last Florida Antiquarian Book Fair than still remains until the next one. In just a few weeks, antiquarian booksellers from across the country will gather at The Coliseum in downtown St. Petersburg for the 33rd annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair.

We're particularly excited, of course, because it's the time we live for all year long. We realize that not everyone is quite as obsessive about the arrival of the book fair, though we have empirical evidence that we're not alone.

One reason we're so excited is that we'll be seeing a lot of old friends. Many of the dealers who exhibit at the book fair have been coming to the fair for decades. It's part of their life. And they are part of ours.

Another reason we're excited, though, is that there will be new dealers here, too. New friends. It's always great to make new friends.

No matter whether they're regulars or brand new to the book fair, our dealers always bring the most fascinating books, ephemera, prints, maps, and a whole host of other related items. If you like this stuff (and you wouldn't be reading this far into this post if you didn't), this is the place for you.

There's an atmosphere at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair that is quite special, and we'll talk more about that in a later post. In the meantime, you're welcome to share this countdown post with anyone you think might want a reminder about the book fair. It only happens once a year. It's only for three days, and you don't want to miss it.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Tap into your inner child at the book fair


Our theme for the 2014 Florida Antiquarian Book fair is all about the children—and the inner child in you!

Children's Literature: Pages of Wonder calls to mind those youthful days of all book enthusiasts when everything was new. It was a time of discovery, a time of awesome
spectacle, and yes, a time of wonder.


Now, does that mean that children's books are the only things to be found at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair? Of course not. Don't worry! We'll have the full complement of books, maps, prints, ephemera, autographs, incunabula, and more at this year's book fair.

But it does mean that you're likely to discover that long lost treasure of your childhood. That one book that turned you on to a lifetime of loving books for the worlds they opened up to you.

What's more, the book fair is likely to reveal to you some amazing tome you're going to be eager to share with the young people in your life because it meant so much to you when you were a child.

HOW TO SHARE YOUR BOOK: We're asking people to share some of their memories about special books that meant so much to them as youngsters, and you're welcome to participate. There are two ways to share.

At the top of this article, you'll find a video from writer Jon Wilson, who shared his memory. If you'd like to do the same, it's easy. You can record your memory on your cell phone if you'd like. (We'd ask that you try to get it in focus and turn your phone to the horizontal position. It makes a better picture that way.) Keep it short. Less than a minute is best. If you need a little more time, go ahead but make it interesting.

Send your video to us by email to floridabookfair@gmail.com. If the file is too big, send us an email to let us know and we'll set up a Dropbox you can put it in.

The other way is easier if you don't want to deal with video. Write your memory in 100 words or less. Snap a selfie, attached it to an email and send it to us at floridabookfair@gmail.com. Leave enough room above your head for an excerpt from your 100 words, and some room on the side for a logo. There's an example below.

Don't worry about formatting. We'll take care of converting your photo or video to black & white and making it look like the others. Be sure to include your name and your claim to fame.We hope to end up with a wall full of these memories. It'll be fun!

 MY FAVORITE CHILDHOOD BOOK: "When I was young I remember going to our local Carnegie library maybe once a week or so – and there was a whole floor of children's books there. I read a good part of them but there was one in particular that really captured my imagination – Otto of the Silver Hand. Immediately upon reading that I was fascinated by all sorts of knights, and read Ivanhoe and looked forward to the Sunday papers with Prince Valiant. I spent the rest of my childhood reading about knights of one kind or another, and all because of Otto of the Silver Hand."
– Michael Slicker, Lighthouse Books, ABAA

FLORIDA ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR, March 14-16, 2014, The Coliseum, St. Petersburg

Saturday, January 4, 2014

If you blog about books, etcetera, let us know!

Here's the deal. If you're blogging regularly about the things we're about, we want it make it as easy as we can for you to blog about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair.

So, this year for the first time, we're making available social media credentials for serious bloggers and social media folks who are talking to their followers about books or book collecting or ephemera collecting, or the lost art of letterpress printing, or a host of other things that are related. If  this describes you, then send us an email requesting to register for social media credentials for the 2014 Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. This is the first time we've done this, so you're getting in on the ground floor, so to speak.

Send us an email at floridabookfair@gmail.com. Tell us who you are, what you blog about and how often, and send us a link to your blog. If you're selected, we'll need a photo of you.

If you pass muster, we'll keep you clued in about possible story ideas and interviews you might do before the book fair to tell your readers about all the exciting things that will be happening. We'll send you advance news releases and contact information so you can do your own articles. We'll also have a social media pass available at Will Call for easy access to the book fair all weekend.

Here's a link for more details. We're looking forward to hearing from you.