Are we there yet?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Nothing can keep the Cafe off-air for long! It's time for The Storm Show!





We're back! Granted, held together with chewing hum and duct tape and bailing wire, but Rare Book Cafe will be open Saturday, September 16 at 2.30 pm EDT, and serving double shot espressos as everyone decompresses and talks about their experiences in The Big One.

We are all safe and home (several of the team never left) but in varying stages of disruptedness. Electricity, cable, and wireless are not simultaneously restored. Lives have been upheaved. Check-in calls must be made and answered.

So we'll ad hoc our way through the hour with stories of storms, real and literary, and news of our colleagues in FABA. Join us! We want to hear your tales, too.

And Irma? Last we heard, she was off to Hotlanta, got stuck looping the beltway, and then vanished.


Image result for hurricane irma cartoons




Rare Book Cafe is streamed by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair every Saturday from 2.30 to 3.30 pm EDT. We feature interviews, panel discussion and stuff you can learn about book collecting whether you are a regular at Sotheby’s or just someone who likes books.





The program airs live on Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page, and remain there after the show.




Hosted by Miami book dealer, appraiser and WDBFRadio.com’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; ephemera expert Kara Accettola; and program creator/producer T. Allan Smith.





We enjoy the support and encouragement of these booksellers: Little Sages Books in Hollywood, Florida; Liberty Books in Palm Beach Gardens; As Time Goes By, in Marion, Alabama; Quill & Brush in Dickerson, Maryland; Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg; The Ridge Books in Calhoun, Georgia; and Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte.






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 rarebookcafe@gmail.com.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Giving credit where it's due: whether with thanks to benign weather spirits, St. John of God, or blind luck, the Rare Book Cafe team has survived Irma

With over half of Floridians without electricity, it will be a while before we have news of colleagues in the rare book trade, but we can celebrate, even now, that the Rare Book Cafe team is all safe.

Thorne Donnelly and dog Katie boarded up and hunkered down in Palm Beach Gardens and report they are well. Kara Accettola and family and pets decamped to Ohio, and they are not only well but have great road trip stories.

Allan Smith and his wife moved to slightly higher ground with friends in Sarasota and emerged unscathed, Hurricane Irma obliged by easing up on the storm surge in the Tampa- St. Pete area, and first reports were of minimal damages chez Smith.

Steve and Edie Eisenstein retreated to an interior unit in their Miami Beach condo tower. They and the cats are back in their own now, getting by without power but with lights an cooking fear, and without damage.

They also report gratitude for the messages of support received from friends in the book community on Facebook; Steve even offered a shout-out to "the patron saint of booksellers."


And it turns out there is, in fact, a patron saint of booksellers: Joao Duarte Cidade (1495-1550).

Cidade was born in Portugal to once well-off family. Probably kidnapped at eight, he ended up a street orphan in Toledo, Spain. A local landowner took the boy in as a shepherd, and Cidade did so well the owner wanted to marry him to his daughter.

The skittish Cidade joined the Army of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, instead, returning to the farm four years later.

In 1525 Cidade returned to military service and spent another eighteen years under arms. Mustered out, he traveled, experienced a growing, if indistinct, pull of religious activism, and set up in Grenada as a printer and bookseller after a vision from the Infant Jesus. He converted to Catholicism in 1537 and was, by all accounts, a model citizen, rescuing people from fires, aiding the poor, and circulating religious texts from his press.

At 42 he had a mental health break with reality and was confined to an institution for a time of suitably barbarous treatment. His reason returned and he created a ragtag volunteer care group that grew into the Order of Hospitallers. Cidade was renamed Father John of God and worked himself to death at 55. Sensing his nearing demise, Father John went over the order's accounts, appointed his successor, and died at prayer.

A biography was published in 1585; the Vatican canonized him in 1690. He is now the patron saint of booksellers, printers, firemen, the sick and nurses. The Order of Hospitallers is now officially charged with the medical care of the Pope and has medical operations in over fifty nations.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Our First Non-Promo: the Cafe Cancels A Show


Literature's Irmas are a tough lot. 

There's Irma Bunt, who in On Her Majesty's Secret Service tried to kill James Bond by nicking his cheek during a shave with a razor dipped in Japanese puffer fish poison. Bond, of course, shot her.

Everyone remembers Irma Lair as the class clown of the animated series W.I.T.C.H., but she had a destructive superpower: the ability to see visions in, and manipulate water.

Irma Pince, the "underfed vulture" who guarded the Hogwarts library through the entire Harry Potter series, was another tough old bird, so devoted to not lending books that when Dumbledore agreed to make a facsimile of Quidditch Through The Ages, she was struck by a sudden paralysis and he had to pry the volume loose from her grip.

So it's no surprise an Irma has forced Rare Book Cafe to evacuate our Saturday time slot. Two of the Cafe team are at ground zero in Miami Beach; three more are weighing options dependent on how bad it looks in their Florida locations.

Irma seems intent on leaving no one out: even co-host Lindsay Thompson- 730 miles north of Miami, is under a state of emergency covering all of North Carolina. 60 mph winds and half a foot of rain is expected Monday or Tuesday.

So it's clear- and easy to figure- that everyone- including half our regular viewership- has got more pressing things to deal with. We plan to return next Saturday, September 16.

Please, everyone, keep our friends in mind.

*****

Rare Book Cafe is streamed by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair every almost every Saturday from 2.30 to 3.30 pm EDT. We feature interviews, panel discussion and stuff you can learn about book collecting whether you are a regular at Sotheby’s or just someone who likes books.

The program airs live on Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page, and remain there after the show.

Hosted by Miami book dealer, appraiser and WDBFRadio.com’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; ephemera expert Kara Accettola; and program creator/producer T. Allan Smith.

We enjoy the support and encouragement of these booksellers: Little Sages Books in Hollywood, Florida; Liberty Books in Palm Beach Gardens; As Time Goes By, in Marion, Alabama; Quill & Brush in Dickerson, Maryland; Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg; The Ridge Books in Calhoun, Georgia; and Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte. 

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 rarebookcafe@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

"What's My Title?" the Cafe does a game show this Saturday



Games run through all of literature. From Bilbo’s guessing game with Gollum to Alice navigating a countryside laid out like a chess board in Through the Looking-Glass; from Sherlock Holmes cracking The Musgrave Ritual to card parties in Jane Austen to James Bond’s gambling for Queen and Country in Casino Royale- there’s always a gaming table beckoning, a pickup match on a summer lawn; and a parlor game to be played by candlelight.




This week Rare Book Cafe winds down the summer with a look at books and games and fun in books. There’ll be high-stakes bets on homes and tin mines and mortgages and spouses, comic misunderstandings, and social snubs that cut deeper than a newly cut deck in a sharp poker dealer’s hands.




We’ll also be looking back at Rare Book Cafe’s two years as a live internet show, starting with our debut on Blab.com August 31, 2015. Bests and worsts will be celebrated or winced at from scores of programs and over one hundred guests from around the world.


Join us for the fun Saturday!



Rare Book Cafe is streamed by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair every Saturday from 2.30 to 3.30 pm EDT. We feature interviews, panel discussion and stuff you can learn about book collecting whether you are a regular at Sotheby’s or just someone who likes books.

The program airs live on Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page, and remain there after the show.

Hosted by Miami book dealer, appraiser and WDBFRadio.com’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; ephemera expert Kara Accettola; and program creator/producer T. Allan Smith.

We enjoy the support and encouragement of these booksellers: Little Sages Books in Hollywood, Florida; Liberty Books in Palm Beach Gardens; As Time Goes By, in Marion, Alabama; Quill & Brush in Dickerson, Maryland; Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg; The Ridge Books in Calhoun, Georgia; and Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte.

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 rarebookcafe@gmail.com.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Saturday: The Cafe crew is piling into the Chris-Craft and running the blockade in search of Cuban collectibles


Cuba has undergone an unusual and historic transformation over the last century.


It has gone from being a three-dimensional nation to two sets of talking points for politicos, flat as the sheets on which they are printed.


Last year some Americans got to see the actual country- buildings, people, art, history, food- for a few months. Then the door was closed to them again. Cuba is the Brigadoon of the New World.


Who knows of its arts, its history in a multidimensional sense? Who knows its authors and composers and artists?


Just 90 miles away, Cuba is a part of Florida life. That’s why Rare Book Cafe is taking a day to consider the subject of Collecting Cuba.


Producer Allan Smith, who spent a week there last year, will talk about his visit to Hemingway’s home and personal library. Guest host Kara Accettola will discuss Cuba-related ephemera. And co-host Steve Eisenstein will take us on a waterfront tour of Cuban books and other collectibles, drawn from a large collection he is currently cataloguing and appraising.


Special correspondent Edie Eisenstein promises to cover what she didn’t get to say last week, when technical gremlins shut her out of the show and deprived miniature book collectors of their weekly fix.


It promises to be a lively program, and no one will look askance if you slip a little rum into your coffee.



Rare Book Cafe is streamed by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair every Saturday from 2.30 to 3.30 pm EDT. We feature interviews, panel discussion and stuff you can learn about book collecting whether you are a regular at Sotheby’s or just someone who likes books.

The program airs live on Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page, and remain there after the show.

Hosted by Miami book dealer, appraiser and WDBFRadio.com’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; ephemera expert Kara Accettola; and program creator/producer T. Allan Smith.

We enjoy the support and encouragement of these booksellers: Little Sages Books in Hollywood, Florida; Liberty Books in Palm Beach Gardens; As Time Goes By, in Marion, Alabama; Quill & Brush in Dickerson, Maryland; Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg; The Ridge Books in Calhoun, Georgia; and Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte.

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 rarebookcafe@gmail.com.

Friday, August 11, 2017

It's a hot summer Saturday on the porch for this week's Rare Book Cafe.


It’s front porch season at the Cafe. Rather like the rural pub in Edmund Crispin’s 1948 detective novel Buried for Pleasure, where the absent-minded Oxford don, Gervase Fen, sets up as a hopeless candidate in a Parliamentary by-election.

As he attempts to master campaigning, and stumbles across both rural idiots and dead bodies, a remodel of the bar turns into an ever-expanding operation over the course of the languid summer.

Eventually the bar is moved out on the lawn, in the shade of the great elms, just in time for the entire building to collapse (among the regulars were the Busts, who loved regaling newcomers with how they named their kids Anna May and John Will; “they were not, Fen reflected gloomily, the sort of people for whom a joke quickly lost its first freshness”).

So we’ve opened all the french doors and moved out to the porch for Saturday’s Rare Book Cafe. As in childhood long past, you never know who might wander by in the cool of the day, after the first thunderstorm, and sit for a spell to chat over a coffee or a sweet tea.

Everybody’s looking forward to seeing Thorne Donnelley again. He’s been gone for ages, seems like. Traveling, you know. He’s a summer nomad, off to book schools hither and yon- which is further? We’re not sure. Maybe you have some ideas.

Anyway, Thorne’s back from a week at the Colorado Antiquarian Book School, and another at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School, and he has tales to tell. At Charlottesville, he bedded down in one of the coveted student rooms- designed by Mr Jefferson himself- along The Lawn, with Edgar Allen Poe’s restless spirit haunting the walkways, reciting the Greek and Roman orders of colonnade capitals to himself.



Thorne also had trouble with a rental car possessed, one that failed him not once, but twice, in South Carolina, and had him consulting for an auto-exorcist. You’ll have to ask him about that: I missed part of the story when I got peckish and only a fresh biscotti would do.

Steve and Edie Eisenstein will there, of course. Steve may have a new clue for his literary mystery: what was he talking about in a story that somehow connected Graham Greene, C.S. Lewis, a Greene novel’s first printing, and a lawsuit?

Edie started connecting the dots between this week hosting both International Cat Day and Book Lover’s Day, and the results- as are all her talks- will be worth the trip.

Kara Accettola has a week off from any assignments and she may just be out on the beach with a book. We’re hoping she will come in for a cooling drink and some conversation, as she gets around more than most of us and knows more interesting stuff.

Lin Thompson will be in and out. Producer Allan Smith- who has many fingers in many pies- will be off pie-fingering for some other client, leaving LTT to run the show.

This invariably gets him out of sorts. Being Associate Producer is an easy gig: just do up a one-page show outline (based on three elements: “Start, 2.30. Talk about stuff til 3.30. Stop”). Left alone, he is the Sorcerer’s Apprentice of Internet Video Programming. Stuff happens. The audio goes out. Twice, he’s had to shut the broadcast down and restart it. It accounts for that fraught look:


But if all goes well, and the creeks don’t rise, he may also talk some. He’s usually a Niagara of literary events and birthdays, though regulars have been heard to say that while they love it at a distance, they wouldn’t want to stand *under* it; and he’s also on a tear about it being the 150th birthday of the American classical scholar Edith Hamilton.

He’s also been going on about the English playwright Joe Orton going to jail for checking out and returning library books quite properly (it was what he did while had them out that so annoyed the judge), so who knows? (You all may want to pray for malfunctions after all).

In short, summer’s waning. Soon it will be September and we will have to put away the flip-flops, get a haircut, and start booking Serious Guests again.

So join us Saturday. Wear a floppy hat. Plan to set a spell.






Rare Book Cafe is streamed by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair every Saturday from 2.30 to 3.30 pm EDT. We feature interviews, panel discussion and stuff you can learn about book collecting whether you are a regular at Sotheby’s or just someone who likes books.

The program airs live on Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page, and remain there after the show.

Hosted by Miami book dealer, appraiser and WDBFRadio.com’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; ephemera expert Kara Accettola; and program creator/producer T. Allan Smith.

We enjoy the support and encouragement of these booksellers: Little Sages Books in Hollywood, Florida; Liberty Books in Palm Beach Gardens; As Time Goes By, in Marion, Alabama; Quill & Brush in Dickerson, Maryland; Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg; The Ridge Books in Calhoun, Georgia; and Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte.

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 rarebookcafe@gmail.com.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

At the Movies: Rare Book Dealers with dangerous hobbies.


Rare book dealers are to movies what viola players are to orchestras: seldom heard or seen. But TCM suprised us August 8 with a Nick-and-Nora knockoff:



The third and last of a series featuring Joel and Garda Sloane, New York booksellers, Fast and Furious found them sweltering city dwellers decamping to the Jersey shore for a holiday that quickly turned bloody. The New York Times was singularly unimpressed, calling the 1939 feature " "the faintest shadow of The Thin Man–and of two collateral predecessors–is being cast by the little mystery-comedy, now at Loew's Criterion .... Metro seems to be stretching an original idea to infinity–a suspicion which is practically confirmed by the plot .... It is a perfect specimen of unoriginal attenuation .... A couple of murders, a couple of limp comedy situations and an interminable lot of chasing about leading nowhere. Mr. Tone and Miss Sothern banter through it in the manner of third-string substitutes who know that the game is hopelessly lost."

In those days you could knock off a dame, solve the murder, and be home for cocktails, all in 73 minutes. Knowing it was directed by Busby Berkeley, however, kept us wondering when the cast-of-thousands musical finale would break out.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Saturday on Rare Book Cafe: "Sometimes the very best of all summer books is a blank notebook. Get one big enough, and you can practice sketching the lemon slice in your drink or the hot lifeguard on the beach or the vista down the hill from your cabin."


One of my earliest memories is of seeing my mother in her beach chair, reading a book under an umbrella by the water's edge while my sisters and I played beside her. Of all the life lessons she taught me, that is one of my favorites: to take time at a place I love, restore my spirit with books and the beach.

-American author Luanne Rice (1961- )



August is upon us. “The month of August had turned into a griddle where the days just lay there and sizzled,” Sue Monk Kidd wrote in The Secret Life of Bees. Rick Bragg was less sanguine in My Southern Journey: “The children start school now in August. They say it has to do with air-conditioning, but I know sadism when I see it.”


The livin’ is easy, the fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high, but soon everything will take on a tired, dusty, Main-Street-in-a-Carson-McCullers-story look about it. After the afternoon thunderstorm, it’s Mr James Agee’s Knoxville, Summer of 1915.


For school teachers, August is 31 days of Sunday nights, each at 8.34 pm.


France will simply leave town for the beach.



Rare Book Cafe is doing much the same, reconvening in the seaside coffeehouse of our imagination. Saturday the 5th, we’ll be alternating between the fly swatter and the church fans Aunt Pluma forgot and put in her purse and brought home.


While others cast their eyes across the surf for messages in bottles, we’ll be looking for literary jetsam:



Folks’ll drift in about 2.30 pm on the Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page; Producer Allan Smith will be fiddling with the video while we have a desultory chat about famous beach books of fiction.


Guest host Kara Accettola’s gonna talk about the summer of Woodstock as a lasting literary epoch aborning. Kara was not born then but knows volumes; the rest of the usuals were around but will do our best to pretend we weren’t born yet, either.


Edie Eisenstein's got in mind talking about the rise in women book dealers and collectors, domains long-dominated by men- old and getting there fast- who, before printing, would have been the Meistersingers’ guild of Nuremberg. Husband Steve, who counts among his life experiences time as a summer resort entertainment director, will surprise all with Thoughts Stevian.


Kara says there may also be “passionate rants.” Probably those will come up as we consider what authors- of any time- we’d invite to our beach cookout after the show- and which ones we’d wish were somewhere else if they showed up, unbidden.


Your presence, however, is always welcome. Join us in the chat. Send us comments. Like and share us-last week you boosted our reach to over 1600! Have your list of most companionable authors for reciting “The Walrus and the Carpenter” and other seaside fare written up and ready to share.



Rare Book Cafe is streamed by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair every Saturday from 2.30 to 3.30 pm EDT. We feature interviews, panel discussion and stuff you can learn about book collecting whether you are a regular at Sotheby’s or just someone who likes books.

The program airs live on Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page, and remain there after the show.

Hosted by Miami book dealer, appraiser and WDBFRadio.com’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; ephemera expert Kara Accettola; and program creator/producer T. Allan Smith.






We enjoy the support and encouragement of these booksellers: Little Sages Books in Hollywood, Florida; Liberty Books in Palm Beach Gardens; As Time Goes By, in Marion, Alabama; Quill & Brush in Dickerson, Maryland; Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg; The Ridge Books in Calhoun, Georgia; and Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte.


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 rarebookcafe@gmail.com.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

July 29: The Rare Book Cafe indulges our small-mindedness.




Every line of human endeavor has its in-jokes.

"When I played viola," Lindsay Thompson, Rare Book Cafe co-host, writes, "my favorite about my tribe was told by Garrison Keillor in his 'Young Lutheran’s Guide to the Orchestra'- a play on Britten’s 'Young Person’s Guide', only with 'Jesus Loves Me, This I Know' as the work that showcases the different sections of the orchestra.

“'Viola players are bitter, angry men,' Keillor explained. 'They study for years to get a seat in the orchestra, then discover no one can hear anything they play. They hang out in rail yards at night, sitting around 50-gallon drums of burning trash, and talking of running off to Mexico with a girl named Rita.'”

Among booksellers, miniature book dealers are the sort who show up just before the doors open, bearing only a couple of briefcases. They are the first to leave, as they have nothing to break down and lug out to a van.

They have excellent posture, never having to do any heavy lifting. Their houses never need the flooring and foundations shored up.

Because they do not need miles of bookshelves, their abodes tend to have large windows, and to be filled with light. They never develop dust allergies.

On the other hand, it is not a good line for the absent-minded. You can really lose stuff.


Teeny Ted from Turnip Town (2007), published by Robert Chaplin, is certified by Guinness World Records as the world's smallest reproduction of a printed book. The book was produced in the Nano Imaging Laboratory at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with the assistance of SFU scientists Li Yang and Karen Kavanagh.

The book's size is 0.07 mm x 0.10 mm. The letters are carved into 30 microtablets on a polished piece of single crystalline silicon, using a focused-gallium-ion beam with a minimum diameter of 7 nanometers (this was compared to the head of a pin at 2 mm across). The book has its own ISBN, 978-1-894897-17-4.

The story was written by Malcolm Douglas Chaplin and is "a fable about Teeny Ted’s victory in the turnip contest at the annual county fair."

The book has been published in a limited edition of 100 copies by the laboratory and requires a scanning electron microscope to read the text.

In December 2012, a Library Edition of the book was published with a full title of Teeny Ted from Turnip Town & the Tale of Scale: A Scientific Book of Word Puzzles and an ISBN number 978-1-894897-36-5. On the title page it is referred to as the "Large Print Edition of the World's Smallest Book". The book was published using funds from a successful Kickstarter campaign with contributors' names shown on the dust jacket.





Japan has created what it is claiming is the smallest ever printed book, with pages measuring 0.75 millimetres (0.03 inches) which are impossible to read with the naked eye.

The 22-page micro-book, entitled Shiki no Kusabana (flowers of seasons), contains names and monochrome illustrations of Japanese flowers such as the cherry and the plum. Toppan Printing, who have been making micro books since 1964, said letters just 0.01 mm wide were created using the same technology as money printers use to prevent forgery.

The book is on display at Toppan's Printing Museum in Tokyo, and is on sale, together with a magnifying glass and a larger copy, for 29,400 yen (£205).

Toppan said it would be applying to Guinness World Records to claim the title of world's smallest book, presently held by a 0.9 mm, 30-page Russian volume called Chameleon, created by Siberian craftsman Anatoliy Konenko in 1996.

The smallest reproduction of a printed book is Teeny Ted from Turnip Town, a Canadian book that cost £10,000. It was 0.07 mm x 0.10 mm and the letters are carved into 30 microtablets on a polished piece of crystalline silicon.

This Saturday, July 29, bring a magnifier: the Rare Book Cafe team will put in the full hour on Miniature Books!

Edie Eisenstein, the Cafe’s resident tiny bookist, will lead an in-depth visit with collector and Miniature Book Society authority Todd Sommerfeld. The international group’ conclaves are legendary; the next is August 11-14, 2017 in Oakland, CA.

The panel will talk about what makes a miniature book a miniature book; their history; resources for collectors, and getting started as one; and they’ll show lots of examples of the miniature book arts.

So plan to sit close to the screen!

Rare Book Cafe is streamed by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. It’s broadcast every Saturday from 2.30 to 3.30 pm EDT and features interviews, panel discussion and stuff you can learn about book collecting whether you are a regular at Sotheby’s or just someone who likes books.

The program airs live on Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page, and remain there after the show.

Hosted by Miami book dealer, appraiser and WDBFRadio.com’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; ephemera expert Kara Accettola; and program creator/producer T. Allan Smith.

We enjoy the support and encouragement of these booksellers: Little Sages Books in Hollywood, Florida; Liberty Books in Palm Beach Gardens; As Time Goes By, in Marion, Alabama; Quill & Brush in Dickerson, Maryland; Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg; The Ridge Books in Calhoun, Georgia; and Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte.

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 rarebookcafe@gmail.com.

Friday, July 21, 2017

This week on Rare Book Cafe: we're fretting, with Woody Allen, "What if nothing exists and we're all in somebody's dream?"

Our July 22 guest, author Steve Newton


Rare Book Cafe’s broadcast platform, BeLive.tv, is having growing pains now it’s out of beta and into pay-for mode, as viewers noticed last week. But the Cafe just goes from strength to strength, and our July 22 program is going to show that anew.


We’re welcoming a guest Saturday- Steve Newton, author of the new e-book, MacArthur’s Luck: The Race to Berlin Is On!


It’s the first of a planned series of “my kingdom for a horse!" reimaginings of alternative ways World War II could have played out: not in the easy, big-picture way (e.g., the Nazis win), but in threads pulled from history’s tapestry as if the design was being finalized on the loom:


January 1945: As Hitler’s Germany and Tojo’s Japan collapse, General George Marshall dies unexpectedly days before the critical Yalta Conference. His successor as US Army Chief of Staff, General Douglas MacArthur, flies halfway around the world to butt heads with Josef Stalin and change history.

When MacArthur relieves General Dwight D. Eisenhower from command in Europe, the Anglo-Allied advance devolves into a free-for-all as competing armies race for Berlin, and the changes echo across the globe:

Army Captain Jackie Robinson leads an armored task force across the Rhine. ...

Major Barry Goldwater fire-bombs Tokyo. ...

Navy Commander Robert Heinlein struggles to save his wounded ship from kamikazes off Okinawa...

Field Marshals Georgi Zhukov and Ivan Konev clash on the road to Berlin. ...

SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Karl Wolff dares everything to negotiate a separate surrender to the Americans. ...

Populated by a cast of realistic characters who will take you inside the American, German, Soviet, and Japanese military machines, and meticulously researched by a well-known military historian, MacArthur’s Luck opens The Fortunes of War series, exploring a world both tantalizingly like our own, but also dramatically different.

Half the fun is figuring out what’s real, and what’s not.


Newton baseball card.png
Real, or #AltFacts? Only our guest knows for sure!


Newton holds degrees in history from St. Andrews University in North Carolina, William & Mary, and James Madison University, and has been Professor of History and Political Science at Delaware State University since 1990. He is the author of nine “real” histories of American Civil War and World War II Russian Front encounters, as well as dozens of scholarly articles.

Newton is also a lifelong gamer and sci-fi fan whose literary forebears include W.E.B. Griffin, Nevil Shute, Larry Bond, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, A.E. Van Vogt, Larry Nivens and Harry Turtledove. His blog, Strange Worlds and Alternative Histories, indulges those facets of Newton’s interests, as does research on a forthcoming history of pre-World War II pulp fiction.


A father and grandfather, Newton also spent 21 years in the US Army and Army Reserves, retiring as a Master Sergeant overseeing field medical operations support.


Once the Cafe crew has worked their way through Newton’s alternate world, host Steve Eisenstein will give our guest The Third Degree: a short set of questions drawn from the famous Marcel Proust/Bernard Pivot lines of literary interrogation.


We’ll also be digging into a viewer question about where to find 1960s-vintage Pensacola auto racing programs and memorabilia; Edie Eisenstein will bring us miniature book news drowned out in last week’s on-air echo-fest, and Steve Eisenstein will consider how to tease the secrets of authorship out of anonymous and pseudonymous books. And we’ll be playing “Casting Call,” in which Cafe regulars recast the leads in Pride and Prejudice, whose author- Jane Austen’s bicentennial is this week!


Rare Book Cafe is streamed by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. It’s broadcast every Saturday from 2.30 to 3.30 pm EDT and features interviews, panel discussion and stuff you can learn about book collecting whether you are a regular at Sotheby’s or just someone who likes books.

The program airs live on Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page, and remain there after the show.

Hosted by Miami book dealer, appraiser and WDBFRadio.com’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; ephemera expert Kara Accettola; and program creator/producer T. Allan Smith.

We enjoy the support and encouragement of these booksellers: Little Sages Books in Hollywood, Florida; Liberty Books in Palm Beach Gardens; As Time Goes By, in Marion, Alabama; Quill & Brush in Dickerson, Maryland; Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg; The Ridge Books in Calhoun, Georgia; and Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte.

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 rarebookcafe@gmail.com.