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.

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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.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It'll be a movie made in mayhem: Rare Book Cafe's latest game

It’s game time again at Rare Book Cafe!

This weekend you can stump the team by picking a favorite book- fiction or nonfiction- and half a dozen leading characters from it, for us to cast as a movie from among living actors and public figures.

Just post your nominations at the Rare Book Cafe Facebook page (while you are there, can Like & Follow the page, it will you feel so cool).

The winning book, or books, will be chosen Friday night in a completely secretive process from the rule book for Calvinball:



We’ll be on the air at 2:30 pm EDT Saturday, July 22 with our guest, Delaware State University history professor and novelist Steve Newton, who will also get The Third Degree. What could possibly go wrong?

Tune in and see! As usual, we'll be on the Cafe Facebook page, praying to the BeLive.tv gods to give us a glitch-free show.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

July 15 on Rare Book Cafe: Books as our families of choice


Books exert a hold on us. It ranges from mild interest to outright mania.

This week the Cafe' regulars will have stuff spread out all over the table: Steve & Edie's vacation (no slides), and Edie's preview of the next Miniature Book Society Conclave.

Thorne will talk about how, with some books, "they are my children": books we buy for ourselves; books we want to sell but can't let go of; and books that make up that most mythic state of existence, the Bookseller's Retirement Fund.

The team will take a look at an 18th-century Irish songbook to see what it can tell its new owner, too.

And, of course, books are part of the heady brew of youth and rebellion- Guest Host Kara Accettola will show some of her ephemera that made up "the seeds of Woodstock" 48 years ago this summer.

Sometimes, like the other sort of kids, books will cause you no end of headaches. Carrie Carnes, co-owner of Old Tampa Bay Books, will take a break from a truly frazzled time to tell us what it's like to lose the lease on a storage space with 60,000 books in it that have to go somewhere else- fast.

Join us for the fun and insight: this Saturday at 2:30 pm EDT on the Rare Book Cafe Facebook page, live!


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.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Bowties mandatory, of course.






















From David Brass Rare Books, the backstory:


Anatomy of an Antiquarian Bookseller, The

Cracked Joints, Unhinged, Broken Spine -
And You Should See The Books!

SEARLE, Ronald. The Anatomy of an Antiquarian Bookseller. [Edinburgh: John Grant, 1974]. 

One of a total run of fifty unnumbered lithographs signed by Ronald Searle (1920-2011). 27 x 19 1/4 inches (69 x 49 cm) on heavy stock without matte, nor framed. A very fine print.

In 1974, the firm of John Grant, Edinburgh's leading rare and antiquarian bookseller, commissioned artist Ronald Searle, an avid book collector, client and friend who retained Grant's as Scotland agency for his artwork, to create a color illustration to adorn its centenary catalogue. What Searle created was "almost an engineering drawing," according to the Book Collector, based upon the instructions of Ian Grant, the firm's contemporary Director, to immortalize rare booksellers' terminology, a rather arcane jargon meaningless to the uninitiated.

With a list of words and phrases provided by Grant, Searle's drawing became an instant classic, a riotous comedy of anthropomorphic art, the terminology applied as a condition report on an antiquarian bookseller who has obviously seen better days.

Grant had fifty copies printed in Edinburgh as lithographs. He took them to Haute Provence in the south of France, where Ronald Searle lived, and had the artist sign them. Searle, who had not been in Edinburgh to personally supervise their printing, felt that he could not number each one. Many if not most of the fifty were bought by members of Great Britain's Antiquarian Booksellers Association and other book dealers.

Fifteen years later, in 1989, Searle returned to this subject near and dear to him and published Slightly Foxed - But Still Desirable, his satire of rare book catalogue language (commissioned by E. Joseph, the London firm owned at the time by E. Joseph descendant, David Brass, now president of David Brass Rare Books) featuring sixty-one color drawings that apply it to an amusing cross-section of book lovers.

"I have only seen one copy for sale since The Anatomy of an Antiquarian Bookseller was originally issued in 1974, this one, which I sold in 2003 and recently re-acquired" (David Brass). 




Saturday, July 8, 2017

#24: "You have way too many fictional husbands."

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Are YOU a book nerd?

Rare Book Cafe is a haven, a support group- live video therapy.

Today, the team considers the Barnes & Noble Book Nerd Quiz and its implications.

Then will come the big reveal: who among them is the Biggest Book Nerd?

Confessions out of the way, we'll also be looking at rare book journals; ephemeral stories; and why, if you've only read Jules Verne in English, you've never read Jules Verne at all.

Join us at 2:30 pm EDT on Rare Book Cafe's Facebook page! Better yet, send us your predictions for who's the primus inter nerdus.




Thursday, June 29, 2017

For July 4th Weekend, Rare Book Cafe's hanging the flags and bunting!

July 1 is the start of the Fourth of July weekend, and Rare Book Cafe’s celebrating!

19th-century patriotic sheet music and other ephemera will be discussed and viewed. We’ll talk of books by American presidents (including the one whose 800-page autobiography never mentioned his wife).

Thorne Donnelley, whose summers are spent at the Rare Book School in Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia, will tell of treasures on his shelves.

And we’ll be answering viewer questions!

Though driven by events, the American Founders were students of history who devoured books. Thomas Jefferson’s personal library was so extensive that, when the British burned the Capitol- and the Library of Congress with it- Congress bought Jefferson’s library as the cornerstone of its rebirth.


“I cannot live without books,” Jefferson wrote his friend John Adams in 1810. And as the last of his 6,487 volumes was carted away in 1815, he started placing orders for new ones.

241 years ago next Monday, John Adams wrote his wife,




Philadelphia July 3d. 1776

Had a Declaration of Independency been made seven Months ago, it would have been attended with many great and glorious Effects . . . . We might before this Hour, have formed Alliances with foreign States. -- We should have mastered Quebec and been in Possession of Canada .... You will perhaps wonder, how such a Declaration would have influenced our Affairs, in Canada, but if I could write with Freedom I could easily convince you, that it would, and explain to you the manner how. -- Many Gentlemen in high Stations and of great Influence have been duped, by the ministerial Bubble of Commissioners to treat .... And in real, sincere Expectation of this effort Event, which they so fondly wished, they have been slow and languid, in promoting Measures for the Reduction of that Province. Others there are in the Colonies who really wished that our Enterprise in Canada would be defeated, that the Colonies might be brought into Danger and Distress between two Fires, and be thus induced to submit. Others really wished to defeat the Expedition to Canada, lest the Conquest of it, should elevate the Minds of the People too much to hearken to those Terms of Reconciliation which they believed would be offered Us. These jarring Views, Wishes and Designs, occasioned an opposition to many salutary Measures, which were proposed for the Support of that Expedition, and caused Obstructions, Embarrassments and studied Delays, which have finally, lost Us the Province.

All these Causes however in Conjunction would not have disappointed Us, if it had not been for a Misfortune, which could not be foreseen, and perhaps could not have been prevented, I mean the Prevalence of the small Pox among our Troops .... This fatal Pestilence compleated our Destruction. -- It is a Frown of Providence upon Us, which We ought to lay to heart.

But on the other Hand, the Delay of this Declaration to this Time, has many great Advantages attending it. -- The Hopes of Reconciliation, which were fondly entertained by Multitudes of honest and well meaning tho weak and mistaken People, have been gradually and at last totally extinguished. -- Time has been given for the whole People, maturely to consider the great Question of Independence and to ripen their judgments, dissipate their Fears, and allure their Hopes, by discussing it in News Papers and Pamphletts, by debating it, in Assemblies, Conventions, Committees of Safety and Inspection, in Town and County Meetings, as well as in private Conversations, so that the whole People in every Colony of the 13, have now adopted it, as their own Act. -- This will cement the Union, and avoid those Heats and perhaps Convulsions which might have been occasioned, by such a Declaration Six Months ago.

But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. -- I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. -- Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.

In another letter to her (May 12, 1780), Adams explained what the struggles of the decades- past and future- was for:

I could fill Volumes with Descriptions of Temples and Palaces, Paintings, Sculptures, Tapestry, Porcelaine, &c. &c. &c. -- if I could have time. But I could not do this without neglecting my duty. The Science of Government it is my Duty to study, more than all other Studies Sciences: the Art of Legislation and Administration and Negotiation, ought to take Place, indeed to exclude in a manner all other Arts. I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Painting and Poetry Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.

The preamble to the Constitution of 1787 had just such goals in mind:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Indeed, the afternoon of September 17, 1787- after the Constitutional Convention ratified their blueprint for America’s future, a sweltering summer’s work over which the Squire of Mount Vernon presided, he stopped in at a bookseller’s and purchased an English translation of Don Quixote. At a dinner with the newly-appointed Spanish ambassador September 11, the King’s emissary turned the table talk to Cervantes's’ great novel. Apparently intrigued, Washington bought a copy he could read, and it was in his 900-volume library when he died twelve years later.

Booksellers, authors, and readers have been at the vanguard of defending and expanding the freedom of thought and expression ever since. Join us to celebrate this Saturday!

_____________


Rare Book Cafe is sponsored by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. It’s streamed live every Saturday from 2.30 to 3.30 pm EDT and features interviews, panel discussions 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 on Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page. Shows are archived on YouTube and can also be viewed on the Facebook page, and the Book Fair blog after their first run.

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.

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, click the show link on Saturday!

#RareBookCafe #FloridaAntiquarianBookFair #BookWeek #BeLiveTV #FacebookLiveVideo

Friday, June 23, 2017

June 24 we're talking books, at times gravely, with Forrest Proper. Join us!


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We’re headed off to the hills of Western Massachusetts on Rare Book Cafe Saturday, June 24.

Joining the Cafe team at the table will be Forrest Proper, owner of Joslin Hall Rare Books & Ephemera. Cat lover, poet (haiku addict, he says), photographer, gardener and all-round Enlightenment Man of Parts, Proper is a New Hampshire native whose inventory covers decorative arts, fakes and frauds, fine arts, gravestones and mourning arts, and books spanning the 16th to the current century.

Proper is also a regular on Book Tribe, the Facebook live broadcast show from Cafe guest host Kara Accettola’s Little Sages Books.

He last dropped in for a visit with us during April’s weekend of live broadcasts from the 36th Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, attended by a large, amiable black cat.

Proper has all the post-surname initials of a properly-credentialed antiquarian book dealer, and has run Joslin Hall since 1982. He is quoted in all the best places, and gives good interview.

We’ll also be hearing from co-host Thorne Donnelley, just back from the Virginia Book School; Steve Eisenstein will draw from his array of tried-and-true tales; and Cafe miniature book expert Edie Eisenstein will hold some very small books very close to the camera.

Rare Book Cafe is sponsored 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. Shows are archived on YouTube and can also be viewed on the Facebook page, and the Book Fair blog after their first run.

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.

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, click the show link on Saturday!


#RareBookCafe #FloridaAntiquarianBookFair #BookWeek #BeLiveTV #FacebookLiveVideo

Friday, June 16, 2017

"Don't criticize what you can't understand," says the kid from Hibbing.

Honoree Bob Dylan


Is Bob Dylan a plagiarist? The author of this article thinks he lifted chunks of his Nobel Lecture from a booklet on Moby Dick written to help high school and college students review books they haven't read.

The Rare Book Cafe team will be taking this up Saturday! Come join the fun at 2:30 pm EDT. We hope viewers will join us in the broadcast. There'll be a link to do so on the Rare Book Cafe Facebook page tomorrow.

Rolling Stone covers the story here.

Variety's take is here.

Vanity Fair tut-tuts here.

This Week on Rare Book Cafe: It's All About You.



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We’re excited at Rare Book Cafe! On tomorrow’s show, YOU’RE THE GUEST!

We’re inviting you to join us on the show. C’mon, surely you’ve said to yourself, watching us lurch from topic to topic, “That doesn’t look very hard.” Or, as radio comedian Fred Allen used to ask his writers after they’d redlined his script draft, “Where were you guys when these pages were blank!?”

All seriousness aside, we get lonely.

Last year, when we were on the Blab platform, viewers dropped in all the time. They jumped into the conversations we were having. They showed us their rare books.

We can’t figure out if the zeitgeist has just moved on: maybe 2016 was when multiparty live video was new and shiny. Now it’s like, everywhere. Are we YouTubed and Facebook Lived out?

We may have to discuss that, a la Linda Richman:

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But we’d rather have you join us! Co-host Lindsay Thompson got started that way, after all.

OK. Maybe not the best example. But anyway...Wait! There’s Kara Accettola! She’s fun!

Even if you don’t want to be a talk show host, push out your envelope a little. Bound down the stairs like Calvin & Hobbes. The Saturday 2:30 to 3:30 beckons! Live! Talk! Be our guests!

Rare Book Cafe is sponsored 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. Shows are archived on YouTube and can also be viewed on the Facebook pages, and the blog after their first run.

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.

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, June 8, 2017

It's a double-header June 10 at Rare Book Cafe!

We’re delighted and honored to welcome Haslam’s Books to the Cafe’s table. Florida’s largest new and used bookstore on Central Avenue in St Petersburg, Haslam’s has been a mecca for readers and writers since 1933. They are also pioneers in broadcast book talk, having had an eight-year run on radio with a weekly book review show and hosting The Wonderful World of Books on public TV’s WEDU for fifteen years. They have kindly lent us Wofford College Professor Deno Trakas, who is appearing for a book signing at Haslam’s Sunday at 2:00.





Trakas was born in Charlotte, and has family in the St Petersburg. He was educated at Eckerd College (BA); University of Tulsa (MA); and the University of South Carolina Ph.D. He's the Laura and Winston Hoy Professor of American Literature, director of the writing center at Wofford College in Spartanburg SC. Trakas is a widely-published poet and short story writer; a past SC Fellow in Fiction (1992) and a four-time recipient of the SC Fiction Prize.

Other works include a memoir of the Greek-American community of Upstate SC and his new first novel, Messenger From Mystery (Story River Books, 2017), a thriller set in the Iranian revolution of 1979. He has two more novels in the works. His course offerings range from sci-fi to Scott Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age to Southern fiction, post-Civil War and contemporary.





Brooklyn’s Honey & Wax Booksellers believes books are to be used. Their website explains the store, “offers great works of literature: rare first printings, beautiful and curious editions, copies with surprising stories of their own. We handle unique books, striking books, books with no downloadable equivalent.

“Our name is inspired by a nineteenth-century epigram: “use books as bees use flowers." We like to see books, like flowers, in the field: on nightstands, in backpacks, given to friends, shared with children, passed across the bar at last call. And we like to hear readers buzzing: “You have to read this." “I marked a page." “This made me think of you."

“Don't be afraid to open our books, don't lock them away for safekeeping. Use books as bees use flowers, and pollinate the world.”


Co-founder Heather O’Donnell  read English at Columbia while working library, bookstore and publisher’s reader jobs before moving to Yale for her PhD and work in the Beinecke Rare Books Library. She was a Princeton Society of Fellows member 2001-04, then worked at Bauman’s Rare Books for seven years. She opened Honey & Wax in 2011. O’Donnell is a member of the Grolier Club, ABAA and IOBA; and is a graduate of the Colorado Book School. Honey & Wax is another broadcasting innovator; partner Rebecca Romney has been the rare books expert for the History Channel’s Pawn Stars program since 2011.

The two recently announced a new annual prize for young women book collectors, and we're looking forward to learning more about the program.

Rare Book Cafe is sponsored 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. Shows are archived on YouTube and can also be viewed on the Facebook pages, and the blog after their first run.

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.

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.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Rare Book Cafe 3.0: Author Lee Irby, and the California autograph law and how the ABAA is trying to change it

Welcome to the fourth in the series of Rare Book Cafe 3.0, which was streamed live on Facebook on Saturday, May 27, 2017. We had writer Lee Irby, author of the new mystery novel, Unreliable, returning as a guest. We also welcomed Brad Johnson, a California bookseller, who spoke about the ABAA effort to negotiate a new law to replace the state's controversial signed memorabilia law that has ensnared antiquarian book dealers.

Guest co-host Kara Accettola of Little Sages Books, ABAA in the Fort Lauderdale area, joined us as well. Co-host Thorne Donnelley was back from Boston after the graduation of his daughter from Harvard Business College. Co-host Lin Thompson interviewed Brad Johnson.

We also tried out our tweaked format for the show, with a little less formal opening and closing. We want to create the effect of an ongoing conversation that might take place if the Rare Book Cafe were an actual bricks and mortar cafe where book lovers gather. Through the miracle of modern technology, we're able to have such a gathering over the Internet. We want you to be part of it. As soon as it is technically feasible, we may add sound effects that will enhance the cafe idea. In the meantime, what you see is what you get.

We're working constantly to improve what we send out to you streaming live. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but we hope we're getting better and better. We're booksellers not broadcasters so we'll never be 60 Minutes but we hope we'll provide some useful information for people who love books a much as we do.

We do love comments and questions, so please leave us your in the Comments section below, including your thoughts about how we go about presenting our show. We also love thumbs up, so leave us yours. And finally, subscribe to our channel and share with your friends. We'll see you LIVE every Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Rare Book Cafe originated on Blab.im 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 BeLive.tv platform. 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 Blogspot.com

Rare Book Cafe is the first regularly scheduled live streaming Internet program devoted to antiquarian books and related subjects.

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 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; 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 rarebookcafe@gmail.com.

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 Blab.im 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 BeLive.tv 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 Blogspot.com

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

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"-and several would be marvelous": Owen Felix O'Neill returns to Rare Book Cafe, a $25m book in his pocket.

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Surrounded by ancient books and ephemera in an ancient house in Tipperary, Ireland, Owen Felix O’Neill is a romantic:


I am a Bibliophile; an otherwise rational member of the community consumed by the love of Books. It gives me great pleasure to handle any printed work that has something important to say, but most of all I cherish Rare Editions, Finely Printed Texts, beautifully Illustrated Books, and Volumes Scarce and unprocurable except by knowledgeable means.

The mute but Articulate ranks of Old Leather Bindings and time-mellowed spines that climb in order of size from floor to ceiling in the house where I am writing, exude a sense of ageless serenity and unruffled calm. Looking at close-packed rows of Octavos and Duodecimos that top the dusted oak shelves, the 18th. Century, Quartos in their blind-stamped, immediately below them, then down at the ponderous Folios, secure behind their bevelled wooden-boards and coats of sprinkled calf.

I know of the decades that have emerged into Centuries since their original owners unpacked the parcels that brought them home. Now they are with me, collected over many years. It was once said that Books are ‘The lasting Mansions of the Dead’…They have become my faithful and trusted friends and the intimate companions of my everyday life. To part with one of them disturbs me. To lose them all would translate me to a barren existence and a life lacking its chief intellectual comfort and most relaxing pleasure.


O’Neill, who has done business as Felix Rare Books for nearly half a century, is making his third visit to Rare Book Cafe this Saturday, May 6, at 2:30 EDT. His last appearance, on September 29, 2015, was pure magic; he took viewers on tour of his home and collections, and explained his unique bookhounding style: “I drive up to old houses in the country and ask if they have anything interesting in the cupboards.”


One such lark- visiting a Catholic seminary in Dublin- led to O’Neill’s discovery of a lost cache of letters from Jackie Kennedy to a priest over a fourteen-year period. Put up for auction by the cash-strapped priests, the letters were widely quoted in the press and were expected to fetch over a million dollars when the fathers reclaimed the letters and canceled the auction in May 2014.


In September of that year, they announced that the letters were returned to Mrs. Kennedy’s daughter, US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, after she retained Irish counsel and asserted she held copyright to them.


O’Neill occupies the stratosphere in rare book sales: his website advertises an inventory of over 3,000 books valued at about $9.5 million; specially featured is his genuinely priceless “William Tyndale's New Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ of 1534.”


After acquiring it over thirty years ago, O’Neill has decided to sell his only-copy-in-existence.


“No complete copy...has ever come to the marketplace to be sold,” he says. “And there are no complete Tyndale's New Testament of 1534 in any Libraries or Museums world-wide. And none anywhere in North America.


“So there are no Auction Record prices to go on as a guide.
   
“William Tyndale's New Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1534 has been described as 'the most important book in the English Language'. As well as being the 1st. printed Edition of the New Testament in English, it is the first English translation of the Bible drawn directly from both the Greek and Hebrew Holy Texts. Our copy of William Tyndale's New Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the 1534 revision, which was made by William Tyndale himself. It is printed, unusually, on yellowish paper. The 1534 edition is the first instance of the use of the word 'Elder' rather than 'Priest'. Some pages carry old 16th. or 17th. handwritten notes.”


O’Neill’s offering price? $25.5 million.





Entertaining and witty, Owen Felix O’Neill’s visits are not to be missed. Justice Benjamin Cardozo could have had Saturday in mind when he wrote, in an early 20th century decision, “If we may not say of such a coincidence that it is literally impossible, at least we may say that one would be surprising, and several would be marvelous.”


Rare Book Cafe is sponsored 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 and the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair’s Facebook page; the Book Fair Blog, and the Book Fairs YouTube channel. Shows are archived on YouTube and can also be viewed on the Facebook pages, and the blog after their first run.

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; 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 rarebookcafe@gmail.com.


You can watch RARE BOOK CAFE here.