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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.

owen felix.jpg


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.