Are we there yet?

How long until the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair?

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Be clever and win tickets. Enter right now!

You could win free tickets to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair by being oh so clever right now. From now until April we're running a monthly Limerick contest on Facebook and the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair blog (
 It's easy to enter. Just write a brilliant limerick related to the book fair and submit it. You can enter TWO ways. Post your entry on Facebook on the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair page or send it to us by email. Use LIMERICK CONTEST in the subject field and send it to Be sure to include your name and how to contact you.

The contest runs from September 2019 through March 2020. Entries will be considered in the month they were received. New month. New entries. Winner for each month will be announced after that month closes. Winners receive two three-day tickets to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, April 24-26, 2020.


Entries should be about books, reading, the book fair, and related subjects.

Plagiarism is no-no. Copying won’t get you anywhere. Clever parodies, however, will get you a long way. Be original.

Don’t be mean or nasty. Be funny. And clever.

Use the standard limerick AABBA rhyme scheme. Meter counts. A lot.

How many times your entry is shared and liked on Facebook won’t help you win but it won’t hurt either.

Enter a fresh limerick each month of the contest.

If you’ve already won the top prize, you can’t win again this year. Give someone else a chance.

The decision of the judges is final. There’s no appeal. The judges are a smart young woman, an old editor, and a church deacon. Mind your manners.

Friday, May 10, 2019

2019 Florida Antiquarian Book Fair was a terrific time

That was the book fair that was. The 38th Florida Antiquarian Book Fair is history. The book lovers' gathering in St. Petersburg is over for another year. We recap the highlights in this video and another one we'll make this weekend. We  hope you enjoy it, and we hope you'll come to the book fair next year if you missed it this year.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Popular exhibitor Larry Rakow specializes in hard-to-find and rare children's books from Victorian era to the present

One of the most anticipated booksellers at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair every year is Larry Rakow, owner of Wonderland Books in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Larry specializes in old, out-of-print, and rare children's books, and is always a favorite among fair goers.

Larry, a former children's and young adult librarian, opened Wonderland Books in 1990. He is a member of the Magic Lantern Society of the U.S. and Canada, the Movable Book Society, and a past president of the Northern Ohio Bibliophilic Society.

His Wonderland Books features more than 12,000 titles, includign his favorite pop-up and novelty books, Caldecott and Newbery award-winning titles, Golden Books, and illustrated volumes from modern times all the way back to the Victorian era.

"We pride ourselves on offering collectible books in extraordinary condition," says Larry. He delights in helping collectors complete their collections of Caldecott winners, Little Golden Books, rare Meggendorfer, Nister, and Raphael Tuck titles, as well as books from their childhoods.

You can send Larry an email and inquire about books he'll bring to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. You can order tickets to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair at

Thursday, February 28, 2019

'The Florida show, I think, draws a younger crowd'

Among book fairs, some people think the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair attracts a particularly younger crowd. We happen to agree, and indeed, we celebrate it. And why not? St. Petersburg is a young, vibrant town. So is the whole Tampa Bay area. Young people are increasingly drawn to traditional books, and away from the devices that seem to permeate our lives.

So it's no wonder that booksellers like Jerry Merkel of Xenia, Ohio, made the remark about the Florida show on a recent live streamed broadcast of Rare Book Cafe, the internet's only regularly scheduled program devoted entirely to rare and collectible books.

 Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, the southeast's largest antiquarian book fair, runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 26, 27, and 28 at The Coliseum in downtown St. Petersburg. Tickets are now on sale at