Friday, December 18, 2015

RARE BOOK CAFE: Boe Rushing, Back in the Day Books, on setting up an independent rare bookstore in today's market

WATCH LIVE: Boe Rushing is opening his bookstore next year for the third time in the Tampa Bay area. Boe opened Back in the Day Books in 2010 in Tarpon Springs. In 2013, he moved to Dunedin, where he was in two different locations, one on the main street in town and the other slightly off the beaten path. Boe reluctantly decided in 2015 to close again. Now, through a special public-private lease arrangement, Boe has a new location in downtown Dunedin and expects to reopen in March in a new building with an historic facade.

Boe believes in supporting local businesses, and particularly local bookstores. He'll discuss both topics on Rare Book Cafe. You can watch Boe's appearance on Rare Book Cafe on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on You also can watch the program live right here on the book fair blog.

Boe received a law degree from Stetson University's College of Law in 1993 but he has spent little time in his career as a lawyer. In 2001, he moved to Canada to get married but he wasn't able to practice law there without jumping through too many hoops so he decided to find a career where he could be self-employed doing something he loved.

A conversation with a rare book dealer led to the realization that the antiquarian book business was perfect for him. He opened a shop in Canada in a 150-year-old building a couple of doors down from a coffee shop. The neighborhood had lots of "book people" and the business thrived.

After the birth of his daughter, Holly, in 2004, Boe sold off his inventory, closed his first bookstore,  and he and his family moved back to his native Florida. Boe sold books online. A scholarship to the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar in 2009 led to the conviction that he really wanted to have a bricks-and-mortar store and the rest is history.

Boe is president of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association and an annual exhibitor at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair.

You can watch Rare Book Cafe on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET and Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. ET on Replays of the program also are available at as well as on the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair blog. Selected episodes also can be watched on the book fair's YouTube Channel.

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