Saturday, February 20, 2016

RARE BOOK CAFE: Carrie Carnes, owner of Old Tampa Book Company, reveals treasures bound for the book fair

WATCH LIVE: Back in September, we scheduled Carrie Carnes, owner of Old Tampa Book Company and an exhibitor at the  Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, but computers wouldn't cooperate and Carrie didn't appear on Rare Book Cafe. Now the technical glitches have been corrected and Carrie is joining us -- Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Carrie Carnes at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair last year.
Carrie will tell about how she became the owner of one of Tampa Bay's favorite book stores a little less than a year ago -- and how things have been going since. She'll also reveal some of what she's bringing to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair next month.

Carrie and her husband Matthew Saxon took over the store last year from David and Ellen Brown, who started the store and owned it for more than 20 years. David and Ellen are beloved book dealers who are well known to longtime book fair goers. The Browns retired and moved from the area to be closer to family but they will always be remembered.

You can watch the program live right here on the blog or you can join us on Either way, you're in for a treat. The program will be recorded and will be available right here on replay after the program is over.

If you're new to Rare Book Cafe and to the Blab platform, here's a suggestion that will make your experience easier. Use a Chrome or Firefox browser. In our experience, Chrome has been the better pf the two but either one will work. As far as we know, none of the other browsers out there will work. However, the platform is in beta and still being developed, so who knows what will happen. Sign into your Twitter account first then open a new window and go to The Blab platform will pick up your Twitter information and apply it to you new Blab account. It's that easy.

We hope you'll come join the conversation. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

RARE BOOK CAFE: Genealogist and book fair exhibitor
Gigi Best reveals secrets of researching your family history

WATCH LIVE: Genealogist Gigi Best joins us live at 8 p.m. on Thursday on Rare Book Cafe on Gigi and her husband Skip Richardson own Best Books and Rich Treasures in Tampa and are exhibitors every year at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair.

Gigi and Skip getting ready for the book fair coming up in March and she’ll be talking about some of the unusual items she’ll he bringing. She’ll also talk about her efforts to spread enthusiasm for genealogy and the research for one’s ancestors, and some of her secrets for doing family reseearch. She is the author of Thomas the Melodeon: Free People of Color Civil War Soldier. It is the first book in her Untangled Roots Series.

Gigi writes about the Melungeon, African and Native Americans, and other Free People of Color who lived in the Americas from the early 1600s until the 1850s and their descendants on her blog, Carrie’s Kin. She developed her interest in African, Native American, and British American history when she studied literature and history at Morgan State University.

She and Skip opened Best Books and Rich Treasures in Virginia Beach in 1997. They are located in Tampa’s Ballast Point area, a stone’s throw from MacDill Air Force Base. Both Gigi and Skip are retired from the military.

You can watch Rare Book Cafe right here on the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair blog or you can log into  using you Twitter account. Search for Rare Book Cafe and join the conversation. The program is hosted by Steven Eisenstein, owner of A-Book-A-Brac Book Shop in Miami Beach and cohosted by Thorne Donnelley, owner of Liberty Books in West Palm Beach. Rare Book Cafe is the first and only rare book TV talk show on

Rare Book Cafe is sponsored by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, celebrating 34 years in March 2016. Subscribe to the broadcast so you won't miss anything. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

RARE BOOK CAFE: What's your book worth? Get answers

WATCH LIVE: Today we're trying something a little different. We won't have a special guest on. Instead, our co-hosts, Steven Eisenstein and Thorne Donnelley, will take audience questions about the value of their books. This is a great format for doing that because it is visual. Listeners can show the books they are discussing and get answers in real time.

It's almost like being at the book fair, which, of course, is the best what to find out information about your book. Being able to talk to knowledgeable book dealers is a joy. The book fair is coming up, and we certainly suggest that you be there but you can visit Rare Book Cafe on Saturday and get some pretty good advice about your books.

You can view it right here on the book fair blog but you're going to have the best experience if you view it on That way you can type in comments or jump into the program live and ask your question. If you decide to watch it on Blab, log into your Twitter account first and leave it open. Then, in a new window on your Chrome or Firefox browser, go to

If you've never logged in before, you'll be invited to sign in using your Twitter account. Click to allow that and Blab takes care of the rest of the process. If it's your first time, Blab will ask you about your interests. Pick three and then move to the search bar and search for Rare Book Cafe. It'll come up in results below the panel at the top where people are yacking.

When you enter Rare Book Cafe, you'll be greeted by one of the hosts (maybe both). Watch the program, and when you are ready to ask your question, type a slash and the letter Q in the chat space then type your question. That helps the question be highlighted.

Join in the conversation either in the chat or on screen if there is a seat open.

That's it! Easy! Come join the conversation.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Order tickets to the book fair online at Eventbrite

This is the interface you'll see at Eventbrite when you order tickets.
You can order your tickets for the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair online now at Eventbrite. It's a convenient way to order tickets and it means you don't have to stand in the box office line to get into the book fair. You can go right to the entrance where your ticket will be scanned electronically. Many book fair fans have told us they really like the convenience of getting their tickets in advance. It's especially helpful if you're coming from out of town.

This is a screen shot of Eventbrite's nifty map.
Eventbrite has made quite a few improvements and it's a breeze to order tickets, even from your phone or other mobile device.  They've even made it easy to find the location of the book fair (if you didn't already know where The Coliseum is) with a nifty interactive map, also accessible from your phone.

Here's something you should know when you order your tickets. If you use the discount code "saveabuck" (without the quotation marks), you'll save a dollar on each ticket you purchase.

A note: If you are coming from out of town and you're planning to stay overnight, make your  hotel reservations in advance. There are other events in town that weekend. One of the largest is the Grand Prix. So the city will be busy. As always, parking is free at The Coliseum so you shouldn't have difficulty finding a place to park.

We're looking forward to seeing you at the book fair.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

RARE BOOK CAFE: Author Larry Baker returns to the show

WATCH LIVE: When we last left author Larry Baker, he was dashing off for another engagement and had to tear himself away from our company. That was last Thursday, and we had a bit of a late night, too, because of a schedule conflict.

 Unfortunately, our edition with Larry Baker was much too short. We barely had time to make introductions and give him The Third Degree. Almost immediately after that, he left. We don't think those two incidents were related. :-)

The good news is that we invited Larry back and he said yes and we won't have to do The Third Degree since we already did it, so we can pick up where we left off, which is fine with us.

So, Larry Baker will join us at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, February 4, right here on the Rare Book Cafe.

You can watch Rare Book Cafe right here on the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair blog or you can log into  using you Twitter account. Search for Rare Book Cafe and join the conversation.

Rare Book Cafe is sponsored by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, celebrating 34 years in March 2016. Watch for interesting information about the book fair on upcoming episodes of Rare Book Cafe. Subscribe to the broadcast so you won't miss anything.