Sunday, July 31, 2016

Now available: Rare Book Cafe's July 30 video chat with Tampa bookseller Gigi Best Richardson

Our video link to yesterday's Rare Book Cafe episode is here!

It was a fun, and informative, show, as cohosts Allan Smith, Steven Eisenstein and Lindsay Thompson visited with Gigi Best-Richardson, owner of Best Books, Rich Treasures bookshop in Tampa's Ybor City Historic District.

Still settling into new digs in a historic building across from Hillsborough Community College, Best Books has been welcomed as a bright new pattern in the community's tapestry. Best-Richardson has been a guest on the college radio station, has hosted journalism and media students, and has even had the college's president drop in to wish Gigi and her staff well.

We had a live video tour of the elegantly-appointed store, and walked outside for a view of the neighborhood from the brick-clad sidewalk. Back inside, we looked at several books on Ybor City's rich cultural heritage as well as its past role as the cigar-rolling capital of America.

Like the Walrus and the Carpenter, we talked of many things: recent acquisitions; African-American and African continental literature and history (including the excellent review blog, bookshy; of genealogy and where to look for the collections of genealogists (old ones never die, they just shift to a new line on their family sheet), and much more.

Regular guest and miniature books expert Edie Eisenstein showed us the new small books catalogue from Delaware's Oak Knoll Books, also a world-renowned specialist in books about books and bibliographies.

As always, viewers are welcome to call in and show us your books! Regular co-hosts include Thorne Donnelly, owner of Liberty Book Store in West Palm Beach; Steven Eisenstein, longtime Miami-area dealer and appraiser and host of the weekly radio program Buck$ on the Bookshelf at; T.Allen Smith, retired journalist, bookseller, and photographer for the Florida book fair; and Lindsay Thompson, owner of Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte, North Carolina.

To access the show, look up on your browser. Sign in using your Twitter or Facebook account, and type "Rare Book Cafe" in the search box.

Past programs are archived at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair site, as well as on Rare Book Cafe's YouTube Channel.

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