Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Meet the Rare Book Cafe team: The Book Scholar

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“My family has been in the printing business since 1860,” Rare Book Cafe co-host Thorne Donnelley says, “and I have loved and collected books all my life.  However, I have only considered myself a professional since I attended the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminars in 2012 and the opening of my retail store the same year.

“Since then I have attended seven courses at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School and I have tried to acquire knowledge about the trade from any available source. My preference is for hand press books from before 1860, but since my primary source of books is through the purchase of estates: I find myself with a little knowledge about many things.”

A 2012 Palm Beach publication reported,

Several months ago, longtime Palm Beacher Thorne Donnelley Jr.’s interest in collectible books was an avocation. By offering a small corner nook of books for sale at one of his Liberty Tax Service offices, his professional office was able to secure a heavily-trafficked retail spot on West Palm Beach’s commercial Clematis Street. And surprisingly, in what may be judged heretical in the virtual Age of Kindle, the Liberty Book Store has now taken over the entire space. What was a short stack is now a prime showcase for first editions, rare books, as well as an eclectic range of collectible used books, primarily focused on art, yachts, architecture, cars, what Donnelley calls “Boys Toys.”

“These are the books I like,” said Donnelley who will spend part of the summer in Colorado and Virginia obtaining his certification in rare book grading. “I’m also including a section devoted to local authors and Floridiana.”

Donnelley’s great-grandfather Richard Robert Donnelley founded RR Donnelley, widely-known as the world's largest commercial printer of encyclopedias, mass market magazines, mail-order catalogs, and best-selling books. When the elder Donnelley died in 1899, his son Thomas E. Donnelley became president; another son, Thorne’s grandfather, Reuben H. Donnelley was a company vice-president and headed up the Reuben H. Donnelley Corporation, an independent subsidiary that became the nation’s largest publisher of telephone directories. In 1961, Dun & Bradstreet acquired the Reuben H. Donnelley Corporation.

Donnelley serves on the board of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association; his memberships include the Antiquarian Booksellers of America, the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and The Grolier Club. The newest member of his team is a shelter rescue, Katie.

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Rare Book Cafe returns!

Rare Book Cafe returns to the air December 3 at 2:30 pm with a hot program of Florida authors for a world of listeners in wintry climes!

Sponsored by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, Rare Book Cafe can be seen on the Book Fair blog and on the Cafe’s Facebook page.

If you’d like to join us in the virtual studio audience on Google Hangouts, email us at rarebookcafe@gmail for an entry code!

Here’s the rundown on the guests:

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-Born in Orlando, Florida, Rob Smith Jr started drawing caricatures at theme parks while still in high school. He attended the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida, the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in Dover, New Jersey, and Rollins College in Orlando.

Hired in 1985 as a draftsman and artist for the City of Orlando by Jeff Parker- who went on to work with Mike Peters on the Mother Goose and Grimm syndicated comic- Smith contributed editorial cartoons to the Winter Park, Florida Observer and did caricature work at places like Walt Disney World and Gatorland.

Smith joined the National Cartoonists Society in 1995. He has also been a member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists.

His editorial cartoons are conservative in tone and focus on social issues as well as politics.
Smith drew syndicated editorial cartoons for DBR Media and a weekly cartoon for the Glenn Beck Program. His work has been recognized with awards from the Florida Press Association.

Smith currently contributes editorial cartoons to various sources, including the Glenn Beck Program, the late Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, and various other conservative websites.

He created Swampy's Florida in 2005 with a focus on Florida history and travel. There are currently 15 Swampy's Florida books, 54 prints, 17 greeting cards and 2 DVDs. His website gives a colorful example of the range of his work.


-Dr Jim Clark was born in Washington, D.C. He began his journalism career with ABC News in Washington as a copyboy before joining United Press International as a reporter. He worked for the Columbia (S.C.) Record, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Raleigh News & Observer and for the Associated Press in Charlotte and Philadelphia. He has been honored with the George Polk Award, numerous awards from the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, The Gerald Loeb Award and the Sigma Delta Chi Award.

He is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne College, received his M.A. from Stetson University and holds a doctorate from the University of Florida. He joined the history faculty at the University of Central Florida in 1987. Clark has written for The Washington Post, Washington Star, Washington Monthly, The Nation, and Miami Herald. His six books range from a history of the 1950 US Senate race to an account of US Presidents in Florida; a history of the state and the city of Orlando; and two volumes of work by Florida writers for which he was editor.

Starting its second series, Rare Book Cafe is hosted by longtime Miami book dealer and appraiser Steven Eisenstein, who rushes to join us every Saturday after finishing Bucks on the Bookshelf, his weekly program on Regular co-hosts include Thorne Donnelly, owner of Liberty Book Store in West Palm Beach, and Lindsay Thompson, owner of Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte, North Carolina. T. Allan Smith is the program’s creator and executive producer. You can see the program live from 2:30 to 3:30 pm EST, and on demand, on the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair’s blog, as well as Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Come explore Tampa Bay with us as we search for Hidden Gems you can visit when you come to the Florida book fair

So, on Halloween (which may or may not be significant), we began what will be a series of broadcasts on Facebook LIVE designed to give visitors to the Tampa Bay area a little insight into the myriad places to go and things to do when you come to the 2017 Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

The reasoning is this: Sure, you want to immerse yourself for three days in the remarkable book city that materializes in The Coliseum every year. However, if you come from a considerable distance, you might want to plan to stay awhile and see and do everything you can while you're here. Heck, we would (if we didn't already live here.)

So, we've taken it upon ourselves to visit some of the places we think you might want to know about and to tell you about them through this amazing medium called Facebook LIVE. If you haven't experienced it yet, there's an example at the top of the page. You'll also find it on YouTube. Of course, the best place to experience Facebook LIVE is on Facebook. All you have to do is search on Facebook for the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair and LIKE us there. Then you'll get notices when we do go live so you can experience the outing with us. If not, you're welcome to join us here on the blog or over on our YouTube Channel.

A word about the places we'll choose. You can let us know your thoughts about places you'd like us to visit. Just send us an email or comment at the bottom of this entry. We'd be happy to try to go to the places you're interested in but you have to let us know. We're not clairvoyant. Left to our own devices we'll probably go to places we think are interesting to visit. We like food and there are many choices in the Tampa Bay area, so you might see some restaurants. We like beer so you might see a brewery or two. We like museums and we have several from which to choose. We're up for adventures of all kinds so there's really no  telling where we might end up.

So, we hope you'll join us, whether it's here on the blog or over on Facebook LIVE, which (obviously) we think is the better choice because we want you to come along with us while it's all happening and make comments and be a part of the action. But it's up to you. We're happy to see you right here on the blog, too.