Friday, August 18, 2017

Saturday: The Cafe crew is piling into the Chris-Craft and running the blockade in search of Cuban collectibles

Cuba has undergone an unusual and historic transformation over the last century.

It has gone from being a three-dimensional nation to two sets of talking points for politicos, flat as the sheets on which they are printed.

Last year some Americans got to see the actual country- buildings, people, art, history, food- for a few months. Then the door was closed to them again. Cuba is the Brigadoon of the New World.

Who knows of its arts, its history in a multidimensional sense? Who knows its authors and composers and artists?

Just 90 miles away, Cuba is a part of Florida life. That’s why Rare Book Cafe is taking a day to consider the subject of Collecting Cuba.

Producer Allan Smith, who spent a week there last year, will talk about his visit to Hemingway’s home and personal library. Guest host Kara Accettola will discuss Cuba-related ephemera. And co-host Steve Eisenstein will take us on a waterfront tour of Cuban books and other collectibles, drawn from a large collection he is currently cataloguing and appraising.

Special correspondent Edie Eisenstein promises to cover what she didn’t get to say last week, when technical gremlins shut her out of the show and deprived miniature book collectors of their weekly fix.

It promises to be a lively program, and no one will look askance if you slip a little rum into your coffee.

Rare Book Cafe is streamed by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair every Saturday from 2.30 to 3.30 pm EDT. We feature interviews, panel discussion and stuff you can learn about book collecting whether you are a regular at Sotheby’s or just someone who likes books.

The program airs live on Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page, and remain there after the show.

Hosted by Miami book dealer, appraiser and’s Bucks on the Bookshelf radio show creator Steven Eisenstein, the program features a revolving set of cohosts and regular guests including Thorne Donnelley of Liberty Book Store in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Lindsay Thompson of Charlotte’s Henry Bemis Books; miniature books expert Edie Eisenstein; ephemera expert Kara Accettola; and program creator/producer T. Allan Smith.

We enjoy the support and encouragement of these booksellers: Little Sages Books in Hollywood, Florida; Liberty Books in Palm Beach Gardens; As Time Goes By, in Marion, Alabama; Quill & Brush in Dickerson, Maryland; Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg; The Ridge Books in Calhoun, Georgia; and Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte.

Rare Book Cafe program encourages viewer participation via its interactive features and video: if you've got an interesting book, join the panel and show it to us! If you’d like to ask the team a question or join us in the virtually live studio audience for the program, write us at

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