Wednesday, April 11, 2018

April 14: the book laird of Kentucky

April 14th’s Cafe guest is a true legend. John Glover runs one of the oldest bookstores in the state of Kentucky, Glover’s Bookery in Lexington. A regular exhibitor at the Florida Anntiqurian Book Fair, he is also coming to see us Saturday on Rare Book Cafe!

Glover's Bookery is a large general used & rare bookstore with a well organized stock of over 80,000 mostly hardback books, antiquarian maps & prints, and tribal art. They have been buying and selling books since 1978. In their Lexington, Kentucky store, you can find thousands of used and rare books for the scholar, collector, and general reader. The Bookery started selling books on line in 1998 and never looked back.

Another account has it,

Glover’s Bookery is perched prominently on South Broadway, beckoning customers with its array of used and rare book selections for “the scholar, collector, and general reader.” A true shopping experience, this unique storefront offers a well-organized stock of more than 80,000 mostly hardback books, along with antiquarian maps and prints and tribal art.

It is one of the longest-running bookstores in Kentucky, selling a majority of rare and collectible books and fueled by a self-professed “passion and love,” according to owner John Glover. Outside of the books housed within the store itself Glover has more than 20,000 selections for purchase through an Internet database. Nearly one half of his profits are garnered from online sales.

“In this business, you must shift gears and adapt,” he said. “If you don’t go with the niche market, you will die.”

Glover is not a mere book collector but an antiquarian, or one who deals exclusively in collecting, selling or studying old valuable items. His main interest lies in the highly collectible and aesthetically cherished titles. However, this should not discourage anyone from bringing him boxes of books, which he fields on a daily basis.

“If it’s neat, interesting and unique, I will look at it,” he said. “I’m a book lover, so I will never retire from this.”

While he echoes the feelings of fellow proprietors that book-selling is changing, he remains confident about the sustainability of books and the bookstore. Glover does an inordinate amount of travel and has seen the unfortunate demise of his favorite independent bookshops across the nation. Some of these operations simply could not justify the overhead required, which has moved many to run their book businesses out of their garages. While this is not the traditional storefront, physical bookshop, it still purveys the persistence of collectors.

“There will always be used bookstores in some form,” he said, “just in a passionate, somewhat reduced degree.”


Rare Book Cafe is streamed 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.

The program’s regular guests include Miami book dealer, appraiser and’s Bucks on the Bookshelf radio show creator Steven Eisenstein, Thorne Donnelley of Liberty Book Store in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Lindsay Thompson of Charlotte’s Henry Bemis Books; miniature books expert Edie Eisenstein;  and program creator/producer T. Allan Smith.

We enjoy the support and encouragement of these booksellers:A Bric-A-Brac in Miami;  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; A-Bric-A-Brac in Miami Beach; 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 virtual live studio audience for the program, write us at

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