Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Everybody will be in Brooklyn Sept. 19-20

We’re headed out again, this time to Brooklyn for the final leg of our three-fair back-to-back road trip. The Brooklyn Books Art Photos Design Exposition and Sale is in its second year, and promises to be an exciting show.

More than 60 ABAA booksellers are expected to be among the 150 dealers in antiquarian books, of course, as well as fine press editions, ephemera, art books, manuscripts, painting, sculpture, fine art prints, vintage photographs, contemporary photographs, daguerreotypes, vintage jewelry, and antiques.

We expect to see a lot of our friends there (booksellers who exhibit at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair every March), including the fine folks from Between the Covers Rare Books ABAA, Bookleggers Used Books ABAA, Bartleby’s Books ABAA, B&B Rare Books, Colebrook Book Barn ABAA, Bauman Rare Books ABAA, Doyle’s Books, First Folio ABAA, G. Davis Rare Books ABAA, Kenneth Mallory Bookseller ABAA, L&T Respess Books ABAA, Lorne Bair Rare Books ABAA, Old New York Book Shop ABAA, Peter L. Stern & Co. ABAA, and more.

Last year’s show was marked by what The New Antiquarian blog called “the youthful energy and hipster vibe of the show-goers.” There is an enthusiastic optimism about this show that is nice to see. Read this account by John Schulman, of Caliban Book shop in Pittsburgh.

Interestingly, this show is set on the same weekend as the Brooklyn Book Festival, which has only  new books, and the New York Arts Book Fair, which is in Queens and about six miles away. The critical mass of multiple events for book lovers is certain to be a benefit for all.

If you can make it to the show, we’d love to see you. If not, we’ll see you at the shop when we get back.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Rare Book Cafe: A program for book lovers

We participated in an interesting project on Wednesday – the live broadcast of a conversation between book dealers in different parts of Florida on a new program called Rare Book Cafe. Although we had a formidable task before us – packing for the Brooklyn Books Art Photos and Design Expo on September 19-20 – this little interlude on Wednesday afternoon was kind of fun, and a welcome respite.

The project is sponsored by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, and is intended to serve as an online meeting place for people in the rare book trade and people who can't get enough of antiquarian books, who thrive on absorbing as much information as possible about them. You know who you are.

There were some technical difficulties, of course. This new live streaming platform called Blab is still in beta, which means the folks who created it have a working model up and running but it still has quirks. Be that as it may, it was a delight to participate in conversation with Steven Eisenstein in Miami Beach and Thorne Donnelley in West Palm Beach. There were watchers as well, though none of them jumped into the available fourth chair. Apparently they only wanted to hear us swap stories, which we did.

Live streaming has been around for a long time (think video teleconferencing). What's different now is that this is free and accessible to people without a lot of special equipment, and it has a built-in mechanism for viewers to participate by sending text messages. To take part in the discussion or even just to watch and listen, all you need is a desktop computer and a decent wifi connection. Blab works on a Google Chrome browser or a Firefox browser. (That was one of the technical difficulties we had. We at first tried to log on with a Safari browser.) The Blab account and the Twitter account are both free, too, and take only a few minutes to set up.

What's intriguing about all this is the possibilities for connecting not only with book dealers around the world (assuming some of them want to stay up late to talk to us) but also with book lovers everywhere. Never before has such a possibility been so accessible to so many people.

This is an ongoing project. Rare Book Cafe will be on the air at least on Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. EDT and Saturdays at 2:30 EDT. Also, Florida Antiquarian Book Fair is posting recorded episodes on  the blog. It is an exciting time we live in. The irony of using a 21st century mechanism to bring together people who perpetually live in the 16th and 17th centuries is just too delicious.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

See you at the Georgia book fair this weekend

Well, we're heading out again, this time to The 2015 Georgia Book and Paper Fair in Decatur in the Atlanta suburbs.

The show is in a new location this year -- the gymnasium at the First Baptist Church in Decatur. In other years it has been up in Marietta, north of Atlanta in Cobb County. This year's show is in conjunction with the AJC Decatur Book Festival, an event sponsored by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and featuring new books and authors.

The keynote event features author Erica Jong, who wrote the groundbreaking 1973 novel Fear of Flying that caused a stir because of its attitudes toward female sexuality. Jong is now 73 years old and is promoting her new book, Fear of Dying. Jong has written 11 novels, seven non-fiction books, and several poetry collections in her four-decade career. Wouldn't be a bit surprised to find some of her books among dealers' offerings in our show.

As for us, we recently acquired a vast collection of aviation books and we're taking many of them to Decatur, where we're certain to find airplane enthusiasts. We're also taking a good selection of children's books, which are popular at the Georgia fair.

The Georgia fair is a favorite, and we always look forward to seeing a lot of old friends there. Many of the dealers who exhibit at the Georgia fair will also be in St. Petersburg in March for the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. Libby Ware, of Toadlily Books in Atlanta, is the president of the Georgia Antiquarian Bookdealers Association. We see her every year in St. Petersburg. Other officers of GABA are regulars, too, including Tom Brennan, David Hamilton of Americana Books, ABAA, and Frank Walsh of Yesteryear Book Shop, ABAA.

We also expect to see Josh Niesse and Megan Bell of Underground Books in Carrollton, who do a lot of Internet work for GABA. We'll also see old friend Cliff Graubart, of Old New York Book Shop ABAA in Atlanta, and numerous other friends who also come to Florida every year.

Here's a link for all the details of The 2015 Georgia Book and Paper Fair. If you are going to be in the area, please come by and see us. The fair is Saturday and Sunday and admission is free.

Our specialties

Our specialties include Floridiana (Florida History, Florida Authors, Florida Related Ephemera), American History, Literature of the South, Military History (including, but not limited to, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korean War), Children’s Literature, Maps, Leather Bindings and Rare & Unusual items.

We also have a wide variety of general stock, including a large Landscape/Gardening section, a great selection of Christian/Church History/Bible Study titles, Beat Literature, and much more. Please browse our extensive category list.

Appraisal service

Michael F. Slicker, is one of about 450 qualified members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, Inc., and its affiliate the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

Condition of the book, demand for it and history of comparable sales are among the factors considered in evaluating the value of a book. Other factors may apply as well.

Please contact us for more information regarding our certified appraisal services. We encourage you to visit our Web site, Lighthouse Books, ABAA

Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

Michael Slicker was the founding president of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association and has served as chairman of its annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair since its inception.

The 35th annual book fair is set for March 11-13, 2016 at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg.

The fair is the oldest and largest antiquarian book fair in the Southeast. Learn more about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair and the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association.

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