Tuesday, June 21, 2016

After this, Seth Myers!

Henry Bemis Books is pleased to report that owner Lindsay Thompson will be the guest of Rare Books Cafe’- the weekly online book program of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association- this coming Saturday, June 25.

Thompson will spend the hour talking books with co-hosts Steven Eisenstein of Miami; Thorne Donnelly of West Palm Beach; and producer T. Allen Smith. Viewers can email live questions and comments.

Rare Books Cafe runs on Saturdays at 2.30 pm EDT at Blab.im; the Cafe’s page address is https://blab.im/RareBookCafe.

After his appearance last September, Lighthouse Books’ Michael Slicker wrote,
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.  
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. 
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....
Henry Bemis Books, an internet-based seller of rare and collectible books in Charlotte, NC, opened in 2015. Thompson, a self-described recovering attorney, is a lifelong book collector who decided to leap into the book business on a wing, a prayer, and several cases of ramen noodles. “I wanted to see what it was like to do something fun for a living.”

Though he has extensive past television and radio interview experience, Thompson says he is “delighted and terrified” to appear on the show. “All my past interviews about cases I was handling. This time, I have to be me. These guys have over a century of experience. I’m gonna look like Schmucky the Clown!

“But books are, as one title puts it, ‘A Gentle Madness.’” If this all goes pear-shaped, I’ll claim insanity.”

Henry Bemis Books can be found on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, and blogs at https://www.henrybemisbookseller.blogspot.com.

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