Annual Rare Book Road Show III Returns to International College July 19

The annual Rare Book Road Show III returns to Naples July 19 at International College’s North Naples campus, 2655 Northbrooke Drive. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to having collectible books appraised, Road Show patrons can expect a new feature added this year -- the selling of collectible books.

“We wanted to offer a more well-rounded show and give book lovers and buyers more variety,” said Carolyn Volz, Access Services Librarian for International College and Road Show organizer.

Two regionally-known experts will appraise antique, rare, and fine books, as well as sell collectible books during the event. They are: Steven Eisenstein, owner, A-Book-A-Brac Shop, in Miami Beach, and Bill Wickham, owner, Wickham Books, in Naples. Expert John Berryman, from Palm Beach, also will appraise books.

“The selling of books adds another dimension to the Rare Book Road Show,” said Eisenstein, who is participating for the third year. “Hopefully, this opens up the Road Show to a whole new market of book lovers.”

Wickham also believes the sale of collectible books will draw a more diverse crowd.

“Bookstores and garage sales can offer pretty slim pickings. The Rare Book Road Show will give people another opportunity to see collectible books they wouldn’t normally see elsewhere,” Wickham said.

Wickham and Eisenstein plan on selling first printings, hard-to-come by, and scarce books on various subjects in fiction and nonfiction. Books will range in price from a few dollars to several thousands of dollars.

The Rare Book Road Show III also will offer a wide variety of informative lecture topics including the historical rarities of the Pirates of the Caribbean, book care, preservation and value, illustrated book collection, and identifying collectible books at library and garage sales. Admission to the morning and afternoon speakers’ presentation is $15 and includes one free book appraisal.

Those attending Jay I. Kislak Foundation Curator Arthur Dunkleman’s discussion, “Reefs, Wrecks and Rascals: Historical Rarities of Pirates of the Caribbean,” will learn about the early written records of books and manuscripts from and about pirates in the New World. Dunkleman will share accounts, both fictional and true, to give the audience a better understanding of how pirates joined explorers, settlers, traders and military men in shaping the history and culture of the newly found continent. A selection of pirate-related books and manuscripts also will be on display, courtesy of the Kislak Foundation.

Eisenstein chose his topic of discussion, “How to Identify and Sell Collectible Books Often Found at Library and Garage Sales,” due to its extreme popularity with novice and serious book collectors.

“I’ve been lecturing since 1980 and have been in the rare book business for 32 years. The subject of identifying and selling collectible books found at garage and library sales is a topic everybody wants to know about,” he said. “More people know the value of coins, stamps and objects of art than they know about the value of books they own.”

During the hour-long discussion, Eisenstein will teach his audience book collecting terminology, how to identify first editions, and how to recognize and describe book condition.

The Road Show also will feature a display of miniature books titled, “Art of the Book – Miniature Style.” The collection is that of Naples resident Pat Pistner. Pistner is a member of the Miniature Books Society and a collector of miniature books. Her miniature books are on display at the Naples Museum of art as part of the Pistner House. Pistner’s collection includes more than 1,400 volumes.

International College is hosting the Rare Book Road Show to tie in with the Peter and Stella Thomas Special Collections Room, housed at the College’s Information Resource Center. The Thomas Room, named by the Thomases in 2000, contains about 2,000 old and rare books, some dating back to the 1770s. The books were donated to the College by Fort Myers resident Elizabeth Mysiewicz and are mainly about Far Eastern religion, folklore and art. Peter and Stella Thomas are longtime Naples residents and Mr. Thomas is narrator for PBS’s “Nova” science documentaries. The collection is catalogued and preserved through a grant from the state’s Division of Library and Information Services.

"The library faculty looks forward every year to coordinating this series for the public. New this year is the opportunity to buy collectible books from the experts at the same time you have a book appraised,” said Melody Hainsworth, Vice President of Information Services and Resources. “Also, the lecture about Pirates of the Caribbean fits nicely with people's interest about pirates, in general, and due to the upcoming Disney movie. It also fits with the mystery of pirates in Key West. This is a first-class, day long event."
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