The Annual Rare Book Road Show IV Returns to International College in Naples July 17; Buying of Rare, Collectibel Books from the Public New To Road Show This Year

The annual Rare Book Road Show IV returns to Naples July 17 at International College’s North Naples campus, 2655 Northbrooke Drive. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the morning and afternoon speakers’ presentation is $15 and includes one free book appraisal.

In addition to appraisals and collectible book sales, Road Show patrons can expect a new feature added this year -- the buying of collectible books. Appraisers cannot buy the book they have been appraised; individuals must go to another dealer in an attempt to sell the collectible or rare book.

“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.

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

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

Wickham also believes the buying and sales 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 IV also will offer a wide variety of informative lecture topics, which runs from 9:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This years speakers schedule includes Mike Smith, International College Professor and Book Collector, “Things You Must Know About Collecting and Investing in Books,” Mary Sauer-Games, ProQuest Representative, “Creation of the Early English Books Online Project: From Oxford to Digital,” Brady Vogt, Private Naples Collector, “The Mutiny on the Bounty,” Sam Boldrick, Miami Dade Public Library Special Collections Librarian, “Disc Rot … What’s Next? Taking Care of What You’ve Got,” John Ingram, University of Florida, “Four Hundred Years of Natural History Come Alive in the Rare Book Collections at UF,” and John Berryman, Ormond Beach, “Book Collecting and Buying with the Advent of the Internet.”

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. 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 for the public to sell collectible books to the experts at the same time you have a book appraised,” said Melody Hainsworth, Vice President of Information Services and Resources. “I’m particularly excited about the Early English Books Online Project lecture. The sheer enormity of the project, which allows first-time access to early American authors, is truly innovative, particularly considering these books were previously only available in England. Conversely, John Berryman will enlighten us to the current ways to retrieve, buy, and evaluate books by using the Internet.”

Attendance to the event continues to grow. Last year there were about 400 participants. Looking to the future, the event will be moved to another location in 2006, Hainsworth said. She is in negotiations with the St. Petersburg-based Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association to produce the Rare Book Road Show. Up to 30 of the most prestigious book dealers are expected to participate in the expanded event.
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