Monday, December 26, 2016

We're celebrating our 40th anniversary all year long! Just the beginning of the savings!

We're celebrating 40 years of Lighthouse Books, ABAA during all of 2017 with special sales each month. Here's Michael Slicker, prorprietor of Lighthouse Books, ABAA, to tell about the sale in January. Watch for more videos during the year to hear about all of our sales.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Rare Book Moment: Terms you should know about leather bindings and what they mean

No. 22: Rare book appraiser Michael Slicker discusses various types of leather bindings and what the terms mean. Michael Slicker, a recognized authority on antiquarian books, has owned Lighthouse Books, ABAA in St. Petersburg, Florida, for 40 years. Michael Slicker's Rare Book Moment is recorded at Lighthouse Books, ABAA. Music by Jack Payne: Back to Those Happy Days

Friday, September 2, 2016

Rare Book Moment: The value is in the discovery of the story behind the book

No. 21: Rare book appraiser Michael Slicker discusses how the value of an antiquarian book may well be in the back story of the author or the book itself. Michael Slicker's Rare Book Moment is recorded at Lighthouse Books, ABAA in St. Petersburg, Florida. Music by Jack Payne: Back to Those Happy Days Lighthouse Books, ABAA specializes in antiquarian books, serving St. Petersburg, Tampa, the Tampa Bay area and all of Florida. In addition to rare books, Lighthouse Books, ABAA also offers expert antiquarian book appraisals.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

RARE BOOK 3D: 1893 poetry collection of John Warren, illustrated by Charles Ricketts

A couple of months ago, we introduced here new 3D photo technology that's shot with nothing more complicated than your cellphone. It's an app called Fyuse, and we instantly saw use for it here on our blog and elsewhere to show you selected volumes from our stacks. Now we're back with another installment. Let us know how you like it. It's easy to operate. Just click on the image and move it in either direction following the arrows to see the front or back of the book. You'll have the best experience if you click to enlarge the image first.  

RARE BOOK 3D: Here’s an amazing volume illustrated by renowned artist Charles Ricketts. Only 100 copies were published of this poetry book by John Warren, 3rd Baron de Tabley. Ricketts designed the cover with a gilt-stamped floral pattern on the front, rear, and spine. The collection is called Poems, Dramatic and Lyrical, and it was published in London by Elkin Mathews and John Lane at the Sign of the Bodley Head.

Author, artist and illustrator Charles Ricketts is best known for his book design and typography at The Vale Press, an enterprise established in 1895 by Ricketts and his partner Charles Shannon. It is name for their home in Hammersmith. The Vale Press is often seen as the earliest competitor of the better known Kelmscott Press.This poetry volume is an early example of the design work that would make The Vale Press famous.

John Warren was once a close friend of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and moved in English literary and artistic circles throughout his life. Although he created material in a variety of fields, he remains best known for his poetry.

Monday, July 25, 2016

We had a great time on Rare Book Cafe, a web-based talk show just for book lovers

We had a delightful time on Saturday appearing on Rare Book Cafe, the web-based talk show devoted entirely to rare books. It was good, as usual, to see Steven Eisenstein, the host of the show and owner of A-Book-A-Brac Shop in Miami Beach. Steven has been an exhibitor at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair for years. We've known Steven and his wife Edie for decades.

It was also good to meet a new co-host for the program, Lindsay Thompson, owner of Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte, North Carolina. Lindsay is a retired lawyer and is knowledgeable about a wide range of subjects. He is a terrific addition to the show.

Edie Eisenstein has a segment on the show called Miniature Corner, 

We missed our friend Thorne Donnelley, owner of Liberty Books  in West Palm Beach, who also is a regular exhibitor at the book fair each year. Thorne, who is a co-host on the show, was away at Rare Book School in Virginia. We're eager to hear tales of his adventures when he returns. T. Allan Smith, creator and executive producer of Rare Book Cafe, was in and out during the show.

We took the opportunity during our visit on the show ta couple of volumes from our recently acquired Martin L. Fackler Collection of surgery and gunshot wounds. Dr. Fackler was a military surgeon and distiguished researcher in forensic sciences. He was the author of more than 300 articles on would ballistics, body armor, and the treatment of wounds. We're offering these volumes as a collection. You can watch a replay of the program above. Toward the end of the program, we had to depart to tend to customers since we were broadcasting live from the store.

The Rare Book Cafe is live from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Saturday on If you enjoy rare books, it's time well spent. It's easy to get on Rare Book Cafe. From your desktop (or laptop) computer, sign into Twitter or Facebook. You should use a Firefox or Chrome browser. This system doesn't work with other browsers. Navigate to and follow the prompts to sign in. Once you're in, do a search on "Rare Book Cafe" and should easily find it.

You can also sign in on your iPhone or iPad. Be sure to download the app. Make sure you get the Blab app with the little purple space owl.

Thanks, Steven, Lindsay, and Allan for all  your work on this program on rare books, which is sponsored by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Lighthouse Books in 3D! Do you like it?

Well, we're trying a experiment here. There is a new smartphone app out called Fyuse and it's intended to make 3D photography available to the masses (read: ordinary folks who aren't likely to invest in a special 3-D camera but do have an iPhone). It's intriguing because of the possibilities it presents for showing antiquarian books in a whole new way and, potentially, to a new audience.

It's too early to tell how well Fyuse will be received but one thing we liked about it is that no special equipment is needed to view it. The scene at the top is inside the front entrance. If it's rotating wildly, just put your cursor over it and stop the scene anywhere you'd like. That's Mike at his desk amid unending appraisal work. Notice the book about lighthouses in the foreground as you pan around. How appropriate! And it clearly illustrates the 3D effect you get with this new app.

The bottom scene is a book about surgery from the 1500s. It's part of a collection of books on surgery we acquired recently, and quite an interesting find.

Of course, 3D photography has been around for eons, ever since a Victorian-era English scientist invented the stereoscope. In the earliest days of movies, filmmakers were tinkering with 3D effects and, of course, who can forget the legions of filmgoers wearing those paper-framed glasses with the red and blue lenses that made the likes of the Creature from the Black Lagoon scare the bejeebers out of everybody. Over the decades, the popularity of 3D has waxed and waned but 3D movies are still with us. These days, if you're a fanatic, you can even buy your own 3D camera. They cost, though.

Now all you need is a smartphone.

We're going to keep on doing these videos. VR or Virtual Reality has become popular these days. If you're a business owner, you can have a Google photographer come to your store and create 360-degree scenes. Well, this is pretty close to VR so we're going to do our own. So check back and you'll see more scenes inside Lighthouse Books, ABAA.

This has been a fun experiment for us. We kind of like the results. We hope you do, too.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Rare Book Moment: Signed copies and such

No. 20: Rare book appraiser Michael Slicker discusses signed books, inscribed books, and association copies. Michael Slicker, a recognized authority on antiquarian books, has owned Lighthouse Books, ABAA in St. Petersburg, Florida, for more than 35 years. Michael Slicker's Rare Book Moment is recorded at Lighthouse Books, ABAA. Music by Jack Payne: Back to Those Happy Days

Friday, March 4, 2016

At the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, we'll be in Alcove 3. We hope you'll come to see us!

The excitement builds as we approach time for the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. We've been sorting books and putting them in boxes for weeks now in preparation for the book fair. At this writing, we're only a week away, and as always, it seems like an insurmountable task to get all the selections made and everything ready for the short trek over to The Coliseum.

After 34 years, though, we know it'll all come together in the end.

We're looking forward to seeing many old friends who will be coming to town specifically for the book fair. We hope they'll make some time to take in some of the events that are a part of SunLit Festival, the springtime celebration of literature that begins today and runs through the next ten days, including the book fair next weekend. A lot of folks in town have been instrumental in building SunLit Festival 14 events in its inaugural year last year to more than 40 event this year. Follow the link to more information about the SunLit Festival.

When the book fair starts next weekend, you'll find us in Alcove 3, our usual spot. We'll have shelves and cases and tables full of all the books we specialize in, including Florida history, antique maps, vintage prints and more. We expect to see a lot of old friends both in the antiquarian book industry and book lovers who can't stay away from the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair.

Most people coming to the book fair know what to expect but sometimes we encounter book lovers who haven't experienced the book fair before, and invariably, they'll wonder if they will be able to find something that suits their tastes – and their wallet. For the newly initiated fairgoer, we say that you can rest assured that you'll find books of all types, from very rare and very expensive to remarkable inexpensive find of delightful reading copies. We always have a table of $5 books, and we know that many other booksellers do, too.

Above, we're sharing a video that is running on local television stations to promote the book fair. It was made by visitors to the book fair last year.

More later, but we've got to finish packing.

Friday, February 26, 2016

We're in the Tampa Bay Times this weekend

SCOTT KEELER | Times (2014)
We're humbled and honored to be featured in Piper Castillo's Nightstand column in the Tampa Bay Times this Sunday. Thank you, Piper, Thank you, Colette Bancroft, Times Book Editor. Thank you, Tampa Bay Times.

The column was part of Tampa Bay Times coverage of the SunLit Festival, which runs March 4-13. This is the second year for the springtime celebration of literature, and oh, my, how it has grown! Last year there were 14 events over ten days. This year there are 46 events in the same time period. We're grateful for the coverage the Tampa Bay Times is devoting to this endeavor that is made possible by the efforts of so many people and organizations in town dedicated to the written word. The Times' stories come out on Sunday but they're available online at the links above.

It is gratifying to see the attention being paid to the books, writing and reading during this time. The Florida Antiquarian Book Fair is now in its 34th year in the Tampa Bay area, and it's a pleasure to see the development of SunLit Festival. We're happy to be a part of it. When the book fair began, we held it at the University of Tampa in what once was railroad mogul Henry Plant's opulent Tampa Bay Hotel. It was a beautiful location but we've long since outgrown it. For many years now, we've been in The Coliseum in downtown St. Petersburg. It is a superb location for an antiquarian book fair.

We want to thank John Collins at the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, who has helped tremendously to facilitate the growth of the SunLit Festival, as well as other dedicated individuals such as Randi Hillesø at the Arts Alliance and Maureen McDole of Keep St. Pete Lit, who have worked so tirelessly to expand the vision.

We're' looking forward to a fun-filled SunLit Festival and Florida Antiquarian Book Fair.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Antiques, rare books, and cake! Oh, my!

We’ll be in Jacksonville this weekend for one of our favorite shows of the year — the Pilot Club of Jacksonville Antiques Show & Sale at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds Expo Center. We’ve done this show for many years and we’re always delighted to return. The show runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Florida history and Southern writers are well received at this show, so we’ve got plenty of selections as well as leather-bound books, antique books, and beautiful antique maps. We have a huge selection of maps in our map room, which is also our children’s library and our Civil War library. (Our regular visitors know exactly what we’re talking about.) Anyway, if you love antique maps (as we do) you owe it to yourself to come in and see our collection.

One thing patrons of the Pilot Club show always anticipate is the delicious desserts offered every year. It’s a side attraction to the antique furnishings, paintings, and, of course, antique books and maps, but sometimes you’d think it was the main attraction. We’ve seen otherwise reasonable antiquers come through the doors and make a beeline for the dessert table before looking at anything else. Oh, well! Life’s short! Eat dessert first.

German chocolate cake is always a favorite and we’ve no reason to believe that this year will be any different.

We’re always delighted to be working with Karyl DeSousa, the antiques show manager,  and Gail Pender, the dealer manager. The Pilot Club of Jacksonville is a volunteer service organization of professional businesswomen. The show supports the group’s charitable activities, helping the community.

The Pilot Club of Jacksonville was founded in 1921. The name was inspired by the riverboat pilots of the day “who represented leadership and guidance, staying on a steady course.” After 90 years, looks like the Pilot Club has lived up to that inspiration.

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 website, 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 36th annual book fair is set for April 21-23, 2017 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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