Thoughts fall out before the head explodes!
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Booksellers, Are You Listening
From Private Library:
"As a "next generation" book collector, I'd also like to put in a few requests to the older generation, all of which could probably be summed up by the singular request that they quit treating the art of collecting as dead or dying!
Buying books online is only useful in so far as the collector knows what she is looking for, and the novice collector is less likely to know this than the more experienced. We need to see books and collections, and have access to librarians, other collectors and dealers. We need to be able to browse and ask questions. I often feel that dealers are responding to a difficult market by focusing exclusively on their known market, existing and deep-pocketed customers, with an eye on eventual (and imminent) retirement rather than the future of their businesses and the art. It's easier, in other words, to make yourself available primarily to people who know you and what they are looking for, with no worry about the accessibility or visibility of your shop because, really, in another 5-10 years you're just going to retire anyway. Online or "by appointment only" stores do little for a new collector.
Some more forward-thinking shops might want to begin by taking on apprentices. What better way to learn about the trade and art than to work in it? And I'd like to start building relationships with dealers who might still be around in twenty years."
Booksellers, are you listening...?
-posted by Nobius 8:23 PM #
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