Good thinking

June 14, 2006 at 1:33 pm Leave a comment

I was just thinking about what makes people want to start collecting rare books and was googling around and stumbled on an article linked off The article is just a link through to 24/7 Press Releases. And refers to this concept of selling "starter packs" for new book collectors. Two things struck me about this. Firstly, the bookseller that is doing this has released a press release about it, which must be doing good them some good in raising their profile a little. But at the same time, this is actually a really clever idea. It seems to me that the whole rare book trade is somewhat closed to mister joe public, and a number of years back I would never have even considered collecting rare books, just on the grounds that I didn't know much about them and that stuff was best left to whoever does that sort of stuff. This industry definitely needs new blood, and encouraging new collectors is one of the best things anybody could do at the moment.

A few weeks back I bumped into a lawyer and we chatted about what each of us did. He was fascinated that I worked at an antiquarian bookstore and was genuinely interested in the sorts of things that we stocked. He had a close business friend who was getting married in the next few weeks and he wanted to give him something unique and lasting. I suggested he have a browse around our shop. Unfortunately, when I met up with him again, he had given up. He said that he didn't really know what would constitute a fair investment or how to find something that would make a great gift within his budget. He had ended up resorting to buying something else. What he really needed was a bit of guidance. And collections like these, would have made the sale.

Lets hope some other booksellers run with similar ideas. 


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