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January 17, 2012



Thanks thanks thanks for writing this! I couldn't agree more, as a 20-something in the book trade.

I find the question of cultivating another generation of people who care way more important than its infrequent discussion would suggest.

One problem I notice is that only once you're *in* the book trade do you feel a sense of the community; there is not enough outward reach for, for example, university programs that try to incorporate bibliography and book history into their requirements. And that means it's not something many think of as a career option.

It's surprising to me that neither sides (trade and academic) seem to have spoken to one another about this, especially because on the one hand the trade is shrinking, and on the other there's a crisis of job shortages in the humanities. Finally, this lack of communication reinforces stereotypes on both sides. And it's true, even if you've worked with them in a library or classroom, there is quite a learning curve to dealing with books in the trade, but that can be said for any new job and the learning curve isn't difficult so much as fun! I look at programs like the MA in History of the Book at University College London, &c. and wonder, why isn't there a more formal liaison between us and them?

I don't want to speak too generally, since I have been treated well at my job. But, there's only a handful of others who can say likewise.


Great article & entirely feel the same way.

I too am 30 and found my way into the book world through the love of books & then through used & rare realm.

Much like how paintings have thrived since the camera and LP records since the Tape/CD/MP3, solid state books will always be objects that are desired.

Bengali Books

Awesome article & I feel as your thinking. Super I love this type of writing.

Bangali Books

Your I am a big fan of journal. I have been reading your every articles


I agree, I'm 28 and I've been selling used and rare books for the last 7-8 years.


Wow, my son who is 14 can identify first editions in several categories of the children's genre and certainly in the others, including adult fiction. He is thrilled at finding a 1950s Little Golden Books with an "A" in the gutter of the last page, but like everyone else on the planet, when he spends 48 cents and makes $17.50 on one of dad's sales, his crank gets ratcheted. Some of the best rare book sellers I know are young people in their 20s and 30s. The keep the crumudgeons honest and competitive. Surprisingly, my son finds it pretty easy to talk with his peers about bookselling and the printing arts. I think he's special, but not unique at all.

Harold Queen

As an online bookseller, (I am 42), I fully expect to be selling books when I am 70 (If God grants me that many years!). Technology is great but somehow a shelf full of iPads, Nooks, Kindles, just doesn't give the same feeling as a shelf of books. Books are simple decorations that spruce up any room, not to mention the enjoyment one derives from reading them.

√úbersetzerin und Dolmetscherin

I think will be eBooks in future. My friends are prefer to use eBooks. you don't need to buy shelves, all will be in eBook.

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