2011 – No Turning Back

- by Susan Halas

All kinds of tablets e readers

Electronic reading grew rapidly.

A frequently heard comment was the value of buying well. Some bought solo, other bought with partners but they bought to turn and turn they did.

In fact the happiest moments for the traditionalist were the goose bumps they got when the long sought rarity finally landed in their lap at the right price. “I touched the paper and I knew it was the real thing. I can’t describe it, the hair on my arms stood straight up. I was so happy. I’d wanted it for years.”

Despite the advent of digital readers, and bottom-dollar mega marketers, top-of-the-line book collectors are still with us. Said one long time buyer: “Today’s collector may own an iPad, but he or she is still interested in books, real books. Often that taste has expanded to include photos, maps, art and all that that implies. The internet has made ephemera more accessible and also more desirable, and more and more the collectors are adding ephemera to their book collections.”

“Obviously,” one dealer said, “they’re not going to be collecting e-books, at least in their present format. In one way e-books are good. It separates out the junk. If we can get rid of the cheap and common by moving it over to the e-readers, I say ‘Hooray!’”

It also seems the old school still saves the good stuff for the favored customers and the live presentation. There were many comments on the benefits of repeat customers and also of exhibiting at shows.

“Shows have been good for us,” was a common theme. “If you can’t sell then you buy; if you can’t buy then you drink. All else fails at least you can say you had a good time.”

Reach writer Susan Halas at wailukusue@gmail.com.