Thursday, January 17, 2013

Booksellers on Video: The Cultural Academy Awards

Full-time antiquarian booksellers are pretty rare when you think about it -- often times rarer than the books they deal in.  There are only a few hundred of them in the United States.  They are purveyors and protectors of important printed material in a wide variety of fields.    Among them are some of my favorite people.  A first-hand visit with a professional antiquarian bookseller is a treat, and given the diversity of personalities and backgrounds involved, often an adventure.   One is lucky to have a handful of them, if that, living nearby depending on your location.  Vacations and trips offer other opportunities.  Book fairs are the primary conduit to meet a large number of such booksellers face-to-face.  However, even then, the time is limited, they are often distracted with customers (hopefully), and one is often left wondering about their background and experiences.  Many of the best booksellers are members of the ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers of America).  My friend Douglas Adams reminded me of the ABAA’s series of video interviews with member booksellers.  Although the videos are relatively short in length, usually 15 to 30 minutes, they provide a treasure trove of insight into origins and personalities.  Fellow booksellers Michael Ginsberg and Taylor Bowie conducted the interviews.  I highly recommend taking a look.  Get your popcorn ready.


  1. If you ever get to Vegas, stop in and visit. We love to talk to book lovers.