Taken together all the many ways that dealers sell amounts to a stew that for each seller is unique. How the elements of specialty, examples and price come together– are what makes the rare book magic, something that is rarely easy but always possible. To that Peter Stern, the Boston rare book dealer adds, “There is no right way to do things. What is successful today may sputter tomorrow.” The book business, which for generations was a noun, has become a verb and a fast moving one at that.
All these options are possibilities for sellers. On the other side buyers can consider the dealer’s predicament and help. Buyers will always buy. It’s in their blood but they can also consider the well being of the field and reward professional conduct. I try to do this and find it well worth the effort. Loyalty, built up over years if not decades, may turn out to be the crucial ingredient for a trade in transition.
Links to booksellers interviewed for or referenced in this article in alphabetical order:
Stephen Blackmer, Chanticleer Books www.chanticleerbooks.com
Carl Blomgren, Carl Blomgren Fine Books email@example.com
Scott DeWolfe, DeWolfe and Wood www.dwbooks.com
George Fox, the rainmaker at PBA Galleries www.pbagalleries.com
Will Monie, Willis Monie Books www.wilmonie.com
Jeremy Norman, HistoryofScience www.historyofscience.com
Ken Sanders, Ken Sanders Rare Books www.kensandersbooks.com
Garrett Scott, Garrett Scott, Bookseller www.bibliophagist.com
Peter Stern, Peter L. Stern and Company www.sternrarebooks.com