Do People Still Buy Books ?
I’ve considered the question are books dead in the past and I am minded to consider the idea with renewed vigour at present.
Though I really only masquerade as a book dealer nowadays I still have a considerable presence on the internet with a fair number of hand-picked books (all remarkably good value to those who may be interested ) .
Sales seem slower, though ‘sales’ is perhaps the wrong word, than ever I can remember.
It’s certainly true that selling books on the internet is something that has been in decline for some years now - but this seems like something different.
There are the much vaunted ebook readers currently being pushed by several retailers but these are neither here nor there at present. There is also the so called credit crunch - times are undoubtedly harder for everyone and who needs a collectable book ?
It would be interesting to know if anybody who reads this buys secondhand or used books online !
Be they readers or collectors !
I personally believe a lot is generational, some is bad experience from dubious ebayers - amateur booksellers - and those who simply sell in ignorance of condition importance and the rest over supply in the market.
Books that were once difficult to come across in person are now readily available online - therefore the gloss tends to come off them in the eyes of book collectors.
Genuinely rare books I find still sell easily and for good money it’s the more mid range and generally once regarded as, collectable books that appear to be all but untellable.
Amazon is littered with books at a penny that would once have sold for £15 to £25 often considerably more.
Will it recover or is the time of book collecting all but over ?
People will always collect books but will they continue to do so in any number ?
Time will tell !
I can’t see into the future but one thing I do know is that things in this arena that take a dip or drop off never recover the lost ground
Regards to all
Rod - former bookseller