13 Secrets of Rare Book Dealers | Mental FlossYou probably think most rare book dealers are bona fide bookworms. And you'd be right. These people are ravenous when it comes to books. They swarm like an invasive species when an uber-rare book surfaces. They wouldn't turn much of a profit if they ate their own books.
13 Secrets of Rare Book Dealers
Top reasons for becoming a book dealer reported to surveyors included low capital needs, making own hours, able to work from home and enjoy searching for lost book treasures. You can become a book dealer while still working a full-time job, and little to no experience is required. Determine the type of store you want to have to sell your books. Brick-and-mortar stores can be opened or you can operate an online marketplace for books. Websites such as eBay, Alibris and Amazon. Register your business with the Internal Revenue Service. If you are operating as a sole proprietorship, you are required to receive an Employer Identification Number for tax purposes see Resource.
I've been a dealer for over 30 years, and I still don't understand, quite, how the rare book trade works, or how so many of us make a living from it. A customer of mine, a super-accountant of apparently unlimited means, once observed to me that "whatever book dealing is, it isn't a business. I issued my first catalogue of literary first editions for sale in , while a full-time member of the University of Warwick English department. I had been a hobbyist collector for some 20 years, buying books and letters by 20th century writers, and had learned a certain amount about rare books. Values, issue points and methods of book description, that sort of stuff.
Oct 8, Ed Maggs just isn't bookish: he's a former DJ and wannabe reggae star. But he loves buying and selling old books in the age of the internet.
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Once upon a time I found out that I was related to Oscar Wilde. If you had told any of my fifth grade friends that I was related to a legendary Irish wit, indeed maybe the only wit that ever mattered, who also happened to be a homosexual, they would have snickered like children do when they have a preconceived notion that a word is funny. Most of them probably had no idea what wit meant, let alone what it meant to be witty. Hope was important in grade school. I figured up until this point that I was part of the most boring, average family from which one could descend. We were just another middle class family in a small town in New Jersey. How tragic, I thought; nothing exciting will ever happen.
In the digital age, the rare book trade might seem like an antiquated trend from a bygone era, known for its dusty tomes and pedantic old men. Thanks to the internet, information on this esoteric subject is now widely available, and more people than ever are learning about book collecting. Dealers are also handling a wider variety of material, and these fresh perspectives are electrifying a once-sleepy, rarified world. With these developments, the trade has changed more in the last 20 years than in the last Rebecca Romney , a rare book dealer based in Brooklyn, shares some secrets and surprises of this quirky corner of book culture with Mental Floss in this list. In book collecting, supply and demand are king. The only books old enough to be highly sought-after just for their age are those printed in the s, from the earliest years of printed books in the West.