May 29, 2022

Report: “Retail Might Be Struggling, But the Rich are Buying Rare Books”

From Bloomberg:

Even as independent bookstores struggle to survive, rare books and manuscripts have proven a rare bright spot in the industry. It’s almost like two businesses,” says Kenneth Gloss, the owner of Brattle Book Shop in Boston. “As far as the general used-book business, it’s been off.”


The resilience of the top of the rare book market is particularly notable, given the 20-year-long erosion of the rest of the market. “There’s less collectors and there’s less participation in terms of people coming to book fairs,” says [James] Gannon [director of rare books at Heritage Auctions]. “Many [rare] bookstores have closed up and gone to online-only business, and the reason is that people come into the shops, then go online and search for an item and find it cheaper.”

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.