Old Scrolls Book Shop made the front page of the Messenger Post this week. Our area newspaper, alarmed by the struggles and impending closings of big chain book stores such as Borders, decided to do a story on some of the remaining independent book stores in our area. Although many used & rare book stores are having their own struggles for a variety of reasons (high overhead costs, rising charges from middlemen for listing books on the internet, competition from e-reading devices, to name just a few), independent booksellers are a tenacious lot. And we love what we do.
There’s an old saying that “you’ll never get rich as a used & rare book dealer, unless you started out that way.” But to eke out a decent living is possible, with hard work and constant attention to acquiring further knowledge of the trade, searching for great books, and providing excellent customer service. And what a rich life it is, to be doing something you love and believe in, something which inspires learning and brings you in contact with others who value literature, knowledge, and the printed word. It’s a trade that’s been around for hundreds of years, and it will continue.
There will always be people who cherish real books and want to own them rather than just rent the story. There’s a world of difference between stopping into a big box store to buy the latest best seller or downloading text on an e-reader, and browsing in a vintage book shop. Searching for a book in a used & rare book store involves chance and serendipity, and is much more like a treasure hunt. The variety of textures, subjects and voices is so much greater. Who knows what forgotten gem one might stumble upon?
From Old Scrolls Book Shop, thanks to all our customers who have an appreciation for what we do, and who believe in the value of real books!