Michael Dirda, the esteemed book critic at the Washington Post, conducts regular online chats with this readers. He often gets questions about where to find out-of-print books and he usually recommends AbeBooks.com. We’re always grateful for his support.
But this week he wrote…..
“Once I could have sold my books to any number of local used bookshops for a reasonable sum–now nobody much wants anything, aside from rarities–because everything is available online. I myself understand the attractiveness of being able to buy everything you want, but I don’t like the whole outlook. It’s like a billionaire buying a beautiful woman any time he wants one to sleep with–where’s the romance, where’s the excitement, the heartache, the attendant glories and sorrows of romance? Once it was exciting to go out ‘booking’–and there were scores of places to go. But now, now. To make everything freely available makes everything seem that much less interesting and desirable. But I begin to rant.”
Michael – things change. Making things (eg books) easily available on the Internet is a liberating experience. Are you going to love the hard-to-find book any less because you found it on the Internet being offered by a bookseller thousands of miles away from you? We know our customers visit bookstores as much as they use the Internet – the thrill of the chase still exists for most book buyers but they don’t want to ‘chase’ every time. Sometimes they want to turn the computer on and find the book.