But book collecting is “an acquired taste,” Mason notes. “If there are no bookstores, how does a young collector find out he’s a collector? If you don’t have exposure to older books, to other books – and where can you find such a thing except in a bookstore? – if kids aren’t coming into bookstores to look for the $5 book, they’re never going to discover the beauty and the pleasure in buying a $100 book or a $1,000 book.”
Exactly. The only people who will are the ones who would never read it to begin with — bankers, stockbrokers, film producers, and similar monied helots who need objects to measure the size of their dicks. If book collecting is what book publishing is counting on to preserve “The Book,” it’s all over. I know a guy whose basement is filled with toys and things he hoarded because he gambled on them being collectibles in twenty years. When he needed money and tried to sell them, he discovered what he really had — a basement full of junk. Antiques Roadshow will not save print publishing!