We are living in a world where tech enables us to get most of our work done with ease. It is applicable to collecting antique books as well. There are lots of websites on the internet where you can buy antique books. You can simply visit one of them, browse through books available, and then spend your money to purchase what you want.
Should you get into the habit of collecting antique books?
It’s challenging for us as collectors of rare books and ephemera to hear someone ask, “Is book collecting worth it?” Creating a collection may deliver a lifetime of pleasure, from hunting for new pieces at home and abroad to meticulously categorizing them. And, if you’re fortunate, your collection may have enormous value for others as well. According to a survey undertaken by King’s College London academics, up to 30% of individuals engage in some type of collecting, ranging from books and ephemera to vacation mementos and memorabilia.
Psychologists have long tried to categorize and quantify the collecting desire, or what Nicholas Basbanes refers to as “gentle lunacy” among book collectors. While we can’t give you a scientific explanation as to why book collecting is worthwhile, we can tell you how the time, effort, and money you put into building your collection may turn into a lifelong endeavor and passion.
How technology is making your life easy with collecting rare books
Are you fed up with electronic communication, numerous digital e-readers, and music that only seems to be accessible through streaming platforms? Do you miss the days of analog technology, when you could stack actual books and listen to vinyl records? Shapero says creating a book collection might offer you the satisfaction of preserving a history that seems almost gone in some tiny manner. By discovering that pleasure, you may begin the process of resisting the twenty-first century’s digitalization and reminding yourself of the importance of real items in the tangible world.
But, apart from nostalgia and desire, there are a plethora of other motivations to engage in book collecting. Curating a library is so much more than a pastime. It becomes a one-of-a-kind creation for many.
The purpose of collecting antique books
One of the biggest reasons to start a book collection, and to continue developing that collection over time, is that it can be a thrilling experience. When visiting a new city, state, or nation, look for bookshops where you could discover unusual items to add to your collection. Of course, some cities are better than others, but it’s uncommon to visit a location without at least one bookstore or book market. Indeed, we’ve visited bookshops all throughout the country, even in little villages where you wouldn’t expect to find a fantastic shop offering rare and ancient books.
We’ve also visited bookstores and book fairs all over the world, some in locations you would assume, like London, Paris, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City, and others in places like Mumbai, Wellington, Johannesburg, and Jerusalem, where we were delighted to find flourishing rare booksellers.
Book collecting may also be a pleasant way to pass the time while relaxing on your couch or at your workplace. You may “spend” time exploring online for prospective additions to your collection since so many booksellers have online shops and participate in online marketplaces. Many auction houses now provide online bidding, enabling you to bid on a book or item of ephemera from the comfort of your own home.
Aside from the joy of discovering new items to add to your collection, building and maintaining a book collection may give you a feeling of accomplishment. While some individuals buy for mass-produced commercial goods that are likely to wind up in a landfill on a frequent basis, establishing a book collection may help you find purpose despite the challenges and disappointments that come with life. “A collection is a life’s work, you’ll want to know what will go where, who gets what,” Dave Haslam writes in his book A Life in Thirty-Five Boxes.
One of the benefits of collecting—certainly cataloguing—is the ability to impose control over life’s overall disarray. Even in the end, and beyond, a collector will aspire to be in command…” While Haslam’s article is about his record collection, his remarks may be applied to book collectors in general.
Learning for a Lifetime: Discovering as You Amass Your Collection
Building a book collection may introduce you to new ideas, texts, presses, authors, catalogers, typographers, graphic designers, retailers, and even places of the world you were previously unaware of. To be sure, building a book collection is a means to ensure your continued education even after you’ve left any scholastic context.
Investing in collecting
While your book collection does not need to be of market value to be valuable to you and others (such as scholars), it is often a monetary investment. You can find that your book collection is the most valuable investment you possess if you put together a collection with significant market worth. Even if the collection has little monetary worth, it may be a valuable intellectual asset. Indeed, you may be putting up a collection that will be of significant academic value to scholars in the coming years and decades.
As your collection grows and you gain more knowledge, you’ll think of new methods to add to it. For example, you might start a collection with first editions of Louis Erdrich’s works, but as you learn more about Indigenous literatures, you might expand it to include works by other Indigenous authors in the United States, such as Leslie Marmon Silko or Ray Young Bear, as well as Indigenous writers from other countries.
You could discover that your collection grows in other ways as well. If you start collecting Jorge Luis Borges’ works, for example, you can come across a number of intriguing independent presses that worked on translations and publishes of his works during the twentieth century, resulting in a new branch of your collection.