Catalogue: Rulon-Miller Books, #142 LO AND BEHOLD

Rulon-Miller Books' latest catalogue bears the dedication "to young booksellers everywhere" and the following on the front cover:

LO AND BEHOLD, LO AND...Oh never mind. You are looking at yet another catalogue, extensively illustrated with words [...] being number 142 in the sequence. The books herein are priced under $500, and have been recently checked against others on line (where there were others on line) and the prices reduced, often comically. Yet, the books remain as good (or even fine) as they ever were, and the knowledge and learning they impart seem, in this turbulent era, even more alive and true than they might have seemed last century.

This is not a catalogue review (though there are many excellent items, over 1000 [!]; the catalogue -- and the cover -- can be viewed here). Rather, the mixture of market realism and bibliographic optimism expressed in the above paragraph simply struck me as particularly emblematic of this particular moment in bookselling. For both the "young bookseller" and the collector, the balance Rulon-Miller describes suggests (at least to me) the proper path forward: with an understanding of how the internet (and e-readers, and...) are influencing the trade, but also with a vision of and appreciation for the book's continued vitality.

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