June 2011 | Jonathan Shipley

Are Rare Book Dealers Threatened by the Digital Age? No.

No matter how many e-books are created, and how many tablets are created and how many new web platforms are made, there will still be a place that printed books will always rule -
the rare book market.

From a story in the Bend Bulletin...

"The fact that actual books are going to become more scarce really helps us doesn't it?" says Kim Herzinger, a retired literature professor and owner of the 7-year-old Left Bank books in New York City. "Books are going to be seen more and more as pretty and special objects," Herzinger says. "No one is going to say, 'I want to put my iPad on the shelf so that people can see what nice books I have.'"

Digital books may sell at a discount, but dealers expect that physical first editions of established collectibles will continue to appreciate. Scarce classics like a first edition of Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" already fetch thousands of dollars. A copy of the first folio edition of Shakespeare plays sold for more than $5 million in 2006.

"It is a completely different market," says Michael DiRuggiero, co-owner of the Manhattan Rare Book Co. in New York City. "The idea is that you want a piece of history. The first edition is the closest you get to the birth of a specific idea, cultural or scientific."