Rare and antiquarian books is a broad category and encompasses manuscripts, medieval handwritten pages, first prints and first editions of both fiction and nonfiction and even some contemporary publications.
One might think that in this age of Kindle and Nook, when used book stores are rapidly disappearing and real estate is at a record premium, that the world of rare book collecting should be similarly declining. However the rarefied world of rare book collecting is not a dying art and a rich field of booksellers continues to operate.
Technology may, in fact, help to facilitate rare book collecting, as buyers are able to locate and acquire sought-after books online sometimes more effectively than if they browsed one place after another. “I’ve put together two or three collections that I wouldn’t have been able to assemble as comprehensively and in such a short period of time without the Internet,” said Eric Holzenberg, a collector of books on architecture and the decorative arts, as well as director of New York City-based The Grolier Club.