Saturday, April 2, 2011

Yes, I am a bibliophile...but I am not a book collector.

Yes, I know; that's a word you don't hear every day. Simply defined, a bibliophile is a lover of books. As anyone who pays attention to my online postings, either on Facebook or on here, knows that I post about them quite frequently. I often go to yard/garage sales, library sales, thrift stores and used bookstores in my area to find new ones. However, I don't usually hold on to them that long; once I'm finished with a book, I either trade it in to one of the used bookstores in my area, or donate it to the library where I volunteer.
That right there makes me unable to honestly call myself a book collector. Some people collect things such as books, figurines, or cards and then let them sit there and collect dust. I never did understand that myself, even when I was a kid. I still remember when some friends who lived in my neighborhood back in the late '90s had some Scooby-Doo comic books that they wouldn't let me read, despite the fact that I was fanatical about "those meddling kids" back then. Why wouldn't they let me? Simply because they needed to be kept mint if they were going to be worth anything. Even with things of my own, my Beanie Baby collection (which is now thankfully gone) was all dirty and beat up because I broke the first rule of Beanie collecting: They were not to be played with. I never saw the point of letting them sit around, so I played with them like crazy, and it ended up decreasing their value.
Some people might wonder if I'm a book dealer. Well...not exactly. The ways I specified above (trade-ins to used bookstores, donations to the library) are usually the only ways I get rid of books. Sometimes, my family will have a yard sale, and I'll put my books out there...but, even though I always sell right many, I'm usually left with quite a few after the sale is over, and pretty much all of the remaining literature ends up at one of those places. I seldom buy books just to re-sell them; the only time I do that is if I find a deal where you can have a whole bag of books for only a buck or two, and, although that's happened, it's quite rare. I almost always buy what interests me, not what I think will interest the general public. I can see why some people buy and re-sell things; if done correctly, it can be quite lucrative. Where I live, it seems like buying and re-selling is a common practice; I still remember back in late 2000, when the PS2 came out and there were at least seven or eight different ads for them in my local paper's Classified section, all of which were selling one for more than the MSRP. You might think only an idiot would buy a brand-new video game system from one of those people, but, back then, those things were in such high demand, people would have been glad to pay the higher price, because it would put a big smile on their kid's face that Christmas. That doesn't make me want to buy and re-sell things myself, but I still do understand why some people do it.
Any comments?

No comments: