Book collecting represents expanding your knowledge, a challenge, capturing beauty, and more. For the true book collector, this addiction begins slowly and eventually builds to a crescendo. Book collecting can focus on an author, a subject, a specific book binder, printer or publisher. The true collector builds the collection over years finding pleasure in growing and nurturing the collection. Pleasure comes in the expansion of knowledge related to the collection, in the beauty of the books themselves, and in the sharing knowledge of the collection with others of like mind. The final challenge comes when it is time to de-access the collection. This may come from the book collectors themselves or potentially from their family. More and more book collections are being given or sold to libraries or other institutions. While this is very noble, and on the surface, appears to be a great idea, the reality of the situation is quite different. Institutions often take months if not years to catalog a collection. More times than not, they do not have space to host the collection. So, the challenge of a lifetime gets stored away.
There is another choice – sell your books – put them back on the market for the next collector to continue the quest. The sales from the books can be donated to the library or institution to whom you would have given the books. Robert Hoe, one of the founders of The Grolier Club in New York City,whose company manufactured printing presses, argued to sell or send to auction, one’s collection, was giving other collectors a chance to build or add to their collections. Consider sharing it forward!