The Conscience of a Collector
As the years go by and his first editions gain in value, a once starry-eyed book collector is faced with questions beyond price.
1. A Rediscovery
On a spring trip to Oregon in 2005 to look at colleges, my son and I stopped at Powell’s bookstore in downtown Portland—a vast emporium of the printed word. After browsing for several hours, I discovered a magnificent rare-book room on an upper floor. To enter it was to penetrate a hushed sanctuary, a glass-enclosed, carpeted space with an entirely different ambiance from the rest of the store. Another hour passed as I browsed the modern first editions. I could easily have spent a whole day in there, grazing over titles, authors, bindings, covers, inscriptions, dedications. I had come home.
If you want ...
Research, browse, and discover more than 35 years of articles, essays, and reviews by preeminent scholars and writers. Our searchable archive of back issues is free for WQ subscribers.
Jeffrey Scheuer is the author of The Big Picture: Why Democracies Need Journalistic Excellence (2007) and The Sound Bite Society: How Television Helps the Right and Hurts the Left (2001).more from this author >>