How to be a book dealer

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how to be a book dealer

Love Books? Why Not Become a Book Reseller?

Top reasons for becoming a book dealer reported to surveyors included low capital needs, making own hours, able to work from home and enjoy searching for lost book treasures. You can become a book dealer while still working a full-time job, and little to no experience is required. Determine the type of store you want to have to sell your books. Brick-and-mortar stores can be opened or you can operate an online marketplace for books. Websites such as eBay, Alibris and Amazon. Register your business with the Internal Revenue Service.
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Published 29.06.2019

Becoming a Rare Book Dealer

8 Tips For Becoming An Instagram Book Dealer

Looking to start a business in a bad economy? Think used. Think frugal. Think timeless. Think book resellers. Would you do it?

You probably think most rare book dealers are bona fide bookworms. And you'd be right. These people are ravenous when it comes to books. They swarm like an invasive species when an uber-rare book surfaces. They wouldn't turn much of a profit if they ate their own books.

F or someone who loves old and rare books, buys and sells them, Ed Maggs hardly comes across as bookish, more of an energetic sporting type. But then, Maggs, 51, had ambitions of becoming a reggae superstar — not quite what his parents had in mind after an expensive private education at Westminster. Maggs played in a band called Talkover, worked as a DJ in various minor clubs and in department store stockrooms and other undemanding jobs, before fetching up like a prodigal son in the family business he initially wanted to avoid. Avoiding the travel section, which was his father's speciality, Maggs — who liked literature — was drawn to the modern titles section run by William Lent, a man who "didn't read anything new" and "who if he didn't like you, told your to your face". Maggs must have done something right. Despite the nepotism, he took over the section and has been managing director of Maggs Bros Rare Books for the last 10 years.

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I've been a dealer for over 30 years, and I still don't understand, quite, how the rare book trade works, or how so many of us make a living from it. A customer of mine, a super-accountant of apparently unlimited means, once observed to me that "whatever book dealing is, it isn't a business. I issued my first catalogue of literary first editions for sale in , while a full-time member of the University of Warwick English department. I had been a hobbyist collector for some 20 years, buying books and letters by 20th century writers, and had learned a certain amount about rare books. Values, issue points and methods of book description, that sort of stuff. But I knew nothing about how the business works, save what I could observe by hanging round Blackwell's or Maggs Brothers. Which is like trying to understand the principle of locomotion by watching trains go by.

Once upon a time I found out that I was related to Oscar Wilde. If you had told any of my fifth grade friends that I was related to a legendary Irish wit, indeed maybe the only wit that ever mattered, who also happened to be a homosexual, they would have snickered like children do when they have a preconceived notion that a word is funny. Most of them probably had no idea what wit meant, let alone what it meant to be witty. Hope was important in grade school. I figured up until this point that I was part of the most boring, average family from which one could descend.


  1. Ryan L. says:

    Instagram book dealer Adam Axler's biggest sale to date, a U.

  2. Lakeisha M. says:

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  3. Marmion T. says:

    Booksellers come in all shapes and forms.

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