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I suppose I've been doing this for the past year: buying about a book a month. Mostly I've been doing it to learn about photographs, about composition, about books, about art. I don't think I could bring myself to treat them as investments for two reasons: 1) I'm not likely to sell them off later and 2) I can do without the hassle of worrying about their condition. I don't want to show someone a book and then hover around to make sure they don't bend the pages too much. I treat my books a little better than my cameras (which are tools and not objects to be babied) but they're not sacred to me and I don't want my enjoyment of them to depend on them being pristine. So I will continue to buy books and move them around and show them to people and try not to get them water damaged. Meanwhile I will open them and read them again and again and just generally enjoy the hell out of them. I do like that some people do view them as investments, though. Don't get me wrong. The more people there are interested in buying art objects, the better off life for a lot of art photographers will be. I think one thing that could energize the print and small-run book market would be a somewhat centralized resale marketplace. A place where you could determine how much your copy of The Americans is worth, or whether you might actually think about selling me your copy of Women are Beautiful.
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Dec 30, 2009