The Booksellers | Chicago Reader
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The Booksellers

“Collecting is about the hunt. It’s not about the object.” So says one of the many book collectors and sellers featured in D.W. Young’s documentary. The Booksellers takes a deep dive into the sometimes wacky, often overlooked world of rare and antique books, taking a closer look at everything from independent sellers who refuse to cave to real-estate pressure to original archival works of Black and Brown writers. The Booksellers starts off fun, highlighting the early beginnings of the industry and originators like Martin Stone. But the film doesn’t gloss over the dark side of the industry. One interviewee discusses how the growth in e-books has threatened the future of bookselling: “The rise of the Internet . . . has made being a used bookseller almost impossible.” Another discusses the need to eradicate the boys’ club culture of the industry that often excludes people of color and women. The documentary hits a few snags toward the climax with a slower pace, potentially losing some viewers’ interest. But for those that can stick it through, they’ll find a unique gem of a movie that they might not know they’re missing.

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