Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, March 6:
New York Film Festival 2019
St Louis, Miami Jewish, RiverRun, Sebastopol Doc, Victoria
An affectionate portrait of NYC’s community of rare book dealers and collectors.
In an age of ebooks and eBay, rare book collecting seems doomed – but there’s still room for hope in DW Young’s loving look at the antiquarian trade. When NYC once boasted hundreds of bookstores, there are now fewer than 80 left, and those who attempt to make a living as bibliophiles face more of a struggle when competing with the instant gratification of online book searching and shopping. The industry has certainly contracted, becoming decidedly more niche in recent decades, but there are still stalwart book dealers trudging along, helping collectors find their treasured tomes, and encouraging younger people to pursue the thrill of the hunt, sometimes in surprising directions. Young’s film may not be the flashiest, and prone to digressions of varying interest, but this fits its general milieu – older, white, rarefied – though an attempt is made to showcase a slow diversification of the field, from more women claiming prominence (they were always in the business, but often sidelined), to people of color and younger individuals carrying on the torch or blazing their own trail. Despite whatever minor shortcomings the film may have technically or structurally, it succeeds in capturing the love of books with infectious charm.