Bookselling is the commercial trading of books which is the retail and distribution end of the publishing process. People who engage in bookselling are called booksellers, bookpeople, bookmen, or bookwomen. The founding of libraries in 300 BC stimulated the energies of the Athenian booksellers.
In Rome, toward the end of the republic, it became the fashion to have a library, and Roman booksellers carried on a flourishing trade.
The spread of Christianity naturally created a great demand for copies of the Gospels, other sacred books, and later on for missals and other devotional volumes for both church and private use.The modern system of bookselling dates from soon after the introduction of printing. In the course of the 16th and 17th centuries the Low Countries for a time became the chief centre of the bookselling world. Modern book selling has changed dramatically with the advent of the Internet. With major websites such as Amazon, eBay, and other big book distributors offering affiliate programs, book sales have now, more than ever, been put in the hands of the small business owner.
Bookstores (called bookshops in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and most of the Commonwealth, apart from Canada) may be either part of a chain, or local independent bookstores. Stores can range in size offering from several hundred to several hundred thousand titles. They may be brick and mortar stores or internet only stores or a combination of both. Sizes for the larger bookstores exceed half a million titles. Bookstores often sell other printed matter besides books, such as newspapers, magazines and maps; additional product lines may vary enormously, particularly among independent bookstores. Colleges and universities often have their own student bookstore on campus that focuses on providing course textbooks and scholarly books, although some on-campus bookstores are owned by large chains such as WHSmith or Waterstone's in the United Kingdom, or Barnes & Noble College Booksellers in the United States, which is a private firm controlled by the chair of Barnes & Noble.
Another common type of bookstore is the used bookstore or second-hand bookshop which buys and sells used and out-of-print books in a variety of conditions. [ citation needed ]A range of titles are available in used bookstores, including in print and out of print books. Book collectors tend to frequent used book stores. Large online bookstores offer used books for sale, too. Individuals wishing to sell their used books using online bookstores agree to terms outlined by the bookstore(s): for example, paying the online bookstore(s) a predetermined commission once the books have sold. In Paris, the Bouquinistes are antiquarian and used booksellers who have had outdoor stalls and boxes along both sides of the Seine for hundreds of years, regulated by law since the 1850s and contributing to the scenic ambience of the city.
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Borders Group, Inc. was an international book and music retailer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In its final year, the company employed about 19,500 people throughout the U.S., primarily in its Borders and Waldenbooks stores.
Barnes & Noble, Inc., is an American bookseller. It is a Fortune 1000 company and the bookseller with the largest number of retail outlets in the United States. As of March 7, 2019, the company operates 627 retail stores in all 50 U.S. states. In August 2019, Elliott Management Corporation acquired the company.
Book collecting is the collecting of books, including seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining whatever books are of interest to a given collector. The love of books is bibliophilia, and someone who loves to read, admire, and collect books is called a bibliophile.
W & G Foyle Ltd. is a bookseller with a chain of seven stores in England. It is best known for its flagship store in Charing Cross Road, London. Foyles was once listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest bookshop in terms of shelf length, at 30 miles (48 km), and for number of titles on display. It was bought by Waterstones in 2018.
Bookstore tourism is a type of cultural tourism that promotes independent bookstores as a group travel destination. It started as a grassroots effort to support locally owned and operated bookshops, many of which have struggled to compete with large bookstore chains and online retailers.
An independent bookstore is a retail bookstore which is independently owned. Usually, independent stores consist of only a single actual store. They may be structured as sole proprietorships, closely held corporations or partnerships, cooperatives, or nonprofits. Independent stores can be contrasted with chain bookstores, which have many locations and are owned by large corporations which often have other divisions besides bookselling.
AbeBooks is an e-commerce global online marketplace with seven websites that offer books, fine art, and collectables from sellers in over 50 countries. Launched in 1996, it specialises in used, rare and out-of-print books. AbeBooks has been a subsidiary of Amazon since 2008.
John Waynflete Carter was an English author, diplomat, bibliographer, book-collector, antiquarian bookseller and Vice-President of the Bibliographical Society of London. He was the great-grandson of Canon T. T. Carter.
The antiquarian book trade in the United States is an aspect of book collecting and publishing. The term antiquarian, in general, refers to antiquities and collectible items usually considered old and rare, usually in reference to books, but is not limited to books. The word antiquarian could also be used to describe a person who collects rare books or other antique items.
The Rare Book Hub is a website for the buying, selling and collecting of rare and antiquarian books. It was founded in 2002 in San Francisco by rare book collector Bruce McKinney with the aim of offering hard to find information about book collecting to the public. From a start of providing a subscription database of bibliographic records, the company now offers many related services, mostly at no charge. The company at first specialized in the Americana book field, but quickly expanded to all types of antiquarian and rare books, ephemera, manuscripts, prints, photographs, and other works on paper.
Used bookstores buy and sell used books and out-of-print books. A range of titles is available in used bookstores, including in print and out-of-print books. Book collectors tend to frequent used book stores. Large online bookstores offer used books for sale, too. Individuals wishing to sell their used books using online bookstores agree to terms outlined by the bookstore(s): for example, paying the online bookstore(s) a predetermined commission once the books have sold.
Book store shoplifting is a problem for book sellers and has sometimes led stores to keep certain volumes behind store counters.
The Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA) is a trade association of independent used and rare booksellers who sell online.
The Private Libraries Association (PLA) came into being in 1956 when 18-year-old Philip Ward wrote a letter to the Observer inviting booklovers and book collectors to attend a meeting to discuss the setting up of an association whose aims would be:-
Albert Henry Spencer, often referred to as A. H. Spencer, was an Australian bookseller. He was a specialist in antiquarian bookselling and Australiana and established the Hill of Content bookshop in Melbourne, one of that city's "finest bookshops". He has been called "one of the last links with an heroic age of Australian bookselling and collecting".
As of 2018, several firms in the United States rank among the world's biggest publishers of books in terms of revenue: Cengage Learning, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill Education, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, and Wiley.
The selling of books dates back to ancient times. The founding of libraries in 300 BC stimulated the energies of the Athenian booksellers. In Rome, toward the end of the republic, it became the fashion to have a library, and Roman booksellers carried on a flourishing trade.