It is quite clear that our eyes are glued to screens more often than they are glued to paper. Perhaps this is a result of technological advances or because of a societal need for instant information, or perhaps a mix of both.
The truth is, no matter how digitalized our media and book collections become, there will always be a need for book collectors. New historical documents from hundreds of years ago are still being discovered to this day, and it takes a specially trained individual to be able to preserve these documents for today’s use.
Collecting antique books will likely become more commoditized as materials become more digital and their paper counterparts become rarities. For serious and amateur collectors alike, this could look like increased market value for rare and antique books.
A large element in the book collecting process particularly concerns the future of bookstores. Some local bookstores have thrived during the chaos of the pandemic, others have closed their doors for good. Large book retailers like Barnes and Noble have struggled for a much larger period of time to keep readers interested and their feet in the stores prior to the pandemic.
Perhaps the future of book collecting depends on how strongly individuals desire to keep physical copies of their favorite reads in their hands. For now, only time will tell.