New documentary film: The Booksellers

Coming out this week (March 6), looks great!

Antiquarian booksellers are part scholar, part detective and part businessperson, and their personalities and knowledge are as broad as the material they handle. They also play an underappreciated yet essential role in preserving history. THE BOOKSELLERS takes viewers inside their small but fascinating world, populated by an assortment of obsessives, intellects, eccentrics and dreamers.

Executive produced by Parker Posey, the film features interviews with some of the most important dealers in the business, as well as prominent collectors, auctioneers, and writers such as Fran Lebowitz, Susan Orlean, Kevin Young and Gay Talese. Both a loving celebration of book culture and a serious exploration of the future of the book, the film also examines technology’s impact on the trade, the importance of books as physical objects, the decline of used and rare bookstores, collecting obsessions, and the relentless hunt for the next great find.

Playing at The Quad in NYC this weekend:

With some special appearances / Q&As at these showings:

  • Friday 3/6 7pm
  • Sat. 3/7 2:30pm and 7pm
  • Sun. 3/8 2:30pm and 4:45pm

Thinking of going to one of these, not sure yet but maybe the Sat. 2:30pm showing? (That one features a Q&A w/ the Director + owner of the Strand). Anyone interested?

Also, Left Bank Books, one of the stores featured, is pouring drinks 5-8pm on Friday, so could meet there before the Friday screening which also works! (They’re giving 15% off any purchase w/ ticket stub from the film, so could stop by after the Saturday showing to browse…)

(Limited release but looks like it’s playing in ~20 other cities as well, see here!)

Just a quick update to mention that I did see this film and really enjoyed it! While the focus on antiquarian booksellers is not typically the slice of book culture I’m most interested in, they did a good job interviewing a diverse lineup of booksellers and adjacent ~people of book culture~ and it was nicely done. Very interesting to learn about how the world of collecting and selling physical books continues to evolve.