the booksellers

DIRECTOR: D. W. Young (Too Cold to Swim, The Happy House)

documentary

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

A behind-the-scenes look at the New York rare book world.

As we came out of lockdown one of the places I was desperate to get back to was somewhere with lots of books. I had desperately missed going into my local bookshop or library and perusing through books of all different shapes, stories and subjects. 

 

The Booksellers takes the sunlit, nostalgic quest of finding that next book and dives into it head first. You won’t want to put it down. 

 

The Booksellers dives into the fascinating world of rare book dealers and collectors. Dreamers, intellectuals, eccentrics, these antiquarians play an essential role in preserving the history and future of the printed word. A loving celebration of book culture, the documentary offers a rare glimpse of many unique objects and the obsessive hunt for the next great find; from Da Vinci’s The Codex Leicester (the most expensive book ever sold) to essential early hip-hop documents.

 

If there ever was a smorgasbord of a film about a particular subject The Booksellers is it. It covers everything from the history of books and their manufacturer, to booksellers, to the rare and the people that populate this eccentric pursuit and everything in between. 

This is an absolute treat for booklovers, lovers of history and those with a nostalgic bent. It will take you right back to those carefree childhood days when all you needed was a quiet shaded spot under a tree and a good book. The Booksellers captures this sense and much more beside and as well as looking lovingly back into the past, it gives a hope filled vision for the future of bookselling. 

 

The Booksellers, due to its runtime and that it attempts to cover too much material, doesn’t dive particularly deep into its subject matter but in the end it doesn’t really take away from it being a wonderful watch. 

 

The Booksellers is a beautiful, nostalgic journey into the wonderful world of the humble book. 

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