"The Kindle is convenient, but I don't want to read a book from a little screen," said Dennis Melhouse, owner of First Folio Rare Books in Paris, Tenn. "You're not going to get a signed copy of Leaves of Grass on the Kindle." Sure enough, Melhouse sells a copy signed by Walt Whitman. He'll sell it to you for $8,000. While his business is down 30 percent, he doesn't blame technology. It's the economy, he said.
But with some predicting that the printed word is facing extinction in the Digital Age, Saturday's turnout was proof that books are here to stay, said Sarah Smith, manager of the fair.
In fact, the rare and specialized book market will probably be better off as more and more books are published electronically, Smith said. With fewer books actually published, more books will qualify as rare and collectible, she reasons. "That's an optimistic guess on my part," she said. "But I truly believe that there is some core part of being human that needs to hold and see part of our history. It's amazing to hold something that was held once by Ben Franklin. That's not something you can get electronically."Source: tampabay.com.