"Wanted Dead or Alive: Used Books" was the headline in The New York Times story about a huge auction of some 300,000 books. Larry McMurtry, the best selling novelist of stories set in the Southwest, had started a used book business in 1988 in Archer City, Texas, his hometown. The story had grown to four buildings, and he, at 76, had decided to get rid of a part of the stock in order to make it manageable for his heirs.
The Times interviewed a number of the used book lovers and -store owners who'd come to the auction, some of them with the back seats stripped out of their cars so they could carry back their stock. There is a future in used books, they proclaimed, even in this day of the e-book.
Certainly, on-line used book sellers (I particularly like Abebooks.com) have made finding used books much easier: I use them frequently to ferret out stuff I need for my various projects and which libraries around here don't have. But also if printed books become rarer, their value is likely to increase. Maybe our kids and grandkids will thank us for hanging on to them.
Or that's a good excuse for doing so, anyway....