This publication provides detailed examinations of the economics of the structural transformation, the specific cultural transformations with the collecting ecosystem and the broader social impacts of collecting in the society as a whole.

    Historically collecting was a cultural practice reserved for a select few with considerable financial resources. The emerging Networked collecting ecosystem challenges this portrait as well as redefines the fundamental motivations that compel one to collect.

    Now accepting pre-orders


    “In his new book, Spencer W. Stuart brings something altogether new and refreshing to the rare book & manuscript trade: insightful and data-driven analysis about buying, selling, and collecting books. He packs so much into this slim volume — a deep-dive into the current auction market, profiles of prominent booksellers, and more — making it an indispensable reference for collectors of any stripe.”

    Rebecca Rego Barry
    Editor, Fine Books & Collections


    “There's real value in having access to the expertise of a dedicated market analyst, to underscore future potentialities especially. All booksellers have their own vital market experience, of course, and will typically share it generously. But no one provides bird's-eye-view, data-driven insights like Spencer Stuart -- all the more valuable as the trade experiences disruption at a quickening pace. While nobody can predict the future of the book trade, nobody projects industry-wide scenarios on more solid ground than Stuart.”

    Patrick Olson
    Patrick Olson Rare Books (ABAA, ILAB, IOBA)


    "Contemporary Issues is thought-provoking and should be read by those in the book trade who wish to adapt to ongoing changes in the industry deftly." 

    Courtney Ahlstrom Christy, Ahlstrom Appraisals LLCISA, Certified Member AAA, Accredited Member


    “This is an excellent and most useful book: in my capacity as faculty at rare book school, I find the work of Spencer Stuart a dream: a student that takes the content of our course and expands on it in a manner perpetually useful: student outdoes teacher and all that.”

    Johan Kugelberg
    Owner & Curator of Boo-Hooray, Rare Book School Faculty


    "Contemporary Issues in Rare Book & Manuscript Collecting is a welcome read.  While I have been collecting for many years, I wish this handbook had been available when I started to build my collections. I particularly like the down-to-earth writing style and clear and reasoned approach to the issues. I continue to learn about aspects of the book trade that are relevant to my own situation." 

    Gary E. Strong
    UCLA University Librarian Emeritus and collector.


    "As I read Contemporary Issues, every few pages I came across some information or an insight that I had spent years sorting out.  How I wish I had this book fifty years ago when I was starting out as a collector!"

    Larry Rafferty
    1st edition book collector
    and founder of hit & run press