I normally expect to find book discussions in the Books or Arts sections of The New York Times, but last July they ran an article in the Business section called “C.E.O. Libraries Reveal Keys to Success.” A friend reminded me of it and by extension its most ludicrous assertion: “Ken Lopez, a bookseller in Hadley, Mass., says it is impossible to put together a serious library on almost any subject for less than several hundred thousand dollars.” What? Several hundred thousand dollars? How does Mr. Lopez define “serious?” The answer might in part be “expensive,” judging from his line of business: “We deal in rare books, specializing in modern literary first editions.”
I sent him a link to this post and my query about his definition, and if I hear back I’ll post his response.
UPDATE: I posted Mr. Lopez’s response here, and, as too often happens, things are not as they appeared.