PW’s Cooking the Books interviews Celia Sack, owner of Omnivore Books on Food.
“PW: Why did you decide to sell both old and new books?
CS: The rare book world is very rarefied. You either have a bookstore where everything’s behind glass, or you’re a private dealer and you just deal by appointment. I thought by stocking new books, I would draw people in, and then I’d also have open shelves, with $200 books right there for people to take down and look at. It’s really nice to trust people. They’re like, “Oh my god, can I touch this?” The rarest ones are close to [the cashier], and you’d have to get up on a stepladder to get them. But the accessibility has made people so excited. People who weren’t collectors are coming in for newer books and then making this connection to the past. A lot of the older books—like an Italian cookbook from the 1920s—are in the $35 to $45 range. People would spend that for A16 Food + Wine. Then they become collectors.”