Rescue Books

Mitch JoelPosted by

**It’s time to save business books.**
I’m wondering if we should start a humane society to save the business books of the world? I have a personal problem that I haven’t spoken about in public. Please, allow me to indulge myself. Here it is: I can’t walk by any form of retail establishment that sells books (new and/or used) without going in. I could have been in a book store earlier in the week… Still, there is an energy-based pull that keeps dragging me back in. Book stores are like the Death Star to me. Resistance is futile. If you think this is some of joke or exaggeration, just ask anyone who knows me. What makes this worse, is my undying need to buy books that I have read, loved and already own. That’s not a typo. It’s true. It’s especially true in used book stores. If I see a copy of [The Cluetrain Manifesto](http://www.cluetrain.com “The Cluetrain Manifesto”) or anything by [Seth Godin](http://sethgodin.typepad.com/ “Seth Godin”) or [Tom Peters](http://www.tompeters.com “Tom Peters”), I buy it. I can’t imagine how anybody could orphan books like that (by writers like that), and leave it stuck in some used book store – among thousand of other titles – to rot. Books like that need to be saved, and they need to be given a good home. I buy them… Err, rescue these business books and find them a good home. I just can’t bear the thought that a copy of [Purple Cow](http://www.sethgodin.com/purple/ “Purple Cow”) is sitting on some random bookshelf in a used book store, when it could be helping a burgeoning entrepreneur to figure out what their brand could be all about.
**Rescue books help me connect.**
This act of rescuing important business books and finding them a better home is something that I have been actively practicing for close to twenty years. What makes this most strange, is that I am no hoarder. I’m no collector. I’m closer to a minimalist, and I haven’t read a physical book in a very long time. I do all of book reading on my [iPhone](http://www.iphone.com “iPhone”) with my [Kindle app](https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/kcp-landing-page?ie=UTF8&ref_=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd “Kindle App”). Yes, I still love physical books, but I find the practicality and ease of my iPhone to read a book so good, that it supersedes my love of the physical object, when I’m on the go (which is often).
**Technology, you win *this* round.**
While owning the physical book may sound redundant, it isn’t. Because I’m not one to collect stuff like this, seeing those books on my shelves makes me wonder who they can best serve. This sparks all kinds of connections and networking opportunities for me to create. I’m often known to send books to people, or hand them off after a coffee. Ultimately, it’s like a big, networking game to find these books a new and safe home, where they will be loved and taken care of. If you’re looking for a cheap, valuable and meaningful way to network in 2015, consider rescuing some business books and finding them a new home.
**Pawn Stars and saving the classics.**
I used to collect comic books. Lots and lots of comic books. I still like to buy the occasional one. I also have a few leftover from those days of collecting. Maybe a box worth. Not sure where the rest went. Sadly. I used to enjoy the collecting part. Hunting for that gem and preserving it. As I got older, I gleaned little satisfaction from knowing that I had something special that others did not. I wanted to share it. Last year, I had a business trip to Las Vegas. When in Vegas, I always enjoy a trip to [Bauman Rare Books](http://www.baumanrarebooks.com/ “Bauman Rare Books”). You may recognize this store, because one of the employees, [Rebecca Romney](http://www.baumanrarebooks.com/blog/author/rebecca/ “Rebecca Romney”), often appears on the hit reality show, [Pawn Stars](http://gspawn.com/ “Pawn Stars”). I had a chance to talk about my love of rescuing business books with Rebecca. Beyond making her smile at this practice, I also asked her about the market for collectibles in the business book space. As old as some business books seem, there is not a massive market for unique, one-of-a-kind collectibles. At first, this surprised me. No real value for a mint, first edition of [In Search Of Excellence](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Search_of_Excellence “In Search Of Excellence”)? How can that be? It bothered me. For months. The information in some of these business books can’t be measured, and yet there was no substantive market for these in terms of them being collectibles. Then, it hit me harder: let’s keep it that way. Let’s all ensure that these books always find a nice home. That these ideas are always shared and that they’re so valuable that you can’t find them tossed in some random stack with [Harry Potter](http://www.jkrowling.com/ “Harry Potter”) and [Fifty Shades of Grey](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifty_Shades_of_Grey “Fifty Shades of Grey”). Let’s also ensure that these ideas are also never given the status of collectibles, so that they are always egalitarian (anyone can access them for cheap!). We can do this, if we’re out there – all of us – buying them up… and rescuing them!
**Who’s with me?**