[DWJ] Another question for the brain trust

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Tue May 1 19:49:24 EDT 2007

So I was in the thrift store buying books for my friend's library and I saw,
again, a couple of boys (fine, yes, they were early twenties, I'm just old)
with a bitty hand-held scanner going over the ISBN bar codes.  This is not
the first time I've seen this, and I asked one of the kids before (they've
all been early-twenties males, what's up with that) what he was doing.  He
said that he was a "book collector" and he was determining which books were
worth buying.  The scan returns some minimal data on resale price or

I'm too lazy to figure out how to even start looking this up online (also I
have a meeting in about forty minutes), so I thought I'd let all y'all do
the work for me.  What exactly is going on here?  Where does the data come
from?  Are they trying to build personal libraries that their heirs will
someday come to blows over, or just make a killing on eBay?  It looks like
they're trying to use technology as a substitute for actual knowledge, but
for all I know this is some semi-secret boys' club where they collect
obscure juvenile biographies like twelve-year-olds collect Pokemon cards.
Or, you know, whatever kids collect these days.

Melissa Proffitt

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