A message from the ANZAAB President
We face together the perils of the coronavirus, the impact of which is infiltrating all areas of our society.
The virus will be defeated, but the cure is some time away. While the medical researchers do their work to end the crisis, we must do ours to limit its impact.
Please follow all advice to increase your attention to personal hygiene, and to limit unnecessary socialising. By doing so, you will reduce the opportunities the virus has to infect you, and your loved ones.
Public health is the priority, and ANZAAB has taken the unprecedented step of cancelling the Melbourne Rare Book Fair and Sydney Rare Book Fair for 2020. The associated Rare Book Weeks have also been cancelled.
The economic impacts of the coronavirus are profound, and will affect most of us, with small businesses like ours particularly vulnerable. While some government assistance has been announced to cushion the fall, this assistance cannot protect us if we have no business at all.
It is only by selling books, that we can continue to be booksellers.
It is only by collecting books, that you can consider yourself a book collector.
We love books as much as you do. They are what sustain us, in every meaning of the word.
Books share our stories. They preserve our history. They reinforce our humanity. If you are reading this message you have already discovered this, from your visit to a book fair or interest in book collecting. We ask that you keep your passion for books alive during this difficult time.
We stand by you as we face the coronavirus crisis together. During times of uncertainty we can be reassured that books always survive, libraries stand strong, and the presence of books gives comfort and solace when people are sick, isolated or distressed.
Our members rely on collectors and librarians buying our books in order to pay our bills. If customers stop buying books, we cannot pay our rent, employ our staff, create a catalogue or open our shop every morning.
We ask that you continue to support our small businesses during the coming months.
Reach out to the booksellers and see what they have that might interest you. Bookshops are still trading, but many are now by appointment only, so give us a call and see if you can drop by. Take a look at our websites, send us an email with a wants list, send us a postcard if you prefer! If you are spending time at home, it is the perfect opportunity to order a few things and have them posted to you.
Book collectors need booksellers, and now more than ever, booksellers need collectors.
If you already make the occasional purchase, then keep doing so. If you are a regular buyer, please keep adding to your collection. We rely on each one of you to keep our small businesses alive.
As we navigate our way through this crisis together, please look after your health, in consideration of those most vulnerable to this disease.
We look forward to staying in touch over the months ahead, to continue mutual support, and the celebration of our love of books.
With my very best wishes,
Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers
23rd March 2020