“When they get a hold of a rare book, it’s like they get intoxicated”

“Nobody can stop me from setting up—you know why? Because the people in the village—you know why? They want to read. This ain’t Brooklyn, this ain’t the Bronx, these people want to read. And when they get a hold of a rare book, it’s like they get intoxicated. It’s like they get high. They want it, and then they want more. Where you get this book from? They don’t have it at the library, they don’t have it at the bookstore. I talk to lawyers, doctors, everybody. You understand? And some of these people, they inherit their money. But still, they be writers, whatever. You understand? They love to read. And then when they see me with a book, certain book, a certain book, they remember me. Damn! that guy… damn.”  —Ron, the Manhattan bookseller.

From the very excellent 2000 documentary BookWars (dir. Jason Rosette, 77 mins.), about the street booksellers of lower Manhattan in the late 90s. The full video is at Youtube. You can also read about it at English Wikipedia.