Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Disappearing Car Marque Books
I suppose it's yet another generational thing.
Up until maybe five or ten years ago I used to see quite a few books dealing with automobile brands on bookstore shelves. Now, not very many.
I bought a lot of those histories of brands (Ford) and models (Mustang). Of course, once I'd gotten a pretty good grip regarding a subject, I'd have little need for another book. After a number of years I found that I was buying few car books. Most of my recent purchases were made while traveling in Europe and had to do with English, French and German brands.
This business about the trend toward fewer car history titles (shop manuals and similar books excluded) came to my attention over the last few months. In November I stopped by the Blackhawk museum in Danville, California and noticed that there were hardly any books on the shelves of its store. Instead I saw mostly model cars of different sizes and prices. A few weeks ago I was in the shop of the "National Automobile Museum" in Reno, Nevada (I added quote-marks because I find the name pretentious). Car books had all but disappeared. New car books, that is; what they had was lots of used books and magazines.
The conclusion that makes most sense to me is that younger people aren't as car-nutty, on average, as previous generations. When I was a kid, getting a car was a huge deal. Perhaps nowadays the Huge Deal is having an iPad.
Any thoughts and commiserations are appreciated by this confused, blind-sided blogger.