Bookselling is the commercial trading of books, the retail and distribution end of the publishing process. People who engage in bookselling are called booksellers, bookwomen, or bookmen. The founding of libraries in 300 BC stimulated the energies of the Athenian booksellers. In Rome, toward the end of the republic, it became the fashion to have a library, and Roman booksellers carried on a flourishing trade.
The spread of Christianity naturally created a great demand for copies of the Gospels, other sacred books, and later on for missals and other devotional volumes for both church and private use. The modern system of bookselling dates from soon after the introduction of printing. In the course of the 16th and 17th centuries the Low Countries for a time became the chief centre of the bookselling world. Modern book selling has changed dramatically with the advent of the Internet. With major websites such as Amazon, eBay, and other big book distributors offering affiliate programs, book sales have now, more than ever, been put in the hands of the small business owner.
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