In the summer of 2002 I took twenty-one interviews with readers, publishers, librarians and bookstore managers in Brasov, Romania. The interviews explored the relationship between the book as finite cultural product and the reader. What interested me most was how people became attracted to books and what particularities this process had under a communist regime. I was also interested in how the passion for reading and collecting has changed since the fall of communism. Do people read more or less, now that there is so much more freedom to publish, and so many more titles are available? Does a free market mean cultural growth from the perspective of book lovers? This paper uses the results of the interviews to address these questions.