I thought of the Ferrari this morning when I read Matt Yglesias, who plucks a line that I missed out of today's NYT (link):
[I]t is impossible to put together a serious library on almost any subject for less than several hundred thousand dollars.
Yglesias good-naturedly suggests that well, actually, maybe you can put together a serious library for less than several hundred thousand dollars, which is surely true, but he might have pursued the context. The Times appears to be quoting this guy, whose website marquees "Modern Literary First Editions/Fine Books & Manuscripts Bought & Sold." So when he says "books," he is talking "decorations," or maybe even more likely "status symbols" in the sense of goodies you use to awe or humiliate lesser mortals. That's the Ferrari tie: You wouldn't actually read one of these books any more than you would drive the Ferrari--you'd just haul them out on selected occasions to make the rest of the world feel like spit.
Even as recontextualized, I suspect that Lopez may be guilty of just a wee bit of marketing--he is, after all, a dealer. Reading his own on-line catalog (which, I assume, should be filed as "fiction"), I find he has on offer a Raymond Carver for $175 and signed E.L. Doctorow for $25 (eeuw, that hurts).
Yglesias and his commentators are having a good time speculating on how they might in fact assemble a good collection for less than several hundred thousand dollars, but they might want to turn the matter around: could you spend that much if you had to, without having large chunk of change left over? Maybe if you threw in a climate-controlled bomb shelter for storage. Or an autographed first-edition Old Testament. Or hey, just buy mine. Free shipping on all orders.
Meta note: observe that this is my second car repossession post of the day.