Otter Happiness!

“It’ll be all right, my fine fellow,” said the Otter. “I’m coming along with you, and I know every path blindfold; and if there’s a head that needs to be punched, you can confidently rely upon me to punch it.” – Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows.

I was reading my last few posts and what a downer! I need to change it all up. I love owning a used bookstore. To open the door to start each day. A new adventure. Project. Or even take a few moments to read. To open boxes and see the new arrivals. At least those fresh out of storage. Not doing any good hidden away. Give them light! One must be optimistic and that is my general attitude. So…start acting it, Barbara!

There have been changes to the store. Mainly in hours open. And the ending of accepting books for store credit. Please note: if you have store credit, of course, it will be honored. And I thank those who do have credit waiting to use it in order to help the store stay afloat. Rent, taxes, electricity, insurance, etc. still need to be paid. I got through the shutdown because I am a business woman that always kept a small reserve socked away. And thank goodness as that kept me limping along.

I am currently now closed Sundays and Mondays. And I also close at 4pm. Two decisions that have helped me personally in caring for myself. And I love it. It was a hard decision because I’m all about customer relationships but sometimes one’s needs has to be a factor.

I have been bringing in and receiving new inventory every day. So exciting. My book scouts have been contacting me to see where I’m at with buying and have been very supportive. With my amazing loyal customer base I think the store will be okay. I’m ever so optimistic.

“Books can be possessive, can’t they? You’re walking around in a bookstore and a certain one will jump out at you, like it had moved there on its own, just to get your attention. Sometimes what’s inside will change your life, but sometimes you don’t even have to read it. Sometimes it’s a comfort just to have a book around. Many of these books haven’t even had their spines cracked. ‘Why do you buy books you don’t even read?’ our daughter asks us. That’s like asking someone who lives alone why they bought a cat. For company, of course.” – Sarah Addison Allen, The Sugar Queen

2 thoughts on “Otter Happiness!

  1. I look forward to your emails. I also own a used bookstore but mine is on the island of Borneo on the other side of the planet. I used to live in New England at one time but I’m a traveling type of guy until I settled down here. Used books here are quite different than in the United States I would suspect. This is a former British colony so most of the books are from Great Britain or Australia or New Zealand which keeps me on my toes as an American. I’m learning new authors all the time. During the Coronavirus I too had to alter my hours but I did not have to change my credit policy for the readers. Over here people are booked starved as new books are three times the prices what you would pay in the states due to shipping. Therefore my used bookstore is a bonanza for the bookworms here. No one ever tries to return any books but sometimes I get a few from expats who are leaving. Like you I believe in having a stash of cash for Hard Times

    Fortunately it was a pretty easy here where I live with only three deaths and a hundred or so hospitalizations. The country was shut down and it still is in many ways as far as Travelers coming or going. Everyone wears a mask: it’s not hard. And we have tracking and tracing through our phoned. Every business shows to the Ministry of Health where everybody has gone. People don’t complain about these things I know it’s for their own good.

    All the best to you and I hope business increases and you get all your personal stuff done too because if you’re not happy your business will suffer as you well know.


    • Thank you for sharing your story. It’s always great to connect to a fellow used bookstore owner. I love this life and the books and customers. I believe we are the luckiest people in the world.

      I stopped accepting books for credit because it was becoming complicated and some were abusing it. As I was in the store during the shutdown it was one policy that had to change because I believe it should all be simple and if something is becoming negative than it needs to be removed. Hence the new policy. Most are understanding and I appreciate it. Only a few have been upset and I noted for selfish reasons. I guess, they don’t understand that things have changed since the shutdown. Not bad changes, just different. For me and my store, it has to be all about the store to ensure it moves ahead and I can keep the door open. Simple as that and I type that in good humor.

      I, too, have a store policy for customers to wear masks. Everyone is polite about it. It’s reassuring.

      I knock on wood, because my business is hanging in. So encouraging! And I’m getting some down time. Win-win!

      Thank you for reaching out. As I stated earlier, so nice to hear from a fellow store owner. The very best to you!


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