Everyone Needs Mary Poppins in Their Life, Right?

marypoppins“The same substance composes us–the tree overhead, the stone beneath us, the bird, the beast, the star–we are all one, all moving to the same end.” – P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins

Obviously I’m back from my vacation. Just getting really bad at keeping this site current. I spend so much of my time taking care of books as they come in. Cleaning to sorting, pricing to shelving. Rearranging shelves and moving books around. Trying to fit  books onto the shelves or creatively stacking. Patiently waiting for additional shelving to be installed. And there’s the issue of what do I write? I want this blog to be fresh. But I can’t always write about SPS. How boring is that? So that’s where I’m stuck. We’re coming out of April and its showers and heading into May with its flowers. That’ll surely pick me up and get me back on the creative path. Sure hope so!

I’ll leave you with this…“Don’t you know that everybody’s got a Fairyland of their own?” -P.L. Travers, MARY POPPINS. Of course!


OCUB Mini Vacation 3/27-3/31/2017

IMG_1516“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” – Seth Godin

I don’t feel I need to escape from my life but I do feel a need for a short break. A change. Fresh, salty air is in order for me. So I’m taking a few days off next week – Monday, March 27 through Friday, March 31. I’ll go exploring used bookstores, walk a beach or two, buttery seafood, enjoy a pot of tea in a bakery and put my feet up on a chair and start in on a new read. Nothing fancy but just enough to clear my head. It’s my bi-annual vacation of five days. Five days of nothingness. I won’t care about the weather or anything. Just what books to bring to read, what used bookshops to pop into, and how many boxes of books to bring back for the store.

“That’s why people take vacations. Not to relax or find excitement or see new places. To escape the death that exists in routine things.” – Don DeLillo, White Noise

“She loves the serene brutality of the ocean, loves the electric power she felt with each breath of wet, briny air.” – Holly Black, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale 

24th Vermont Book, Postcard & Ephemera Fair

2017_VABA_FairThe Vermont Antiquarian Booksellers Association’s sponsored event will be held Saturday April 8th from 10am-4pm at the Hilton Burlington overlooking Lake Champlain. If you are a book lover then you must go to this show. Even if it is just to admire the books, ephemera or postcards. It is an amazing experience as an attendee as well as to be a vendor.

Brick & mortar used bookshops, those who sell only online to those who sell by appointment only  will be in attendance showcasing their wares. All will be excited to talk about their inventories, their favorite books and then some. Oh, just to talk about books in general.  And who doesn’t want to talk about books?

2012 Spring VABA Book Fair

Otter Creek Used Books a a VABA sponsored book fair

At this point in time, I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it due to the responsibilities of my own store. But I’m hoping to so I’ll keep you posted. Until then I’m still going through incoming boxes of books and getting them ready for shelving. A never-ending task but that’s as it should be, right? Yep!


We Did It!

entrance“March came in that winter like the meekest and mildest of lambs, bringing days that were crisp and golden and tingling, each followed by a frosty pink twilight which gradually lost itself in an elfland of moonshine.”  -L.M. Montgomery

You can’t beat the month of March. It’s one of my favorite months. To me it is a sign of better things to come. Spring! Warmer days. A hint of flowers starting to pop out of the ground. Days are noticeably longer. Indeed, a very good month.

February can lay to rest. And I’m happy with that. It was a good month in spite of my disdain for it. The weather was amazing. The half-off sale went from February 15 to the end of the month and to me, was very successful. Thank you all who came to enjoy the sale. I like how many customers know the sale will be annual and make a special trip to the area to take advantage of it. Many boxes and armloads of books made their way out the door. And the bowl of chocolates is almost empty.

Now it’s time to fill the shelves back up. Selecting books to markdown to put into sale baskets for outside. And begin spring cleaning and looking forward to a glorious Vermont spring. We did it!

February! Ugh! But Wait…a 50% Off Sale!

“Even though February was the shortest month of the year, sometimes it seemed like the longest.”  -J.D. Robb

“Why does February feel like one big Tuesday?” -Todd Stocker

50off_signExactly! That’s just how I feel about February and then some. You can say whatever you want but my mind won’t change. I’ve felt this way about February for as long as I can remember.

“Without Valentine’s Day, February would be…well, January.” -Jim Gaffigan

Yep! So let’s do something about this situation. Like, I Hate February Half-off Sale! Sounds good to me. It will run Monday, February 13 through Saturday, February 25. Come in and we’ll cheer each other up. With chocolate and exciting books that have recently found their way into the store.

“The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism, but February…Spring is too far away to comfort even by anticipation, and winter long ago lost the charm of novelty. This is the very three a.m. of the calendar.” -Joseph Wood Krutch




Burns Night!


January 25 is Burns Night. Celebrate the life of the Bard Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet. An evening of steaming haggis, Burns poetry, toasting the lads and lassies,  ending with a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne. Visit scotland.org or robertburns.org to learn how to host a proper Burns Night and the traditions associated with it.

As for me, I’m settling on a vegetarian haggis. 🙂 I found a great recipe at rootsandwren.com.

Go On, Sweet Bird, And Sooth My Care
For thee is laughing Nature gay,
For thee she pours the vernal day;
For me in vain is Nature drest,
While Joy’s a stranger to my breast.
-Robert Burns, 1788

2017 – Year of Used Books


I haven’t been very good about posting here due to all that’s been happening in the store. I’ve really been caught up with the usual – S/P/S (sorting, pricing, shelving) – due to all the many books coming into the store. Wonderful collections that excite me that I want to just get them ready for shelving. Virginia Woolf books – about her or written by her; Sherwood Anderson, some first editions; T.S. Eliot, Henry James, etc., etc. Many new paperbacks and various topic hard copies have all worked their way into the store.


Thanksgiving Gratitude

“As we eocub_deerxpress our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them”. – John F. Kennedy’s 1963 Thanksgiving Day Proclamation.

Wishing all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Check back on Friday for some fun news happening the next day Saturday, November 26. Small Business Saturday as well as my tenth year owning OCUB!


Taking Time

“It was November–the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

November. A good time to take time and clear my head of authors, titles, cleaning, sorting and shelving. A good time to pick up a book or two and read it in a good, crowded coffeehouse. Walk. Breathe. Then come back to dig in for the holidays. With that, I will close the store Mon-Fri next week (Nov 7-11) reopening on Sat, Nov 12. Just  to get the fog out of my soul.

“After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working.” -Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows


A Library to Dream Of

“On a cloudy day, when the dim dance of the firelight and the warmth of the sconces are not enough, the books shed their own form of light. By the hundreds, they fill the shelves that stretch across every inch of exposed wall. They rise up to the ceiling, warriors of an impenetrable army, encircling my over-sized armchair and keeping me safe as they whisper their stories softly in my ear.” – Kelseyleigh Reber, If I Resist

“A library of mostly unread books is far more inspiring than a library of books already read. There’s nothing more exciting than finishing a book, and walking over to your shelves to figure out what you’re going to read next.” – Gabe Habash, The Wonderful and Terrible Habit of Buying Too Many Books, PWxyz (news blog of Publishers Weekly), February 16, 2012

“How can you be bored? There are so many books to read!” – Liailah Giftry Akita, Pearls of Wisdom: Great Mind

img_0590Those are statements book people can relate to. To own a used bookstore is over the top though. Seriously how can it not be when you are surrounded by books – on the shelves, in boxes, or neatly piled throughout the store? And knowing new inventory comes in just about every day. What titles will be found?  To catch a slight glimpse of the personality of the giver and their library. I was speaking to a dealer a couple of weeks ago and he told me he jumps into new arrivals as soon as they come in. He can’t help himself and doesn’t want to be disciplined to finish a box he’s started. I, on the other hand, glance through the new boxes but make myself go back to the box I’ve been working in before I start another one. Well, most of the time.

What about books leaving the store? Of course it is exciting to sell a book knowing each is heading out on a new adventure. Well, let me tell you I recently had the pleasure – and what a pleasure it was! – to shelf a library for a new house. My eyes got wide when I heard of the request. How much fun was that going to be? Hannah and I didn’t know the woman placing this request but through our conversations we came up with a description of what we thought the owner of such a library would be: a world traveler, open-minded, lover of life, diverse interests but mainly a wonderful, down-to-earth woman. Then we got to scour our shelves and fill boxes that would make an amazing library for such a reader. A broad range of titles, authors, book colors and genre. We had a blast. Once the books were in place we received an invitation to view this library. We were so proud of those books. How good they looked in their new home and they knew it. They were certainly standing tall.  Hannah and I, of course, tucked in a book to represent ourselves in this new library. Hannah’s book was Beatrix Potter – The Complete Tales. My contribution was Parini’s,  The Last Station (of course). And yea, we feel we were accurate in our description of her. 🙂

“I never understood people who don’t have bookshelves.” – George Plimpton