Hello! I have been so busy and I’ve been wanting to update my blog but well, you know how I am – or you should – I can’t stand boxes and clutter. Especially boxes all around me in the front room. (Still need to come up with a cool name for this room.) I’ve had a lot of boxes come in so that means I’ve been busy. Busy SPSing. You know, sorting/pricing/shelving. Getting books up on the shelves and keeping the room sort-of respectable-like. I do have to write that currently I am surrounded with boxes of books: french, children, spirituality, over-sized art and wildlife, and at my feet…well, I started a pile I’ve set aside for me to read. It is Saturday and I just want a little break.
I have a lot to write about! One thing, the book I highlighted in my last post…sold! I was sad but yet I knew it was going to a great home so I was excited. Mixed emotions. It sold because the woman who purchased it read my blog and came in to look at and hold the book. I admitted I tucked the book away – sure it was on a shelf but one had to look for it. She was excited it was still here. I hope the lucky recipient enjoys it as much as she and I do.
The Vermont History Expo was held in Tunbridge several weekends ago and on that Sunday I went down to help out in the VABA booth along with some of my fav VT used bookstore owners. In the few hours that we were all together we had great conversations ranging from customer habits (Yes, all good! Ok, mostly.), to how we really feel about used books (we love them, of course!), what sells and what doesn’t, and we threw in some ghost stories to make it all interesting. Unfortunately I cannot upload the photos I took that day. My laptop faded out early last week. It really just faded out. Now I am using a new-to-me Mac that my daughter gave me. Ugh! Going from a PC to an Apple is a very difficult thing. For me. I’m not complaining because her husband is pulling out my files and transferring to another new-to-me laptop. So I am patiently waiting to receive that computer. When I receive it then I’ll post those images and get on with my postings.
I’m constantly asked what I read. Well, I’ve recently started reading VT women authors: Kathryn Davis, Sue Halpern and Suzi Wizowaty to name a few. Of course Dorothy Canfield Fisher is who I’ll be going to next. Then onto one of the nicest woman around (yes, a local author), Julia Alvarez. Plus in-between I have been reading books on books or bookstores: Ulin’s, “The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time” and in the middle of Margaret Hard’s “A Memory of Vermont: Our Life in the Johnny Appleseed Bookshop.” And to really mix it up I’m almost done with a May Sarton book, “Shadow of a Man,” to which I’m most grateful to one of my amazing customers for making the author suggestion.
So sorting, pricing, shelving (constantly) and throw in cleaning the books as they come out of the boxes, reading, embroidering I’ve been keeping busy. Note I didn’t mention cleaning my house….yeah….
Oh! I admit there are certain types of books that come into the store that truly excite me. And I openly admit they are hard for me to put on the shelf but I do. I know! How mature. Here is one that just came in. Isn’t it awesome? It fits perfectly in the hand. Has enough wear that puts it over the edge of greatness. The title is “Field Book of Wild Birds and Their Music: A Description of the Character and Music of Birds, Intended to Assist in the Identification of Species Common in the United States East of the Rocky Mountains,” written by F. Schuyler Mathews. It is a revised edition (1921) printed by G. P. Putnam’s Sons. Why aren’t more books like this published now?
Songs of the Meadowlark
Sitting in my rearranged front room sipping some ice tea (Oolong) from Stoneleaf Tea House, my courtyard neighbor and settling myself down to write. It’s been awhile since I’ve added anything. I’ll post pictures soon of the new room arrangement. I’m liking it better.
Life’s been good. Had a ton of boxes come in so I’ve been busy going through them and getting them on the shelves. I’m currently offering store credit for now. April and May are generally slow months here and this year I have to say, it’s no different even in this location. My sales haven’t been too far off from when I was located on Main Street but enough to make me curb spending and doing some fancy bookwork juggling. Looking forward to the summer months and the outdoors Farmers Market returning to the area.
So what’s been coming in? A lot of gardening, herbal, homesteading, beekeeping, philosophy, and fiction – hardcover and soft. And vegetarian cookbooks. Oh and a signed John Denver. I was excited to see that. He was one of my heroes. Now know that I’m excited about seeing his signature. Yes, I put a value on the book and posted it on Abebooks where I sell online but that’s the business side of the store. I work mostly on the emotional side of books and the store, in general. I guess that’s why I have such a time adding books online. It’s so impersonal. I’d have to completely revamp my store life in order to accommodate selling online. I recognize in today’s market that is what I should be doing. Am I wrong for being a throw-back to running a used bookstore? Being in-store customer based? Possibly. I admit it but then I gotta be me, right?
Otter Creek Used Books booth
I did it! My thoughts and plans came together and above shows my booth at the recent VT Antiquarian Book & Ephemera Fair – the Spring show – over the past weekend – Sunday, March 25 – in Burlington.
I admit that I fretted about the booth – design to picking out books – and I feel I did an okay job. I liked how the booth came out and I think I picked out a range of books that highlights my store. I did some sales which relieved me because I just didn’t want to face a day of no sales. I got to talk to people as they poked around my books and other exhibitors which was the best part as well as to see what they brought (And their pricing, too. I was excited because I felt I was pretty on target with mine). SO, all my struggles paid off and I made it through and gained confidence. Now…when is the next one? Oh yes, August in Brattleboro, VT. More on that later. And yep! I’m going to be there!