[Used] Books vs E-books

Right off, my comparison is going to be a lot different than you are probably use to. As a seller of used books I’m not frightened of e-readers. Not at all. Why you ask? Well, let’s look at the differences.

When you think of used books you might think of an image such as:
Or what about this:Or:
Books – physical books – stir emotions. Create anticipation. Discovery. As well as artistic backdrops. The smell, possible notations from previous owner(s), mementos tuck in between pages. Even serve as a diary. A diary of remembrance. A pile of books. Enjoyable to look at. Am I not right? Of course I am!

Here’s a couple of e-book (Kindle) images my daughter took. I told her to think artistically.

(What is she reading???)

And to be fair, one more:

See what I mean? And of course, real books are better to read. Maybe heavier but so much more personality. I know I’m right.  And to be fair to my daughter, she has piles of books around. Piles! I don’t know why she has a Kindle but I don’t judge.

And besides, you’ll never see this with any e-books – an aisle full of them.



August 10 2012 Middlebury Arts Walk @ OCUB

Poetry in the Park[ing Lot]

Inspiration can be found anywhere. Including a parking lot. Be a part of a Poetry Event!


Marble Works Signage

Drive to and park in the north Marble Works parking lot with a copy of your favorite poem. Post the poem in your car windshield for all to read as one mingles through the lot.

Then stop in the store and view our featured poet, local resident, Ginger Dowling Miller.


all poetry books will be 50% off during the Arts Walk, August 10, 2012,  5 pm-7 pm.

“Each space in the parking lot is marked with a simple bit of wisdom.” ~lisaleonardonline.com.

mmmm….Do You Smell That? Take A DEEP Breathe…. :)

So…chemists at University College in London investigated  the odor of books and have concluded that “old books release hundreds of volatile organic compounds into the air from the paper.” Okay. I get that. Well, the lead scientist has described the smell as “A combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness.” And that’s why we all love the smell of old books! Acids and vanilla = perfect combo!

Researching a bit on this topic I learned that there is now a scratch-it that releases the smell of old books. To put on one’s I-pad or Nook or other e-readers. Really? That’s crazy! So people think that they can add a scratch-it sticker and feel better holding their e-reader because now it’ll seem like holding a book? mmm. I find that just craziness. Why not just purchase a used book? I guarantee you’ll appreciate that book a whole lot better. Remember it’s the experience.




VABA 2012 Spring Book Fair – An Otterly Amazing Show

2012 Spring VABA Book Fair

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!















2012 VABA Book Fair Angst

I finally agreed to participate in the upcoming Vermont Antiquarian Book Fair. Great but I’m kinda worried about what books to bring.  I started pulling books off shelves and filling up boxes then started seconding guessing myself. I put them all back. I shouldn’t fret so but I do. And I think, why did I agree to do this? I admit I did so under pressure from the VT Bricks & Mortar Society and my fellow used bookstore friend in CA. They all gave convincing reasons why. Okay, they really didn’t have to twist my arm. Very much. It is good publicity. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to stress out about it.

I admit it does sound like fun. And the thought of being on the other side of the table  is intriguing. You see, I use to go as a shopper and admirer and would enter each booth in pure anticipation.  And I would always splurge on one book at the event. Like a lot of money. And would leave with a small pile plus that special book. Actually if you want to know the truth, and know I’m rolling my eyes as I type this, we were one of the first ones – or tried to be – to enter the fair. Seriously. We would stand in line at least one hour beforehand. Nerds.

I don’t have table-top bookcases. That’s the other thing I’m worried about. How to display.  Rusty said he would make some bookcases to my specifications and earlier today I was trying to decide: do I paint them blue – to stand out, of course – or leave them natural. Unpainted for that a dignified look. Or painted white/off white to highlight the books. Well, doing it as me won out. So I’m going to paint them blue. Or maybe lime green. Or what about the red I also have on hand? Ugh!

See what I mean? So many decisions: what books to bring, how to display, what color bookcases, doilies yes or no, bookends, what else? One week count down. I’ll post pictures. In the meantime, I’ll work to get my act together. I know it’ll all work out. And it’ll be great.



2012! Otterly Fantastic!

I am so excited about 2012 with all the changes that have happened here in the store. For one, the new location. I am very happy here in Middlebury’s Marble Work area. Just a few steps from Main Street. Not that far from the previous location.

Just for the record, only one person has complained about the store’s new location. I just chalk it up to her being a cranky old lady. 🙂

I’m still settling in. I thought I would have been done by now but I’m not. Seems every other day a friend comes by to bring in new inventory so I’ve been dealing with those boxes. I have gone to the storage units. I’ve opened the doors and well, looked in and then closed the door. I don’t know why. Some day I’ll tackle them. Hopefully soon. Got some great books in those boxes.

Took a couple of days and went book scouting. That is so much fun! And no sooner than those books got unpacked and shelved they were sold. Makes me feel good. I’m knowing my customers.

Stop by. Poke around. And remember you can find some of my books online by visiting Abebooks.com or Biblio.com. And  while you are at it check out the VABA (Vermont Antiquarian Booksellers Association) website: http://www.VermontIsBookCountry.com.

All Signs Point to Otter Creek Used Books!

Marble Works Signage

Signage is up on the kiosks here in the Marble Works. The store’s new home! Yea! Now people should find me. Fingers crossed!

The store is in the North Marble building. See it there? The third long building from the bottom of the photo. See the parking lot? Lots of parking now. Right in front. Now you can hop from the car to the store. Easy to carry books from the store to your car. 😉

And listing is alphabetically: second column, 9th down. See it? Yea, I’m pretty excited to see it. Great to see one’s name up in lights. Only…ok…no lights and it’s not my name. It’s the next best thing! My store is listed.

Ok, so guess it doesn’t matter. Just had a couple in here who couldn’t find the store and had to ask for directions. mmmm. Even when I was on Main Street people couldn’t find the store. Yes, I’m serious. Ugh!

Main Street Door - note map, announcement AND photo of new front door!

On the old store’s front door I posted a sign to let/remind people that I moved. Added a map with directions – dots to follow to lead customers to the new front door. And included a visual – a photo of the new front door so people would be able to find the store better. And to look for the blue awning. The only blue awning down here. So… still people are having problems finding me. What else can I do?

I did have an idea to paint otter paws leading from Main Street to the new store. I seriously contemplated it. It would have been too obvious who had done the dirty deed. Agree? But it would have been fun to do in the dead of night. No moon. People waking up to see otter paw prints in town. The mystery of it all. Oh! My! What size otter could make those paws? Ah, but then some smartie would say how interesting that they lead from one store to the other. Yea, too obvious.