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Friday, October 12, 2007

Nobody reads anymore?

Anytime I read too many articles proclaiming that no one reads anymore and the days of the book are over, I go re-read this paragraph written by my daughter shortly after she moved from the mid west to San Francisco:

I went to the SF Friends of the Library book sale today. I've been to library booksales before, so I knew I had to go to this sale. It was held in Fort Mason, one of the old warehouse-military type buildings on the piers. I walked in, past a dozen registers or so, and got to a mini-food court area before I really comprehended what I was seeing. You know that part at the end of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the lost ark, where the arc is crated and stored in a huge area filled with other crates? Thats what it was like, only with tables and tables of books. I almost wet myself.

In the end, I bought what I thought I could carry home then grabbed a cab when I realized I couldn't. Good times.

The readers are still out there, harder to find perhaps but just as passionate.

I wish I could be lofty and superior and claim to know the secret of raising a passionate reader, but truth be told we've raised two children in the same environment, crammed to the rafters with books, but only one is a serious reader the other does not read anything unless absolutely necessary.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

word for the day


the second definition from

2. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training: A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer.

Antithesis of disciplined: me

Even as x-libris

Another series title that I would pick up even as a library discard if and only if it still had a dust jacket attached is:

Helen Dole Boylston's Sue Barton books. Especially the first in the series: Sue Barton Student Nurse. Originally published by Little Brown in 1936 this book was in print a long time. (Abebooks lists a 43rd printing.)

On ebay and other sites

There are many professional booksellers that maintain an active presence on ebay both for the selling and the buying of inventory. If you believe ebay's hype theirs is the only marketplace that matters on the internet.

Although I do occasionally sell, and even more rarely buy on ebay, and I've also experimented with there very pricey ebay stores option, for the most part I've, (forgive the pun) opted out of ebay. The reason is not so much based on their fee structure or even the fact that I seriously resent the zeal in which they try to shove the use of Paypal down dealer's throats; it is due to the fact that I'm a compulsive auction watcher, if I have an item listed or I'm planning on bidding on an item, I'm constantly checking the listing and sulking if I feel the treasure I'm selling is not being appreciated. Believe me sulking in a woman my age is not an attractive thing.

More succinctly, even without compulsive auction watching or any other form of procrastination, no small book selling operation will be able to do equal justice to all online markets, the decision of where the majority of effort should be focused is a personal choice and a bit of a moving target.

Promoting your own website, Amazon, Alibris, Abebooks or other database sites, ebay or some of the smaller auction sites, offline catalogs, presence in a brick and mortar location, blog promotion, acquiring inventory, there are myriad areas demanding attention and the amount of attention needed will not only vary with the type of operation but also with the time of year. At its best being an independent book seller is as much of a balancing act as a high wire artist performing without benefit of a net; awesome when everything is going smoothly but always one small miscalculation away from disaster.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Celebrating Words and Moms

My sister sent me a copy of this video by comedian Anita Renfroe titled Total Momsense, which totally made my day.