This is what we've been up to!
This is what has been happening in the store. You know those WedCleaning days during January? That’s Jennifer who has been coming in to help out to reorganize the store. Particularly the back room which is hard for me to get to.
She’s tackling the Humor Section here. Moved the section and consolidated it. I caught her in the consolidation mode. What didn’t get shelved will be taken to the Yellow Cart for a sale. Not sure when Humor books will go on sale. Guess when we need a good laugh.
Thanks, Jennifer! Almost done. Next section: Business, Law…but that’s for later.
Mmmmm, toasty warm in here with the sun shining down the stairs. So many projects I want to tackle today – shelving, crafting, reading.
WedCleaning has been a huge success. Jennifer, who’s been coming in to assist, and I have accomplished a lot. What’s WedCleaning? During January the store is closed Wednesdays for some, yep! cleaning. Actually it’s sorting through boxes in the back room, rearranging shelves. Also moving inventory around. Then it will be adding or in some cases, updating signage. Fun times!
Merry Christmas to all! Thank you for helping the store be such a happy place full of wonderful books. May you all have a wonderful year.
I have to admit…I haven’t read many Vermont authors or even those who like frequently walk right by the store. I’m asked a lot if I’ve read any of their books, which one’s my fav, etc. So I knew I better get in the swing of things and tackle one of each and go with it. So I did. Or rather have.
Bohjalian – read “Secrets of Eden.” Yea, the newest of his books. And I have to admit…I bought it new. From his website. There was some contest on his Facebook page and next thing I knew I had my credit card out and bought it. Wow, I went against all my principles to get into that contest. Worse thing, I didn’t win. I don’t even remember what I would have won. And it wasn’t even autographed. Pooh! But I liked the book. In fact, I couldn’t put it down. I used it to get Twain out of my head. Not sure it was a good substitution but it worked. Great ending. There is good in the world. At least in Bohjalian’s mind and well, I needed it then. Now some customers say that they find Bohjalian hard to read. Chunky writing, according to one woman. I don’t know what that means but each their own.
Parini – I finished “The Last Station” and then a customer told me that Parini’s first novel was the best. That would be “The Patch Boys.” Hmm, I really liked them both. I escape into the books when I enjoy them and I did with both. I’ve got “Bay of Arrows” staring at me from the VT bookcase which might be my next read. Well, after Melville’s “Moby Dick” and a Paul Bowles which I’m currently reading and then was given Kate Morton’s, “The Distant Hours.” But I see Julia Alvarez’s “Saving the World” and Bohjalin’s “Water Witches” staring at me. And Alvarez actually does come in and shop here so the least I can do is read one of hers. So I will. In fact, I just reached over to Collections and took down, “How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents – first edition.
Not that I’ve been anywhere. Here in the store but I was also busy doing other things. Like directing a play for Middlebury Community Players, SAM AND LAURA. A wonderful play written about Sam Clemens and a lost love (Laura Wright Dake) by local Vermonter, Ron Powers. It was performed last month at Town Hall Theater. Check out http://www.samandlauraplay.com for further info. Amazing cast and crew came together for this. I was very honored to work with them all.
So that zapped my energy but like I wrote above, I’m back. While trying to figure out what to write I was struck by what I wanted to type and knowing what I actually was going to type. I found that the old CofC philosophy was still within me. You know, be-all-to-all philosophy – All things to all people at all times. Can’t allow your personal opinion and thoughts entered. Heavens if you have an opinion! Okay, so it isn’t really all that but some days it was. Some times when I was typing my blog I would hear Linda in my head saying, “Are you sure you want to say that?” Oh, of course not! I was just venting!
A used bookstore owner is entitled to an opinion! There! I typed it so it is the truth! I can type whatever I want whenever I want and it can reflect me.
So…now what do I write about now that I’ve got this new found freedom? Ummm…..I’m thinking. Give me a moment. Don’t rush me! Ok…I’ve got it. Owning a used bookstore and having access to all the books in the store – and in the old restroom, under the stairs, in the storage units, and yep, in my parlour – for another week only! – is everything you would think it would be. It is wonderful. It is dusty. It is happy. It is lonely. It is joyful. It is, gosh, it is everything.
Lame comment with my new found freedom of expression but heck, that is how I feel today. I had a wonderful first customer and another wonderful repeat customer in the back room in the paperback mystery section. Both doors are wide open letting in the feels-like-spring-air. I’m going to take a break from sorting/pricing/shelving today and do a little paper crafts so the day will be good.
And here I am working in the bookstore today. It is Sunday. And it is gorgeous. I admit I would rather be hiking than sitting down here in my used bookstore burrow but yet, it is a glorious day with foliage popping out all over. Foliage for Vermonters and those in business for themselves that deal with the public all know to be open. Regardless. So here I am. I really don’t mind. Well, as long as I have sales. I don’t mean to sound greedy but hey, I have bills to pay and you know that old expression, “got to make hay while the sun shines.” That applies here, too. So as much as I whine I am happy to be here. But I do have my hiking shoes on and plan to walk one of the Trails Around Middlebury (TAM) when I lock up for the afternoon.
I’ve been very neglectful of the blog. Yes, I’m aware. Why? How could I not be keeping this up like I should? Well, I could give hundreds of reasons and they would all start and end with “boxes of books.” Simple as that.
I don’t want to come across upset/lazy/irritated/etc., etc. because I’m not. Every day for months I have said to myself, “Look it! You have to get online and blog!” But then I’m faced with these books, you know? I’ve got piles and I’ve got boxes. You do know that I have claustrophobia, right? Funny business to be in, huh? But I’ve got it under control. Well, most days. Today it’s okay hence the blogging.
Not blogging means I can’t share all the happenings here – the bad, the good, the really, really bad. And of course all the best stuff and the fun. Most days I have the best customers in the world! The best! Customers who pop in to talk. Those who come in for one book and leave with a bundle because the books just reached out and grabbed them or said, “Hey! What about me!.” Seriously my books have been noted to speak out to customers. Even grab so one does need to be alert. Hahaha, and you think I’m kidding. Well, let me tell you that there is a couple who, well, I don’t know what happened to them but I never saw them leave the store. I swear they got sucked up into a book. Don’t know which one but last I saw them they were hanging out in the France/Italy/Germany section. They could be anywhere. I will try to be better. Also I’m almost to the position where I can change the site to where it should be at – highlighting my catalogs. I know that is what people expect when they come to this site but well, building up the business was my priority and to make the store a viable Main Street business. Online has been secondary. Some think it should have been the other way around but that’s not me. I’m all about Main Street. Foot traffic. Customers. Eye contact.
I’ve got lots of news to share but that will be upcoming. I just need some time to figure out how to better display what I’ve started carrying. To enhance the Used Bookstore Experience. Yep, I’ll do something up proper next week.
Life according to a used bookstore lady.