Category Archives: the book business

The Road to Hell

Every once in a while a friend will give me a stack of books. ‘If these are worth anything, sell them. If not, donate them,’ they say.

I work through them. I can say with confidence that popular fiction and mass market paperbacks are almost never worth a thing. I always check, though.

I love getting a window on their past reading lives- or their not-reading lives, as the case may be.  The road to overcrowded living room bookshelf hell or unusable garage hell is paved with beautiful brand-new books on child development, art, sex, religion, love, high literature, nutrition. They are throwing it all away, often unread, and it cracks me up.

We meant to inform ourselves, to learn, to mull, to take time to enjoy. We really did.

But Raising Your Child the <insert wise popular child development expert name here> – unopened. We all just muddle on through without Kafka, without a solid grounding in Italian language or the folklore of Ireland. We really meant to have at our mental fingertips those witticisms from the latest acerbic popular progressive- whose wisdom seems to be dated almost the minute we buy the book. And those volumes of classical homeschool curriculum with fresh shiny workbook to match? Not so much. Never even started.

I am grateful for this understanding. I am grateful to have been swamped with approximately two tons of books, one thousand cataloged and offered for sale in the past year and a half, certainly that many left to go through, with more speed I hope. And though I try to ‘be good,’ more lovely, lovely books are coming in from friends and book sales all the time.

Because of this experience, I have firmly resolved, in our own household, that no books shall be stored inside the house except those we are currently reading and a few truly valuable collectibles we choose to keep.

The public library shall be our bookshelf. All books shall be fodder for the book business, or donated posthaste.  It is hard to enforce- but I can assure you vigorous purges occur on a very regular basis.

And so, back to work.

 

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Filed under social currents, the book business, the holidays, the public library

Must read all of these

This is the hell of the bookseller.

Today I have cataloged and placed for sale:

The Innocent, Ian McEwan– the end of the Cold War, Electronic surveillance, Berlin, British-American technology collaboration, a young British post office technician and the clash of the private and political

Defend the Valley a Shenandoah Family in the Civil War, Margaretta Barton Colt- extensive primary source documentation of the Civil War experience of the Barton and Jones family in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia

Secrets of the Jews, Stuart E. Rosenberg – policies and persecution toward Jews throughout history – theological discussion of how they survived

The Changing of the Guard President Clinton and the Security of Taiwan – “Considering the difficult issues President Clinton must weigh, Lasater provides a timely analysis of Taiwan’s security in the 1990’s within the broader context of Sino-American relations.”

Murder by the Book: Short fiction includes stories by Dorothy L Sayers and James Thurber, two enduring favorites of mine

How will I read them all? Ah, the Humanity!

 

Music for a dreary Wine Country Morning

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Filed under American, Appalachiana, Civil War, Cold War, electronic surveillance, History, Judaica, social currents, the book business, women

Start as you mean to go on

Happy New Year!

Baby New Year with Father Time from Wikipedia

Baby New Year with Father Time from Wikipedia

2013 was very, very good to my family and a wonderful start for Wine Country Books.  We wish you and your family every blessing and success.

The blog has been quiet because

WE MOVED! Spur of the moment found a place put ours on the market closed on both places within a month! Unheard of, and hurry up and wait in the dark the whole time, until suddenly we had one week to vacate our home to get into the new one. And we’ve been unpacking ever since, with a break for joyful holidays and of course more unpacking to go.

The new place has ever so much more room for the Wine Country Books warehouse, offices, and Shipping Annexe. I just got done shelving all of the books we have listed for sale. This is about 1/5 of our total collection. Which means… I must get to work!

We took some time off for the holiday. It should tell you something that the gift I give myself is putting in time shelving, photographing, researching, cataloging each book. What a joy, and what a relief to have a better space for this new endeavor.

Now… to sort out this tax thing. Sigh. Ugh.

A little bit of ambient productivity music as I start the year off right- with my books!

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Filed under the book business, wine country books

Grrr!

I can’t be all happy all the time, can I? Do I want to show this cutthroat business as all fields of wildflowers through a soft focus lens at sunset? Or, as it were, shafts of golden late afternoon sunlight illuminating a darkened library with comfy chairs, tables, and books lining walls so high you can’t see the tops in the gloom, another version of heaven for me?  Of course not.

So this is a learning process for me.  And when selling on line, shipping easily and correctly is a big deal.

USPS Click n Ship! So frustrated!!!

Plus somehow today I can’t use tape without getting wrapped in it and wasting whole yards of it! Gah! It looks like someone who is quite impaired wrapped this package.

I suppose this must be true.

Hmph.

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Filed under the book business