Scenes from a Bookstore…

As alluded to in several previous posts, we’ve been busy at the bookstore (see link at right side) in the past few weeks, mostly drowning in books that people have decided they no longer want.  In the last month, I’ve personally appraised about 50 boxes of books.  We had two more calls today from people with bulk lots: one was a retiring Anglican minister who has somewhere between 15 and 20 boxes (religion is one of our specialties), and the other was for 5-6 boxes from someone settling an estate.  Our local secondhand furniture dealer has about 40 banana boxes waiting for us when we can get around to it.  There’s a lady in St. Andrews (another estate) waiting for us to come to see her books.  Oh, and the man who started in our space several years ago and then went completely online, is now getting out of the business, so we’ve been getting some good deals by visiting his warehouse.  Here are some photos of what our usually tidy store floor looks like now:

My desk and the 23 boxes of books which surround it...I'm considering learning the hurdles to get to my chair...

Dad's Desk...He's lucky...he only has seven boxes around him, but his room is smaller!

The children's section is behind here, somewhere...

More boxes at end of shelving...

Dad set up at the Canada Day Flea Market yesterday, and did quite well…he took books we had duplicates of.  However, I still have three boxes of books to put away.

We had a cruise ship in port the other day (they’re in 2 or 3 times a week in the summer), and actually had 4 separate parties from the ship come in the store!  Usually, we call any cruisers that find us “the escapees” (they were brave enough to strike out on their own and not get roped into the shore excursions).  Two of the four couples even bought something.  The first couple who came in were from Australia – they came a long way for a cruise.  I particularly enjoyed the last couple of the afternoon – they were nice people from Brooklyn (yes, Brooklyn, New York)!  The woman was the same age I am (birthdays a month apart), and just a sweetheart.  Her son, who was a tall 13-year-old, sat on the floor and read a book about Spanish while her partner was in the other room looking at art books.

We had a couple of decent Internet orders this morning…here’s what we pack those in:

The world's biggest roll of bubble wrap...yes, it's really 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide! The delivery man had trouble getting it through our front door!

Our curved front door made of Honduran mahogany and leaded 1827...

We’ve made some good friends among our customers over the last ten years.  We have a retired Asian physics professor who comes in every once in a while, drops a box of very expensive textbooks, smiles and walks out – he refuses to take any money for them!  We have sold a couple of his books for more than $200! 

This plate came from a customer who thought we should have it…it was even colour-coordinated to our paint:

Book plate sits on our mantel...

This little guy came from a customer who was moving to Ontario…she had some lovely art books, and presented us with this present when she came to pick up her cheque:

Owl clock...I'd never seen anything like it...

The best thing we get from our store is knowledge…I tell people I learn something new every day!  After ten years, I’m finally getting to the point where I think I know what not to buy!I have also amassed a tremendous amount of useless facts in my head, which may come in handy if I’m ever a Jeopardy contestant.  Yesterday, I had a spirited discussion about philosophy with a new customer (I knew nothing about it, but I learned about the Gorgias Dialogues from him).

Our actual 10-year anniversary is coming up in August…I’m trying to come up with an event to celebrate that would be fun, easy and cheap…any ideas would be appreciated!


Filed under books

4 responses to “Scenes from a Bookstore…

  1. planejaner

    What fun!
    and we just watched “Cake Boss” last night on TLC–they did a cake for a magazine’s 10th anniversary, and made the cake look like stacks of the magazine…maybe there’s some ideas there?

    have a great weekend!
    (and, if you had an old–antique–period–copy of Wuthering Heights, my daughter would love you forever…)

  2. I like Cake Boss too…we watched a “marathon” set of shows a couple of months ago…actually, Anna found a cool cake online of antique books (just not sure if the person was local).

    We don’t have any really old copies of Wuthering Heights right now…here’s a nice set from 1943 though:

    Happy 4th of July!


  3. Jana

    Liked it!!! Looks like my house. I’ve been selling used books for almost 4 years now and never get my office cleaned out. The moment I am sold out, there will be new boxes all over the place lol !!!!!!! And you are right. I’ve been learning every day something new, just by researching, writing reviews etc. But . . . I love it. Couldn’t imagine my life without books. Because I like reading, too. I does not matter how busy the day is, there is always time to read !!!

    Happy 4th of July weekend !!!


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