To become a Book Person, you need to like being around books.
It helps if you have read a book or two, so you know how they work (front to back, one page at a time).
A love for oriental carpets, a partiality for rainy days, and a high regard for a good cup of tea doesn’t hurt.
You have to know that there is no such thing as a non-fiction novel, no matter how many people come into the used book store and ask for such a thing.
Finally, a strong back is a must.
It seems as if there are a lot of people on the north shore of Long Island who made the same New Year’s Resolution to de-clutter their lives:
Last week, in one swell foop, I got ten boxes of books dropped off at the used books store that I co-manage, to add to the overflow of donations that I already had. Worse than that, there was hardly anything worth keeping in the ten boxes, the donor being a person who bought a lot of paperback books in the 1960s and ’70s on the role of Islamic art and religion on the culture of medieval Europe. Who knew that there could be so many books on the the role of Islamic art and religion on the culture of medieval Europe??
There were also some very dated, but interesting (to me and, thus, to the store’s inventory) books about European travel — but I love reading guide books from the Olden Days. I love reading that a blow-out meal at the Ritz in London in 1965 cost $9.00.
And then there’s this, my favorite book from the whole shebang:
Published in 1980, this book is dedicated:
To the many correspondents near and far — the ardently devoted squirrel people and the equally ardent anti-squirrel people — whose numerous and sometimes multiple communications, written and oral, made this volume possible.
One. Who knew that there was such a thing as squirrel people?
Two. Whose teeth marks are those on the corners?
Three. A book this quaint makes me feel that 1980 was a very, very, very long time ago. But wait. Wasn’t I 24 years old just a minute or two ago?
Being a Book Person means that you never run out of things to think about.
And then, just this morning (Thursday, Jan. 17), I was back at the used book store and found this on the front porch of the historic Valentine House where you can find my used book store in the front parlor:
I had to lug it all indoors myself:
But I can’t really complain, since this is how we get inventory for the used book store, and these tomato boxes are fabulous!
I’m pretty sure these tomato boxes are vintage. So Cool.
After a couple of hours of sorting, I had this:
All the books that are in piles on the floor are keepers.
Now all I have to do is price them and shelve them in the bookcases that are already full.
So, in the next few days of this Book Person’s life, I will have to cull the bookshelves and discard the ones that have been there as long as I have been co-managing the store. That is, since last February. A Book Person must not be afraid of Letting Books Go.
In addition to doing the filthy work of hauling and sorting and stacking, I also went through all our hardback and paperback novels and sorted them into five categories:
Mysteries (Who Dunnits, Page Turners)
Guilty Pleasures (Daniel Steele, Nora Roberts, The Notebook)
Fiction (best sellers from the past 10 years)
Breaking up our fiction section, from being one big slew of 1,000 books, into more beguiling sections will make our inventory easier and more fun to browse. I’m also raising our price from 50 cents to $1.00 per book. Because, you know, the collection is now curated.
So today, after three hours of carting all these books to and fro, I was very tired.
The store is closed this whole month so I can re-stock the inventory and make these changes but just as I was about to close up and go home, a couple of nice ladies from a neighboring town stopped by. They were at our library to hear a lecture about UFOs and wanted to check out the book store, which they had never seen before. So we chatted and I let them look through the children’ books and I made $2.00 for the Friends of Bryant Library.
Not that anybody’s going to give me a $100 gift certificate to Amazon, or anything, for all my troubles.
Thank you, all you Dear Readers, and especially all you Fabulous Commenters, for weighing-in on last week’s controversy. This little blog has the best comments I’ve ever read anywhere on the internets, and I am mightily thought-provoked by each of your messages.
And yes, it was my birthday this past Wednesday, January 16. and my own Top Cat knows exactly what to get me to make my B-day purrfect:
I would never buy a gallon of Elmer’s glue, but Top Cat was raised by rich parents and he knows how to splurge. He also knows that making Book Art (which is something that us Book People do) takes a lot of Elmer’s glue. I used almost an entire third of my small bottle of Elmer’s just making this last week:
The top photo is at eye level.
This one below is taken from 5 feet, six inches up:
I used three children’ books and one YA fantasy novel. Can you guess which ones?
I am wrist-deep in glue for my new Book art thing, which is a 3D Book Art re-interpretation of this scene:
I am using a crazy amount of glue and I hope it will be finished soon so I can show it to you all next Friday.
In the meantime, I must explain last week’s Taffy citing, where I showed you all this photo and called Taffy “kind of a jerk”:
That’s Taffy, on top, and that’s Dennis, on the bottom. See Taffy’s tail? He’s doing that thing that your little brother used to do, when you had to sit with him in the back seat of your parent’s car, and he’d sit too close to the diving line between your part of the back seat and his part of the back seat, plus he’d breathe on you, and repeat everything you said, and act all innocent when you lean over and threaten to punch his teeth out and shove them one by one up his nose if he didn’t cut it out right now.
This week, we noticed that Taffy has been limping. I’m sure it’s his front right paw that hurts, the one he holds up to take the weight of it when he sits in front of the refrigerator reminding you that this is where you keep the cream cheese and he’s a guy who loves cream cheese and now would be a good time to give cream cheese to a Taffy who loves cream cheese.
I’m publishing this on Thursday afternoon (4:30-ish) so I hope that the time lag isn’t too bad between now and when this post finally turns up in your browser (or whatever) so you’ll know that Taffy is going to see the vet on Friday at 2:00.
If all his paw needs is a little bit of Elmer’s glue, he’ll be fine.
Have a great weekend, Dear Ones.