Thursday, November 11, 2010

And So --- We're Off!

Today’s the day! By noon we will be on our way to Dayton for the Great Bookseller Road Trip. The weather is cold, but dry, and my mood expectant and even a little excited, which is rather amazing considering how soured I am on book sales. I think my good humor rests on the memory of the wonderful sale we went to in Cincinnati last June when we were there to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Now THAT was fun. So maybe this will be fun too.

Our first stop is my customer’s home outside Dayton where we will buy a portion of his architecture and Ohioana books. Then it’s on to downtown where we will check into the Doubletree, relax a little, and then get dressed up to meet our friends for dinner at a Thai restaurant. After dinner though we need to crash early because a bookseller friend who has gone to this sale for years told me we MUST be there by five a.m. even though it doesn’t start until ten. Massive overkill if you ask me, but if that’s what it takes I guess that’s what it takes. Somehow it seems less abhorent to wait endlessly in a strange place than in a commonplace one, though why that should be is a mystery. If bad behavior is the order of the day it really doesn’t matter whether you’re acquainted with the perpetrators or not. But I refuse to even consider that something negative will happen. The book gods owe us this one!

Another reason I’m so hopeful is the fact that we now have the antiques mall to stock. I AM, however, a bit dismayed by two things with the mall – the fact that you can’t have books from the 80’s and the fact that you cannot have a sign with your store name, nor can you place a stack of business cards or flyers in the booth. The mall we loved in Toledo that went out of business sported two huge booths run by the same bookseller whose name was so prominently displayed it practically jumped off the wall and knocked you over the head . One booth consisted of high end items, mostly pop culture stuff, and the, the other nice, but lower priced, books. I talked to him about this and thought then it was a great model, later confirmed by two other seller friends who do likewise, one in Georgia, and one, believe it or not, in Ohio Amish country. But this mall is very close to me and the other possibilities (at least those of any size) are NOT, so I feel cornered, as I absolutely do not relish long trips to restock and spruce up.

Speaking of the mall, we didn’t get the bookcases from Craig’s List. The owner got back to me, but it turns out that he sold them in October and forgot to delete the ad. We’ve tried to find other economical options, but nothing suitable turned up. Last night though Eric found some sleek black ones on sale at Office Max, so I think we’re going to spring for those even though this rarified antiques mall wants you to have wooden bookcases. They’re just going to have to get over themselves on this one, as even these cannot be purchased with pocket change. Besides, they’re very attractive and if I think this (and I am a notoriously picky person with high design standards) then they will be just fine. We’re going to go over there and get them this morning before we leave.

Right now though I have to wrap yesterday’s orders, so they can be mailed at the same time we go to Office Max. I will catch up with you when we get back – probably Saturday – and share all the adventures. Meanwhile, send up burnt offerings to the book gods and I'll return the favor any time.


Anonymous said...

Hope you are having a great adventure and finding lots of treasures...that would have to be pre-1980...hmmmm.
You will find a way around that marketing rule in your new home...are you allowed to speak to your customers if you are there??? I hope so.
Drive safely and tell us all about that Thai meal...sounds wonderful. An Elmer Follower.

tess said...

I just this minute put up a new post about the trip. I'm thrilled that you're interested in the details. I keep telling myself that maybe this is interesting only to ME, but obiously that thought didn't stop me from babbling about it!

Yes, believe it or not, you CAN talk to the customers if you're there. Which is a good thing because I'm an A-1 talker. In fact, when I was little my grandfather always told me to get a job that involved talking!