Monday, December 27, 2010
Geared Up and Ready To Go!
Another Christmas season is over and I’m back at work. We had a rip-roaring fun party, but I’m happy to be here amongst the books again, especially since my family and friends were so united in what I need to make my bookselling life easier. You may already know where this is headed by the photo, but I don’t think there are too many booksellers who received a dozen pairs of reading glasses, three small flashlights, four pairs of heavy-duty socks, 12 bags of black licorice, two books on social media marketing, three Panera gift cards, and a partridge in a pear tree!
I probably already had six surviving pairs of reading glasses before Christmas, as well as a decorative collection box on the family room coffee table into which Eric religiously puts the stray pairs he finds strewn about the house. But the sad fact is that six pairs of glasses are simply insufficient to the task of keeping me reading the fine print. Even after the removal of the three pairs usually found on top of my head I was still several pairs short of prime. So now with the addition of twelve (one of which is a fetching blue) I’ve got my 20/20 sight firmly set on the 2011 book sale season!
At first glance the flashlights may sound a trifle odd, but I have been meaning to buy a small one for estate sales for at least six years. Every time we get into a dark place – an ill-lit basement, an eerie,attic, or even a low-light room, I wish I had one and vow that I will never be caught in the dark again. But of course we all know how THAT turned out. So now that I have an embarrassment of flashlights the trick is to determine which of the three is the light of my life. I can see already that one of them is out of contention for the simple reason that it casts too wide a beam. Books are not performers on Broadway – they need not be illuminated for an entire audience if you get my drift.
The socks may also sound strange at first glance, but it’s winter in northeastern Ohio which means, cold, snow, sleet, and ice. Standing outside at estate sales on the frozen tundra is not for the faint of feet. So now I not only have thee lightweight wool pairs that can be worn UNDER my existing heavy ones, but also a lightweight wool pair that go up over my knees, which my friend Jessica, who gave them to me, swears will fit under my skinny jeans. I’m taking her word for it because Jessica is my only diva friend, replete with a tiny dog named Fiona that she carries in a shoulder bag. I’m telling you, any woman toting a Chihuahua in a purse can be counted on to understand the nuances of skinny jeans.
As for black licorice, ANYTHING is better with black licorice – outlandish prices, junky books, crazy sellers, interminable waits, and crowded spaces. But this particular licorice will not be visiting any estate or book sales. It’s my treat at the end of a long bookselling day. Besides, I have something else to sweeten the sales -- the Panera gift cards which will provide me with dark roast coffee and one of their sublime cinnamon bagels, a confection so perfect it requires no toasting. Once we have our number at the estate sale the final hour is ours, so we always head to Panera for sustenance. Now, thanks to the generosity of the givers of said three cards, we will even have money left over for a few more books!
Speaking of books, I think I mentioned in a previous post that not long ago I bought a blogging book the size of Rhode Island that was supposed to connect me to foreign galaxies, but so far has failed to do so. This could of course be because I allowed the heft of the thing to intimidate me, but I think the fact that it’s written in Sanskrit has a lot to do with it too. But now, thanks to my daughter with the marketing degree, I have The Zen of Social Media Marketing and The New Rules of Marketing and PR. The fact that I never mastered the OLD rules is immaterial I’m sure because it’s the zen book that’s caught my fancy, as it ties into my new approach to business. Instead of being a neurotic, crazed bookseller in 2011 I am going to be serene, calm, collected, efficient and effective.
Or at least an eagle-eyed woman in plastic glasses with woolly legs and skinny jeans armed with a penlight and a loaded Panera card attacking the sales like a zen warrior -- comforted by the promise of black licorice when the battle is done. Make that WON.