Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I’ve been feeling a bit downhearted about my blog due to all the technical problems with blogger these days. As you may know, the last paragraph of my most recent post turned blue and was virtually invisible unless you clicked the mouse to highlight it. No sooner did that pop up than I got a message from a reader saying that my Halloween post (Lighter and Brighter) was one long paragraph. I went over to have a look and sure enough – it had morphed into a giant rectangle of words. I fixed it with the one and only html command I know and it was fine when I clicked off, but it didn’t stay that way. Fifteen minutes later the same reader contacted me again to report that it now had paragraphs, but ended abruptly in mid-sentence and appeared to have parts missing. It did, and for all I know, still does.
I can’t bear to look at it or at any of the others, so I have no idea how much havoc it caused. But here’s the thing. I was wrapping books this morning and it occurred to me that more than usual are Christmas gifts this holiday. I did not put much stock in the Christmas season this year when it comes to people buying used and/or antiquarian books as gifts, so this was rather an interesting observation. Immediately I wanted to run upstairs and talk to you about it. But of course the only way I could do that is to let go of my miserable blogger problems and have a little faith.
So here’s me.
Having a little (micro little) faith.
A couple years ago I tore my rotator cuff when I tangled my foot in the leg of my capri- length pjs while running up the stairs. To keep from falling DOWN the stairs I grabbed the wall with one hand and – OUCH! Pain so intense I shook like an aspen in a hurricane. To make it worse Eric had to leave for a business trip two days later, so it looked like I’d have to close down the business until he got back. But my friend Nancy offered to wrap orders every night after work and take the books to the post office in the morning. I know, it sounds like I’m digressing here, but hang on – I really DO have a point. While I will never forget Nancy’s kindness in doing this for me, what I’ll remember most keenly is her pure delight in the books. She truly loved seeing what people bought. Wow – a book about Lionel trains! Who knew? And 12 issues of a 1920’a magazine called Chemical Abstracts? Why would someone want that? How did they know it even existed? I had no idea, but watching her reaction to each item awakened a new delight in ME.
This morning as I tied a silver ribbon around a handsome little antiquarian title from 1854 called John Penry The Pilgrim Martyr 1559-1593, I remembered Nancy and the chemical magazines and suddenly realized what a gift it is to be able to provide someone with THEIR perfect gift. To tell the truth, I never heard of John Penry, but I’m glad he called out to me from a table nestled in a bay window of a pretty old house in west Akron. That late summer estate sale, which I probably complained about, produced this scarce book someone badly wanted.
I love being a bookseller. I truly do. And I hope that I will be one for the rest of my life. Sometimes it takes a small book, a piece of silver ribbon, and a memory to remind you that doing what you love is a HUGE gift in itself.
And so here I am. Still.