Wednesday, May 08, 2013
The Bloom Is Back -- Maybe!
Well, I have officially been selling online for two weeks now following my self-imposed hiatus. I know I whined about how the bloom is off the online rose, but I seem to be enjoying the attar and ignoring the thorns these days – at least for the moment. Nothing has fundamentally changed in the book business itself, so I can only attribute it to the fact that some good stuff has happened lately.
The first big thing is that my website is no longer owned by ABE/Amazon. Some time ago they bought Chrislands, the company that built my site years ago and has continued to host it even after the sale – with devastatingly awful results I might add. As with most corporate buy-outs, everything you loved about the original disappeared and in its place came constant technical difficulties topped off by no option to process credit cards. I had just been thinking that the time had come to light a fire under my computer guru and get him to build me a new truly INDEPENDENT site when the former owner of Chrislands announced that he is once again its owner. YESSSS, Jaymes bought his company back from The Man! How cool is that? Of all the third party sites I like ABE best, but some things, website building and hosting among them, should be left to the little guy with the brains and passion to do it right. I’m so happy about this that I even played around with the new Chrislands templates (they were actually there before, but I didn’t care) and created a new look. Check it out at www.garrisonhousebooks.com. I may change it again if he offers some other options, but it was time to shake it up a little. Kinda like it’s time to shake me up a little too.
The other good news is not quite as huge, but it did my heart good anyway. Last Wednesday we went to a library book sale that used to be GREAT back in the good old days and was still one of the better one in terms of content even in the recent bad old days. I steeled myself for the expected lunacy, but there was no need – I wound up having a wonderful time. The crowd was pretty big, comprised mostly of recycled scanner people, but they all stampeded for the inexpensive room leaving the handful of serious dealers and collectors to their own devices. How lovely to walk slowly and contemplatively up and down the tables browsing, taking the time to look at copyright pages and condition issues, and accumulating small treasures along the way. I didn’t find anything that would knock your socks off, but I did get this lovely set pictured below, among other good finds, including a signed first edition of Christopher Morley’s The Haunted Bookshop for myself.
Another great thing is the set pictured above at the very top of this post and the red book next to it. After so many disappointing estate sales I FINALLY got something good at one last Friday. I paid more for the set than I would like, but I also got the red county history cheap because it’s not local, so it all balanced out in the end. I’m quite tickled with them, especially the Ohio history set by Galbreath, because I haven’t had one in three years. According to my database I bought the last one in May, 2010. But lest you think things are looking up at the estates, be assured that they are not. The very next day we went to one that advertised “lots of good books” when what they really meant to say was lots of cheap common books that you could smell before you saw. They did come with free mold though.
See? I told you I'm feeling more optimistic. I’m even making my dreadful little jokes again, though that may be because of two more good things. Yesterday morning I got a call to see a book collection which we will check out tomorrow. And right after I hung up the phone I sold a first edition of The Ambassadors by Henry James!