Thursday, November 30, 2006


A lackluster week

I'm always happy to be able to pay my rent and bills every month. Hallelujah, here it is the last day of November, and I can do it once again. But once in a while a bit more than that would be just fine. Seems like everyone coming in this past week has mentioned in passing that they shouldn't even be in a bookshop, because they are trying to avoid temptation, and they really shouldn't buy any books anyway, they already have so many at home. There they are, standing in my bookshop, telling me they're here, but don't plan to buy anything. Free! The books are free today! I want to holler, Just take 'em! The kind woman yesterday who walked around and stacked up a bunch of ten- and fifteen-dollar books and bought them with a smile was one of the exceptions this week, bless her.

So, question of the day: why are books such guilty pleasures for so many people? I consider books as essential - crucial - to a good life, not peripheral in the way other forms of entertainment are, such as movies, or perhaps (for those that partake) booze, or even buying food or furniture. Well, perhaps food, but books are at least as essential as food, right? So it's fine to buy some books now and again, and in fact the cost should be a line item of its own in the monthly budget. Rationalization? Perhaps. But this is self-education we're talking about here, and more than that, joy. I suspect that these same people who tell me they really shouldn't buy any more books are kissing cousins to the same folks that tell me they never have any time to read. I mean really. People tell me this, and I ask them if they watch the evening news, or read a newspaper or two a day. Or if they commute (books on tape!). Oh dear, yesterday I said how unbecoming rants are, and here's one now. Guess I'm feeling a bit anxious going into winter with few people around here wanting to buy books. But it happens every year, and I have to remind myself of it every time. One of the realities of doing business. I usually start to offer more for sale online this time of year, to make up for fewer people in the shop. Gotta get busy.

Hey Sarah... I've been wanting to move to Maine. And just to know there is a wicked old book store in Bangor. Well, that really wets my appetite. I cannot pass a book store.
Oh, not a Books a Million or Barnes and Noble. No, my last find was The Sun Babies by Edith Howes at this
I was on my first trip to England for a wedding and could not pass this place up. I picked the book for its color plate fairy illustratons with tissue paper covering them. I help out in a church thrift shop just so I can browse the ancient books that get willed to us. Oh yes, I have a book addiction. I will look you up next time I get up to Maine. I have only been up there once as I live in Florida. Keep the faith. There are still used book addicts around.
Hi, thanks for commenting! Maine has around sixty used bookshops, probably more, but that's how many are in our antiquarian booksellers' association, roughly. Bangor has three used bookshops and several stores for new books too. Come on up -
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