Tuesday, February 06, 2007


What I missed in January...

...by spending all my time reading books: the owners of the venerable Black Oak Books in Berkeley and San Francisco are looking to sell the business; this article sums up the situation there. Also, Micawber Books in Princeton, New Jersey, is going out of business next month. Princeton University bought their building and will apparently install another bookstore there. I read these articles and wonder what will happen to my own bookshop, down the road. I feel lucky to be able to remain in business - purely due to a combination of low overhead, because I'm in Bangor, Maine on a second floor, willingness to live simply so my scant resources can fold back into more inventory and upkeep, and of course my affinity for the business of books, part of which is a deep vein of stubbornness that makes me continue doing what I love to do, in spite of the bottom line. I mean, I'm essentially a microbusiness. I'm practically a non-profit. Can anyone tell I've been doing my taxes? Anyway, the thought of going back to work for someone else gives me a most unpleasant and bitter taste in my mouth. Not that I haven't considered it, during those weeks like this one when the shop brings in very little.

The state of retail has been on my mind, partly because of doing taxes and partly because I watched the documentary Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price over the weekend. If anyone reading this shops there, or at Sam's Club, you've got to watch the film and think about what your money is supporting. It's ugly, UGLY. Other than that, no rants, for now. I'm off on a mini-vacation until Monday. First, to attend a series of free workshops tomorrow, hosted by the Maine Arts Commission, about survival strategies for artists (marketing, grants, fellowships, the works). Next, to the Museum of Art at Colby College, to watch a Tibetan Buddhist construct a sand mandala. Then finally, to the southern half of the state to go visiting for the weekend. Back on Monday. Stay warm, everyone. Or stay cool. Whichever you prefer.

Tax season is such a treat. Stop by while in the south...love to chat about many things.
Sorry to miss you, Ian - this trip I was on a tight schedule. Later, in the spring...?
Anytime...as you know, you are welcome any time. Books and your choice of coffee, tea or Columbian cocoa (amazing and wildly adictive stuff). Glad to know you're back safe and sound.
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