Thursday, September 27, 2007


What is it...

...with this day? First thing this morning I started out by accidentally pushing the watering can off the top of a bookcase while I was taking care of the resident potted plants. Water got on the lowest shelf, splashed up on a bunch of books, and soaked my shirttails. And of course got the floor all wet. As I cleaned up - Books first! save the books! - a person with an overwhelming odor (not entirely unpleasant, just stunningly unavoidable - and believe me, I tried to avoid it) came in and spent some time browsing. I had to air out the shop afterwards. The stairwell was full of scent, too. I opened the door just as a smoker walked by in mid-puff, thereby trading one problem for another. Anyway, after that, the fresh air came in, which helped the floor dry more quickly. Then back to my desk for a round of bill-paying and politely refusing to buy people's moldy tattered books. Which they think are worth a lot. Because they are so old. Arg.

On to some non-whining: the good news in town is this, the Bangor Book Festival is happening in a week. The list of visiting and speaking authors is long and varied. A few of the other bookshops in town are venues for readings, but mine isn't on the list, sadly, although I did offer my shop as a venue - I think I wasn't asked because I'm on a second floor and hence not wheelchair accessible (no elevator). Oh well, now I can just relax and enjoy the festival, and not worry about scrounging chairs and decent lighting and signage, and oh yeah, dealing with people. Lately I am finding it more and more difficult to spend time around actual people. Kinda tough when I work in a bookshop. To avoid dealing with people.

I'll cut this short because I'm much too grumpy to be blogging. I just read a terribly depressing bunch of information about global warming, and I'm feeling very "what's it all for" right now. Back on Monday, with my usual optimism firmly in place.

Here's something to cheer you up, a collection of endpapers:
Hi Sarah,
Just to give you something else to cheer you up. I happened to be down near West Chester, PA today and had planned my trip to allow time to stop at Baldwin's Book Barn. It really is a barn and it is full of books. What to my delight did I find but a set of Dorothy Dunnett's Nicolo series. Since I have heard so much about them from you and other post-ers I immediately bought the first one, along with John Gardner's Nickel Mountain (someone I've been meaning to read but haven't) and an old Ray Bradbury that was recently been reprinted - Some of Your Blood (I read Ray when I was young along with just about every other 'Golden Age of Science Fiction' author and he really gave me some things to think about as a 13-15 year old). I am reading Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch. I liked his Polysyllabic Spree so much (as well as "about a Boy") that I have been keeping an eye open for him. I bought that book last weekend when I was in Wellsboro at a small second hand bookstore there. Lots of good reading in the near future I hope, but unfortunately the real world is dragging me back. Papers and grading and lessons for the next week. It does sound as if I am globe trotting but it has just been a couple of busy weekends. Now, if only I could make the trip to Maine a little more frequently I'd be able to stop in to see you and bring you nice copies of interesting books that I have finished reading. Books that I know you would like to have. Maybe next summer. Keep you chin up. I liked the end papers, always have enjoyed opening a book and seeing them there.
Thanks, Lesley - love that V for Victory design in particular, and I'm very curious about the bookplate on the pastedown, I wish I could get a closer look at it.

Back before I started painting again I used to work in collage, and I'd often use decorative endpapers out of old books (which were already falling apart, I should note). I liked ones with inscriptions, or library "discarded" rubber stamps, and such.

Hey Jodi - I hate to tell you this but I have yet to read the House of Niccolo series (I have read all the Lymond Chronicles, and I loved them). But given my recent reading about Venice, I can see that I am headed in that direction myself. I have a few of the books in the series so far, but not the first one. I'm waiting for it to turn up secondhand. It will, it's just a matter of time... Glad you like Nick Hornby, I've read everything of his in print - and I'm always watching for more.

Come up and visit again, any time. Any time I'm open, that is.

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