Monday, May 05, 2008


Mulching with books?

We were driving in to town today and I was rambling on about what in the world am I going to do with all of the huge bookcases in the shop (having too many empty bookcases is certainly not a problem I've ever had before, do you see), and Ryan suggested we take the backs off a few of the nine-footers and use them for raised beds in the garden. Heh. They would indeed make very nice tidy rows for lettuces, carrots, beets, cabbage. I wonder if the polyurethane would be bad for the soil...? Like the bookshop, it's seven years old and has mellowed somewhat. Seriously, though - I have a bookcase dilemma. What to do. I can fit some in at the house. I'm contemplating storing the others in case (no pun intended) I find I must reopen elsewhere because I miss the book madness too much. Besides, we built all these bookcases ourselves, and they aren't fancy but they are sturdy and still have many years of service left in them.

Back to the garden - I planted four rows of potatoes (two each of red and white) and one long row of sweet peas and sugar snap peas last week. The rest of the veg goes in at the end of the month. As I look around the bookshop, I realize that much of my inventory is now worth, according to Amazon, ten cents or less per book. So should I use some pulps for mulch? Again, kidding here. Still, would be cheaper than buying bags of compost.


Without knowing the value of your bookshelves, perhaps you could sell them locally on No expense in listing.

My Divine Comedy also remains unopened -somewhere on one of my cluttered bookshelves. I recently decided to check out 'Babbitt' by Sinclair Lewis. So far I am enjoying it. (a 1922 edition no less) Althought dated, I think the message/theme still applies today.

Or trade them at:
You could set some of your favorites free. An interesting concept at My brother does it a lot. I do it sometimes. I am so glad you are writing again I've missed your comments and ideas and thoughts. I hope your residency is all you desire. Don't forget to write and send pictures.

How about listing your better items on your blog rather taking them down to your booth at the Co-op? Your bookseller readers may not raise an eyebrow but your bookbuyer addicts might. ;-)

I've never used the blog to try to sell anything - not my style, I guess. I do love buying and selling, don't get me wrong. Frankly I don't know what my problem is. I'll work on it.

Free books: I do give a lot of books to the Salvation Army. And I have a dollar bookcase for markdowns (I've even marked some books "free" and shelved them for loyal customers to find). Maybe I'll freecycle some. The bookcases - if I decide to reopen somewhere else, in a future life, I don't want to have to rebuild them. It was a hell of a job and I never want to have to do it again. I have in-laws with heated storage - but I'm not sure I want to overload them with my stuff. I'm trusting I can sort it all out as it happens. I've jumped without a parachute before...

Thanks for the comments - helpful ideas, all.
Sarah, I have totally been snoozing. When did you decide to close the shop? I'm sorry to hear it but hope that the spirit of it lives on in the antique booth you open... Best, Maureen
Maureen - I think I decided early this spring, though it's been on my mind for a while now. I've always maintainted a booth in a local antiques mall and found it to be a small but tidy income-producer for me. I've done well there since moving half the shop in, that's for sure. I've also marked a lot of my inventory down. Way down. I'm holding some of the better books back for an antiquarian book fair in the fall. Thanks for the good wishes...
I shall continue to read you Sarah, whether you are wring about books, painting or your cat. Good luck with your bookselling from a stall - unfortunately the South of England is too far away for me to come and visit you (looking at the comments from the previous post, I suspect I arrived here from "The Bookseller Crow", but I have been reading you for a while.
Pierre, any friend of Jonathan's is a friend of mine. Welcome. The bookstall goes along swimmingly - last month I doubled the number of books I offer for sale there, and hey! the number of dollars I made last month also doubled. What to you know. I hope to continue this trend.
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