Category Archives: Book selling

On saying good-bye to my books

No doubt all booksellers come to a point when they reconsider their business models. If the model has been working well, it may be tweaked. If it hasn’t, it may be drastically modified or even abandoned. I find myself at that stage now, … Continue reading

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On the things we leave in books

The odd looking illustration for this article is an index card I found in one of my book purchases. Some frugal bookseller made the front and back of a single index card do for four books, with an equally efficient swirl … Continue reading

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The merchant spam detector

A book seller, just like anyone else with an email address, gets lots of spam. While we can be as skeptical as the next guy (or gal), we often have an added reluctance to discount an email addressed to the business because … Continue reading

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On the Delights of Obsession

One thing most booksellers learn early on is that specificity sells. It may not sell quickly, but when you have something that’s so detailed and esoteric that ninety-nine percent of the population couldn’t care less, that remaining one percent will … Continue reading

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On guessing the value of books

Nothing warms a bookseller’s heart more than picking a book out of the “maybe” pile thinking it is only worth a few dollars and then finding that it’s actually worth ten times as much. I find that this happens to … Continue reading

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Google and author’s rights

The AE Monthly, a newsletter put out by the Americana Exchange, is one of a few on-line publications I read religiously. Most of the time, I find the articles interesting and educational, but just this once, I’m a little disappointed … Continue reading

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On ruining a perfectly good book

Bad things happen to good books. See my post on Spine perished – a summer project, for example. Granted, “spine perished” is an extreme case. More commonly, a book will get dropped, or get wet, or the jacket will be torn … Continue reading

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St. Thomas Aquinas church history – I wasn’t even looking

I have always loved the word serendipity. For one thing, it’s fun to pronounce, being a kind of combination of serene and zip-a-dee (as in do dah!); it combines a happy sense of well being with a frisson of excitement. But more … Continue reading

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Internet Sales Taxes – A Modest Proposal

I’m not a tax expert by any means, but I know enough (I hope)  to keep me legal. I reside in Illinois, and I dutifully charge my Illinois customers the going rate, which I then turn over to the state … Continue reading

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On pricing the priceless. Or, the bookseller as detective

Solomon Wallace Stewart was born in 1754 in Mcclarar, Tyrone, Ireland. So say at least three family trees on Ancestry.com, and something called OneWorldTree. None of them cite any evidence except each other. I have evidence. Continue reading

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