The Best Cookbooks to Consider Stocking

Recently, I found something interesting in a box of old books, which started me thinking about something new: cookbooks. I have been ignorant of cookbooks my whole life, treating them with an attitude similar to how I view my chainsaw instruction manual. But as a bookseller, I have quickly learned that, for many people, cookbooks […]Read More

Book Cover Design

A fellow approached the register with a stack of books last week and the strange assortment of titles provoked me to wonder. What peculiar circumstances had led this man to such incompatible books? I don’t even remember which books they were now, but it turned out that the explanation was the exactly what you would […]Read More

Bookstore Layout

Among the powers wielded by a bookshop owner is the authority to unite on the shelf what could never be united in life. At Circle City Books this week two of the most valuable books that have come my way were paired in a forced marriage that might still set the heavens aflame. Last fall […]Read More

Epigrams and Building Blocks

“Collect books, for as ye stow, so shall ye read.”   This is the new motto of Circle City Books. I started thinking about epigrams several weeks ago when a woodworker happened by, peddling free-standing sandwich-board signs. I bought one put it on the sidewalk in front of the store. On one side I put […]Read More

Kind of a Book Sommelier

I should be sorting books, pricing them, perfecting window displays, figuring out where to advertise, how much to spend, and doing my taxes. But instead I am reading “Public Finance in Ancient India,” by K.R. Sarkar? Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Really, Sarkar? Didn’t everyone read that by sophomore year?” But, let’s face it […]Read More

Bookshop Closure: Giving Up or Cashing Out?

In North Carolina, disturbing news for booksellers blew in with the Ides of February – the announcement that one of our landmark used bookstores was closing in March. Nice Price Books, which also has stores in Durham and Raleigh, is shutting down its store on the west side of Chapel Hill, after 26 years. In […]Read More

Introducing Customers to New Books

Of all the pleasures that compensate a bookshop owner for his low wages none can beat introducing customers to books they were unaware of, and then, after a couple of weeks, hearing a happy review. I am not extremely well read, owing both to my weakness for watching sports and to the plodding pace of […]Read More

Owen Meredith and Collecting Lucile

Mystery books excite the reader; but book mysteries can be fun too. This week I came across a book about which I knew almost nothing, and so I set about discovering what I had. The book is “Poems,” by Owen Meredith. The inscription in it reads “Merry Christmas ’87,” and the worn, gilt-embossed padded-leather binding […]Read More