I am writing this from Lynnfield, Mass., where I am preparing for my father’s funeral. He passed away last week, in the middle of my hectic transfer of the contents of one bookstore to another. His death was no surprise; he had been declining for months and barely alive for the last 10 days. Still, I’d have to say that business seems awfully trivial under such circumstances. Operations are on hold back home, but I can report the following about my big move.
Twenty-thousand books, packed tightly, might fit in 500 boxes. But where does one find 500 boxes? For me, buying them is a most disagreeable option; and even if I wanted to pay U-Haul $1.50 each, they don’t have 500 on hand. Your local grocery store, if you get there at the right time, before they crush and bale their boxes, might have 15 or 20. Then there is the liquor store and the drug store. In the end, the best place is the recycling center where every few hours a new supply gets dropped off, cut down flat and left for scavengers to reclaim. Over the course of three days, I assembled an army of 150 boxes, far too few. Perhaps if I had more time I could have collected enough, but I did the best I could.