A Personal Best as a Bookseller-Or How I Sold The Carter Burden Collection

One of the books sold that night–I think. If not, it was another very rare in dust jacket Stout.

There were days when I sold well over a hundred hardcovers. Mostly hand selling, some via The First Editions Club I managed. My enthusiasm for a certain title, and the collectibility would combine to convince an already interested party to buy the book I was praising. If I had read the book, naturally, my sales pitch would be more informed and rooted in personal pleasure. If I’d not yet read the book, or it wasn’t something I was likely to read, I still sold it well based on fellow booksellers’ thoughts, Publisher’s Weekly, The NY Times Book Review, and again, collectibility. I became obsessed with making sure a book was in pristine condition when selling it as an ‘investment’. Not a visible wrinkle, tear, spot on the dust jacket was permitted. The book must have no bumped corners.  (bumped is when the tips at top and bottom of the book’s boards have been squashed via falling, or bad packaging) No damage to the interior pages was acceptable either, nor was any kind of scratch or stain on the boards beneath the jacket.  I was looked at askance by fellow employees and the boss, at one place of employment. Which was slightly ironic, since I was hired for the express purpose of selling hypermodern mysteries to collectors.

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Condition, Shelving, Identifying, and Evaluating First Editions

Coming from a smaller venue where the books were mostly paperbacks and the space limited,  to being seated behind a huge desk in a beautifully appointed room was a little bit of a jolt. The amount of employees was tripled,  with two floors of stock, a shipping department, and rare expensive titles in an unlocked … Read more

Why Collect? Or What The Heck is Hypermodern?

Why collect books? Why indeed. I asked myself the same question in the bathtub, snapping the binding of the latest Sue Grafton. I love to read but why bother to keep the book (just more clutter) let alone get a signature, put mylar on the dust jacket and place it it on a book shelf? The … Read more

Heaven is a Sublime Used Bookshop

I visited one of my favorite spots today. And in the future  will be interviewing the owners and writing up a profile of this wonderful bookshop, but for now, I wanted to share the delicious experience of meandering, chatting, discovering and luxuriating in the midst of books books books. Located on the main street  historical … Read more

Book Collecting With Twitter

Twitter may prove indispensable for collecting new first edition signed books these days. An aspiring author can sacrifice hours hunched over their keyboard and they often take breaks to “microblog” on the popular social media website. Just as with regular blogs, they share everything from the consistency of their gnocchi to what they just said … Read more