I have problems with inventory management. I need to improve my inventory management skills. If I keep saying it maybe a miracle will happen. I keep on saying I must throw out those old Reader Digest Atlases they take up so much space and then lo and behold today someone buys one. See? I was right not to get rid of them.
Today I have actually culled the Time Life World’s Wild Places series books, they are going to a good home, giving them to the gentleman who does odd jobs for me as he loves this type of book. It only took me four years but I have finally gotten them off the shelf.
Next I went through the general fiction, my classics and penguins do well but the Picadors are generally unloved. They aren’t quite out the door but they are getting a spin online, reasonably priced, to see if they do better there. Someone has a blog somewhere they ask why I have to have so many copies of In the Days of the American Museum here and really it is a good question. Why do I have so many copies? Why do I have so many copies of Foetal Attraction? Why do I have so many copies of Brmm. It’s a mystery.
Next I am picking out This Little Woman by Judith Rosser, apparently she wrote Looking for Mr Goodbar but no one has ever shown the slightest interest in my three somewhat tatty copies of This Little Woman. I deface the first page with $1 NR and put them out on the one dollar trolley. Within moments a lady had chosen five books from the trolley, plane trip throw aways she says. Yeah, says I taking her purple money with great pleasure.
Another lady comes in looking for Mills and Boon and I find out that yet another second hand book shop is no longer with us. This one was right at the end of the train line in Lilydale. The lady takes a stack of Sexy Romances away and looks likely to return. You might know Mills and Boon as Harlequin romances, the ones that are published every month in their multitudes, short enough to polish off in one sitting. Sexies have red covers they are not as polite as the ones with the blue covers (Sweets) A little read to take your mind off your troubles. I occasionally read them when I am having difficulty sleeping. I went through a Betty Neels addiction which lasted for all 134 (approximately) of her books. Betty’s were before the colour coding era but I can safely say they would have been Sweets.
A lot of bookshops don’t sell Mills and Boon but not us. We sell them. The previous owner of my shop could never say no to exchanges of Mills and Boon to the extent were there was an estimated 10,000 of them in the old shop. I think he had little old ladies lining up every morning with bags and baskets full. In sheer desperation one of his offsiders boxed them up and put them in the laneway behind the shop under a couple of those cheap blue plastic tarpaulins. The area was frequented by pigeons. Say no more. When it came time to move I said I can’t possibly touch them and they mysteriously disappeared. I found out later they were kindly donated to a local charity. I didn’t ever tell them about the pigeons.
I still managed to get a couple of thousand of those Mills and Boon most of which I sold off for 20c each, these days I try to keep mostly current titles but there are a few older ones lurking here and there. I sold a stack to a couple taking them to Papua New Guinea where apparently they are quite popular. I like to think of my Mills and Boon books as seasoned travellers.
It’s funny how often people come in and look down their noses and say “oh, you only sell fiction”. “No, I don’t I say” and show them my biographies and history and travel and art and military and so on and so forth. I feel like saying I would be starving in a damp cellar if I relied on non-fiction. Biographies are so slow they are going backwards but you have to have them if you have any pretentions of being a proper book shop.
Now I have to think about culling again , have definitely decided the 70s and 80s who wrote that? fiction is going but maybe some of those old thrillers….just as soon as the $1 trolley needs a refill.
10 Station St
open 7 days