Some updates, some musings!
Thought it might be fun to write a bit of an update on what we’ve been up to recently.
Mike has returned! Mike was working here when I first started three years ago. He left not too long after to finish his schooling. His graduation ceremony is this weekend. He also broke his leg a few months ago and only just got the cast off. Fun times! Mike has been looking through our backstock and paring down what we have – there is so much we just have no time to get around to! Some of it is really interesting and in great condition, some of it you just have to wonder why the hell we ever kept it to begin with, because all of our backstock is invisible to our prospective customers. So it goes. It would be an interesting experiment to get EVERYTHING we have in backstock listed, and then when more books come in, we focus on those, and just avoid having any backstock. Is this something any small bookstore, online or physical, is able to do? Probably not. I’m sure every bookseller has their stash that sits around forever, away from the customer’s eyes.
Tom and I went out to a storage unit and have started going through about 90 boxes. I was very happy that it was only boxes in this storage unit, and all of the same size! No furniture, no random gewgaws, just boxes and boxes of books, CDs, DVDs, and VHS. By happenstance, both Tom and I had seen an article about how VHS might be the new vinyl and some VHS apparently have value*. Mostly cult horror and B movies, some of which haven’t made their way to DVD. Part of the appeal, according to the article, is that the imperfection of the VHS is more appropriate for those kind of old movies; hi-def DVDs just don’t have the sort of warmth, like the crackle of the needle across vinyl.
Admittedly, I am still nostalgic for some aspects of VHS and cassette tapes… this lasts for about a second before I start thinking of the space they take up and the hassle of moving them! I love vinyl, and I do believe there is inherent value for recording music to vinyl. Old mix tapes might have a lot of nostalgia for people. For me, it’s my father’s cassettes of The Hobbit as read by Nicol Williamson (even though it’s abridged). My father copied them either from the vinyl, or possibly other cassettes. I listened to those things I don’t know how many times, and came to love every warp and warble of the ever-increasingly deteriorating tape. Nicol Williamson’s narration is stupendous. I recommend it very much. In fact, archive.org has it available for free:
Personally, I’ve still been dealing with the 19th century geology and American expansion books. I’m close to finishing listing those, but some of the several hundred dollar books I just have to take a little bit more time to describe, and make sure I get great photos, so they take time. I have listed, and will list, a few lots of the more general books – I just listed one lot of seven books from the mid-19th century all about reconciling recent scientific, geological finds with Christian scripture. Creationist stuff, in essence. There are a bunch of general, antiquarian geology manuals I just listed.
Always interesting in Bookland. If all works out, we may soon be welcoming another employee to the excitement!
Stay tuned. Stay foxy.