Wednesday, June 22, 2011
I love books
Ordinarily I discuss various aspects of writing. I’m taking a respite this month in honor of summertime. I'm not attending RWA 2011 in New York. I'll especially miss the big event, the book signing for literacy. So I found a way to support literacy at home.
Libraries across America are struggling with budget cuts. This summer I’m volunteering at my local used book store which supports our branch library. Living in a small town offers plenty of volunteer opportunities. This one fits me to a tee. I get to surround myself with books, handle and find great books, and I’m helping our library and their summer children’s storybook and reading programs.
It’s amazing how many books our small community donates. And the variety of subjects is astonishing. There is no way you can keep the children’s book section in order. Not when the kids plop down and flip though a stack they’ve chosen, then wander off. We sell these books at one dollar an inch, measured at the spines. That way the kids get more for less.
And we’re a dog friendly shop.
The summer tourists know about us. Every year they stop and pick up a few beach reads and usually something for their kids too. Last week a man’s young son wanted the book Sounder. They glanced at the cluttered children’s shelves and soon gave up. My fellow volunteer continued looking and found Sounder, dashed out the door and we had another satisfied customer!
We only sell books in good to excellent condition. And when you walk in you immediately know this is a place where books are respected. They’re organized similar to a library.
I’ve discovered three books, all great finds, both fiction and non-fiction for research purposes. Three dollars is considered expensive for a book. Typically we charge one dollar for paperbacks, two dollars for a hardcover. New customers are pleased at our low prices. With a steady flow of donations, we must move things quickly or drown in sea of books, CDs, DVDs, and audio tapes. That’s one excellent reason for our price structure. These babies go out to later come back and be resold again and again.
I do purchase new books, of course. Now that my husband bought a Kobo ereader I’ll soon be downloading my first ebook. Yet, nothing brings back childhood memories like sitting with a book tucked in your hands, while you daydream about other worlds and bigger-than-life characters. Flip the book over. Yup, the cover confirms you’re somewhere else.