[Home] [Weblog] [The Bibliothecary] [Driving the Quill] [Library][Bookmarks]

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Chapter Twenty-One, in which The Beggars receive a welcome Visitor

Normally, we bookstore owners are more welcoming to shoppers than visitors. Today our store was treated to a welcome visitor.

This afternoon the former owner of our store, who we will call Igor, drove over two hours with his wife just to visit. This was the first time we had met the Mrs. And they came bearing gifts: more books.

Igor is a gregarious man of wisdom and humor. His business card used to entreat people to "Come in and let's talk," and he is a prolific talker. He also is knowledgeable about book selling, and I am always eager to take in his advice. He spent over nine years nurturing his store before a fine woman gave him something better to do. The foundation of our store remains firmly his, but it has grown admirably since we purchased it.

We had lots of good talk today. He pointed out numerous books that might sell well online. We discussed what could best be called the fuzzy logic of selling and demand. We chatted about selling strategy and operations. And of course he shared some of his supply of jokes and witticisms.

A few items of note which helped to buoy our spirits: he described how he would go crazy at times when there was no one in his store; he reported that when he first started, August and September were among his slowest times, because people are spending more money on school supplies; he shared his belief that it was better to turn a book quickly for a slightly lower price than to have it sit on the shelf for a year at a higher price.

He is no longer in the bookstore business, but that doesn't mean he is no longer a book seller. He can still be found at book fairs, and he still sells a modest amount of books online. He definitely misses the daily interaction with customers, but he still enjoys the other great pleasure of the business: the hunt. That is something I too hope never to have to give up.

No comments:

Post a Comment