Category: Book Stores

Dear Schenectady Gazette – Ignoring Books is Worse than Burning Them

Dear Editor:

1031180903a_HDR-1I was excited today (October 27, 2018) to receive my copy of the Official 2018 Peoples Choice Awards Best of the Best insert in my Schenectady Gazette. Thumbing through it, I found the Best Gun Shop and the Best Vape Shop. But conspicuous by its absence was THE BEST BOOKSTORE category. Continue reading “Dear Schenectady Gazette – Ignoring Books is Worse than Burning Them”

When bloody wankers ask for discounts

(This is an excerpt from Nothing Much Happens, Diary of an Upstate Bookseller, a work in progress.)

New customer from the UK in today, a verbal salad shooter, manure spreader. “Bloody” this and “bloody” that and George W. Bush is a wanker. Obama is a wanker too, and John Wayne was a bloody wanker. Most of the the time I could understand him, but sometimes I needed subtitles.

He comes to the States once a year, entering from Canada with a suitcase full of hundred dollar bills to buy vintage cars and parts to ship back to the Island to sell at a profit. His name is Ford*, but he buys and repatriates Triumphs, Austin Healys and MGs not Mustangs.

No Discount Sign

Then the dreaded question, which I’m never prepared for, “Do you give discounts?” Continue reading “When bloody wankers ask for discounts”

The Slow Painful Death of Book Stores

She was a young and thin, a wraith, and she handed me the book she wanted to buy and said, “ I have to buy this because I sat down to read it and was sobbing within three minutes.” And she opened the book and showed me the tears that had fallen on one of Keats’ poems. How sweet that was. Another young woman, her belly and breasts straining at the leash of her blouse comes in with a young man. They browse awhile and she hands me a small early 19th century Bible and asks, “How much is it?”

I know she hasn’t been in a used and antiquarian book shop before because if she had she would have known that the price is always marked inside the cover in pencil. Continue reading “The Slow Painful Death of Book Stores”