I spent most of last week looking forward to the weekend.
I know, I know. When you’re working, you’re supposed to look forward to the weekend. It’s “time off”, time to recharge your batteries and do something fun.
Here’s how I know I have chosen the right career for myself: I looked forward to this weekend because I was going to be able to work.
That’s right. Work.
I couldn’t wait to tackle this weekend’s project at hand.
No, I wasn’t going to dust the books or the bookshelves. I wasn’t going to a book fair. I wasn’t going to sit at my desk researching books while throwing in one more load of laundry. This weekend it was time for one of the best and most exciting parts of the job of bookseller.
It was time for this book hunter to locate and acquire some previously undiscovered trophies for the trophy room [read: the bookcases in my hallway that store my inventory]. It was time to hunt for more books, more wonderful and special books to offer to you, my dear readers and customers. 🙂
The hunt began began in a promising way on Friday morning. I sent Tom and Huck off to school and had on my docket for the day two estate sales, one annual library sale, and one antiques fair. That would keep me busy until the boys were dismissed until 3:00 p.m. I was thrilled to have a whole day to devote to scouting books, even informing Thoughtful Husband that I would not have time to cook dinner Friday night — I’d be too busy poring over my new acquisitions, gloating over my fabulous finds. Being the usual Thoughtful Husband he is, he just shook his head and said, “I’ll cook.” And off I went, adding to the enjoyable day by stopping for tea and a scone on the way to the first estate sale, which was advertised to open at 9:00 a.m. As long as I was finished with all my stops by 3:00 pm, the day was mine to scout books.
Those of you book collectors who are in it for the “thrill of the hunt” will know the anticipation of which I write. Part of the fun in book collecting, aside from researching and selling the beautiful and interesting books, is discovering that there is life among the ruins. There, amidst the dust-covered belongings of an old and almost empty house, or there, at the bottom of a box under the table at the library sale, are books which others have discarded or overlooked, books for which I know I can find a new, good, and loving home.
Wondering what I found at the sales? Allow me to show you:
A very pretty wooden bookstand. This will come in handy for book display at book fairs.
But what about the books? Aren’t I supposed to be hunting for books?
Sorry to say, that bookstand was my only find of the day. I didn’t see one saleable book, despite shopping at four different and potentially promising venues. Either I am getting worse at identifying good books or I have become much more selective with regard to condition. One of the houses I visited for the estate sale had several huge bookcases full of books — not one of which had its corresponding dustjacket. I passed.
Exhausted and dejected, I picked up Tom and Huck from school at 3:00 p.m. Is it the measure of a good bookseller that she does not yield to the temptation to buy something when nothing spectacular presents itself? Or is it a pretty poor bookseller who attends four different sales and finds not one book worth buying?
On Saturday, I would have a chance to redeem myself. There was one more sale, in the basement of the local historical society, one of my favorite book hunting haunts.
To be continued . . .