I’ve been hard at work on Book Hunter’s Holiday-related things this week and it feels great! I had a huge stack of paperwork sitting on my china hutch, and, after working on it the past few days, can safely say that the paperwork (if not the books themselves) is back down to a manageable size.
One other work-related thing I’ve been doing is going to local estate sales to scout for books. I don’t often find valuable books at estate sales, but if they’re close to home I usually take the time to stop by because, in the words of Cadillac Jack, “Anything can be anywhere.” You never know what you’re going to find, and that’s part of the fun of the job. I’ve been to a different sale almost every day this week.
I’ve been taking nine-year-old Huck along with me as I visit each sale. He’s started taking his wallet along in search of buying things (not books) that he plans to re-sell for a higher price at a garage sale at the end of the summer. 🙂 I’ve tried to explain to him that garage sales don’t usually command top dollar, but that if he thinks he can make money, he should try and see what happens. If nothing else, he will learn a lot about money and how to lose it and how to make it. Today, he bought a faux-antique globe for $1 and a red candlestick that comes with its own integral matchbook for $1. His grand plan: Sell each item for $2, for a total of $4.
I’m happy to report that he’s already had his first sale.
To me, his mother. For $2.
I liked the miniature, faux-antique globe, and Huck thought it would look good next to my other bookseller good luck charms — my book angel, Dante’s bust and my winning chip from a poker tournament.
Here’s the globe:
All these items share space on my small desk now. And all of them remind me of things that connect me to antiquarian bookselling — Dante, good luck, serendipitous (or, depending on your perspective, destined) blessings, and the support of family.
As we drove to the estate sale, I asked Huck, “How will you know when you’ve bought something cheap enough that you can make more money on it?”
“Mom, that’s easy,” he said. “I’ll feel it in my gut.”
I think I may have a bookman in the making.
See you in the stacks!