I know I haven’t blogged in two months, but I couldn’t let Thanksgiving pass without the annual writing down of a few of the things for which I am thankful this year. Here they are, in no particular order:
1) I am extremely grateful to have reached a goal I set for myself back when I read A Gentle Madness, by Nicholas Basbanes, back in 2003 or 2004. It was there that I first read about antiquarian books, book collecting, and those quirky folks known as antiquarian booksellers. It was also there that I first read of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) and thought, “I wonder if I could ever learn enough to be good enough to be a part of that.” I am so thankful that, as of July, 2011 I am a happy member of the ABAA and ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers).
2) I am thankful that there are wonderful writers like Nicholas Basbanes who are willing to take the time to write accounts of niche fields like antiquarian books.
3) I am so thankful for the family who has supported me in my bookselling endeavor — from parents and a mother-in-law who have been willing to babysit or drive carpool at the last minute to a husband who pretends he doesn’t mind the growing piles of books that continue to multiply in our house to kids who think that living around rare books is like living in an interactive history lesson.
4) I am thankful for customers — the bookbuying public, without whom we booksellers wouldn’t survive. Worse, without whom we wouldn’t have anyone as enthusiastic about old books as we are.
5) I am thankful for good bookselling friends, especially those who were willing to be my sponsors and references for ABAA membership and especially those who have cheered me on in good times and encouraged me when I doubted myself.
6) I am thankful for the books that came my way this year. I bought fewer, but in my opinion better, books this year. Come book fair time, I hope it makes all the difference.
7) I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in so many book fairs. In 2011, I did the Sacramento fair (in September and again in March), the Pasadena fair, and the Seattle fair. In February, 2012, I am looking forward to selling books at the San Francisco fair and the Pasadena fair. (The Pasadena fair will be my first ABAA show. I am extra thankful to be able to participate in that fair.)
8) I am grateful for the chance to write this blog, even when I stumble at it, and for the chance to be a contributor to the IOBA Standard and an occasional contributor to the Fine Books & Collections blog.
9) I am grateful for each and every one of you who stops in to read this blog, whether it is regularly or occasionally or only once. Thanks.
10) I am grateful for the gift of my health and my life.
11) I am grateful that we made our annual journey with the kids and the dog and with the senior relatives who can no longer drive to the home of my sister-in-law and her family. This year, my amazing cook of a brother-in-law is making Turducken. If you don’t know what it is, Google it. The short story is that it is a chicken inside of a duck inside of a turkey. Strange? Most certainly. But it’s certainly something out of the ordinary and it seems to have brought various relatives around the table to see what it’s all about. For that, I am thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving! See you in the stacks!