Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The sad thing about being a bookseller

There are moments when being a bookseller is a terribly sad thing. Mostly it's wonderful spending all day every day surrounded by beautiful volumes of pearlescent prose and stunning illustrations... and then you have to sell them! I recently was lucky enough to find a really lovely pair of rebound Gilpins. Namely "Remarks on Forest Scenery 1791 1st in2vols VGC" as the auction headline had it. These have now sold, to a buyer not a million miles from me in the New Forest, so at least they've stayed close to their original and spiritual home. But I have to admit that whenever a book (or set) as nice as that comes through the door, it's not always easy to remember that I'm not just buying for my own enjoyment. That said, I do find it hugely satisfying to send a nice book off to a good home. I know my customers are all real book lovers (I don't sell Jeffrey Archers after all!) and it's always clear that the books are going to be loved and read with great enjoyment. Especially so when you take the trouble to let me know. I particularly enjoy those little notes that say "my wife's going to love this", or "I remember this from when I was a child". Half the fun of books is the memories they leave us with. And I get to share your memories as well as enjoying my own.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Autoresponder woes

Don't you just hate faulty technology? We all make mistakes, fair enough... but we don't need help in making them worse. Pshaw! Back in September BB (Best Beloved) and I took a short break to Cornwall. I was terribly organised and turned off all my sales in ABE Books, and set the holiday settings in eBay, to make sure customers knew what was happening. In a burst of super-efficiency I even set the autoresponder for, so that a short message was sent saying I'd be back soon. And promptly forgot to turn it off when we got back. Oops.

Now that wouldn't be so bad, as a kind regular customer pointed out the blooper to me pretty much straightaway, and I went to my mail options site and deleted the autoresponse pronto. Except, it now seems, it never actually died. So ever since then, anybody who wrote to bykimbo has been told I'd be back in September. What a twerp I must have looked. I've now been back to the site, set up another message, deleted that, and generally given the whle bally thing a good kicking, and I think it's now behaving itself. But if you spot anything odd going on, do feel free to let me know...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Welcome to Books, by Kimbo's new blog space

Welcome to the blog space of Books, by Kimbo! As the world and his wife has a blog space these days, I didn't like to seem like I was lagging in the 20th century. Even though I probably am. When you spend your days surrounded by "old technology", paper, print, and lucid prose, it's probably a little too easy to slip back a few decades without noticing. So here's me keeping a toe in the murky modern waters of cyber space. And if that's not a metaphor mixed to within an inch of its life, I don't know what is!

As with all blogs, I'm sure this space will evolve and change (or wither and die!) as I get used to it. I'm hoping that in this case, familiarity will breed content, but we'll see. The intention is to keep the world (or that part of it that's interested at least) up-to-date with developments at Books, by Kimbo. To mention interesting or unusual books that come my way. Maybe to post the occasional review, or piece of advice. Whatever book-related thoughts wander into my brain, and out of my keyboard.

All the best,
by Kimbo!