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.

No comments: