Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Saving first editions from being read since 1987

Great post from a Seattle-based bookseller on etiquette at the annual library/fund raising sales that juice the inventory of the dealers involved and generally depress and anger everyone else.
A lifetime ago in the used book trade, I trudged off to these sorts of things with a cabal of used.. er antiquarian booksellers. Decent people most of us, who morphed into salivating greed heads on select days of the year.
"A few minutes before opening, the sale’s organizer stepped out of the library (accompanied by a uniformed police officer) and explained the rules of the sale. Dealers should fill one box, he said, then pass it to one of the volunteers before starting on another box. He passed out some labels for people to use on their boxes and went back inside. The doors were opened in short order and everyone rushed into the small meeting room where the sale was being held. Then in a carefully organized fashion, the four dealers who I mentioned before each scooped up a boxload of books from the choice non-fiction tables and shouted, “Full box.” They handed off their filled boxes and, barely glancing at the spines, dumped the next pile of books into their next four boxes. “Full box!”
I couldn't get to a shower quickly enough afterward.
By comparison, the only thing in the new book trade that makes me squeamish is having to touch things like this

Posted by Dave

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