I've probably mentioned one or a thousand times I used to be a bookseller. You want to talk fun? Oh, it was fun. The best part was buying the inventory. The worst, sending each beautiful book away to someone who may or may not appreciate it as much as I did.
Being elbowed aside by rabid book buyers was a drag, too. I hated that. They're still out there, though they're much more sophisticated – wielding futuristic-looking handheld ISBN readers. I've never gotten close enough to see exactly what they're doing. I'm afraid they'll bite me.
I didn't use technology. I used instinct, keeping mostly to a few specialty areas – literature, literary criticism and women's studies. Every now and then something else would catch my eye, and I'd throw that in, too. Most book sale prices are so cheap you can afford to buy a bagful of books you never sell. Usually one or two books pay for the entire initial investment. The rest is profit. But don't let that encourage you to take up book selling. It ain't easy. Competition is fierce.
It was through book buying I discovered the Modern Library books, the editions with illustrated covers. Reader, I was in love.
My collection isn't extensive, by any means. And I'm not actively collecting anymore, but I'd jump on any inexpensive copies I might find. I don't care if they're first edition or fiftieth, just as long as they have those covers I love.
Here are a few of my favorites:
What good is a cool book collection if you never share it? It's been a long time since I've posted about books from my personal collection. I'll try to do that more regularly from now on.