Thirty Years of Books…And So Much More

A Day Well Spent


This March marks the 25th year anniversary of our launch into the business side of the world of used and rare books. And what a big, big, wordy world it is.

Along the way, we found out what it was like to run a mail order business with its printed catalogs and pay by good check, long before “Google” was a household name. We discovered the skills needed to successfully operate a brick and mortar bookstore on main street U.S.A., never imagining that such a hopeful enterprise would run into the concrete walls of the big box stores and mostly go the way of the dinosaurs. We rode the wave of Ebay, Paypal, and the internet bookstore, and watched the book world change in so many ways that it’s sometimes hard to remember why we became booksellers in the first place.

It has been a unique and rollicking adventure, though not recommended for the faint of heart. You might say we’ve handled a lot of books in those two decades, and I’ve got the creaky and complaining back to prove it. I don’t mind telling you that it is not an easy way to make a living, particularly in a world of ever-increasing electronic distractions and a struggling world economy. It is not a place for anyone wishing to avoid a challenge, or face a steadily rising and unending learning curve. A great memory doesn’t hurt a thing either, especially if you can keep it.

I can also say that I would not have changed a thing about the journey. We’ve met a lot of great people along the way – people who love the books as much as us – and more. Our conversations within the limitless universe of mind bending ideas and printed happenings have been epic, and I can still hear many of them reverberating in my head from days so long ago.

“Wow, you must get to read a lot”,  is an oft-repeated phrase. Well, don’t we wish.

The life of a book dealer is a full one, and the motto “So many books, so little time” is the Bookman’s lament. We make a living one book at a time, and every decision to buy is based on our knowledge and experience and the ability to find a buyer and turn a profit, each and every time. Buy wrong, and die.

No wonder that “No pain, no gain”, and “risk it all” are the rallying cries of the fiercely independent.

Small matter, I say. It is the tightly focused hunt in the dimly lit bookstalls and the love of carefully bound volumes that drives us before the hounds. Perhaps you know just exactly what I mean.

To all of our customers and the cherished book friends we’ve made over the years – Thank You – and best wishes from the deep well of our book loving souls. It is your love of words and unquenchable thirst for knowledge that keeps us doing what we do. For that, we are most eternally grateful.

Here’s to another 25 years of black ink and the printed page, and the people of the book – God willing….

Michael Patrick McCarty                                                                                                      


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.                                                              Frederick Douglass

Some people will lie, cheat, steal, and back-stab to get ahead…and to think all they have to do is read.                                                                                                              Anonymous


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