Tag Archives: bookslinging

Heating With Books

books 010Now don’t judge me for what I’m about to tell you. Because every one of us who runs a bookstore has had to face this dilemma at one point or another, and if I do say so myself, Jack and I have found a creative and elegant solution.

Bookstores have unsellable books. It happens. 1970s manuals on why the Rapture will be within the next 10 years – reprinted in the 1980s and 1990s. At which point I assume the preacher died and went to his Heavenly Reward. (I’m not cynical, just have a wicked sense of humor and a healthy disrespect for fearmongering versus “This is God. Get to know God. It’s important.”)

Then there are the Arthur Hailey novels, the 1960s Fiction Book of the Month Club, and Thomas Costain.

Costain works the best for our purposes, because his paperbacks are nice and thick. Still, the book club editions stack well.

books 009Around the walls. We finally sat down and worked out a solution to “What are we gonna do about our heating bills” for this 1903 drafty monstrosity of a bookstore we live in. We needed to insulate better. What did we have to do it with?

Why hel-LO there, Danielle Steel! Steamy heated love scenes? Perfect for under the windows. We lined all the outer walls of our shop with romances, has-been how-tos, hardback fiction that’s been there, done that, and a few copies of  Time Life Big Books.

Thin, those, but nice and tall for the corners.

We got heat, ladies and gentlemen, and those books are getting the dignified retirement they deserve. If someone actually wanted to buy one, I’d have to explain that market value would be determined by the temperature outside, of course. Not that anyone will. These books are elegantly unsellable.books 008

And thick. And weighty. And perfect. We are WARM! Our heating bill is going down. And we culled our shelves. Life is going great in these sub-zero temperatures.

Jack and I live in a house lined with books. Go by, cold world!


Filed under Big Stone Gap, book repair, bookstore management, crafting, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, post-apocalypse fiction, reading, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, writing

How Much Booking Does a Bookseller Book if a Bookseller Books with Books?

Our friends Wes and Rachael were here for the annual New Year’s party, and when I mentioned that I wanted to track calories for health reasons, they downloaded Myfitnesspal for me on my iPhone.

Yeah, thanks.

It tells me I need to eat a 1200-calorie diet if I want to lose a pound a week for a goal of 20 pounds.

I told my iPhone that seemed unreasonable. In fact, I told it I didn’t appreciate it judging me. But there was no entry button for actually imputing that data.

C’mon, I live in a bookstore with one of the best cafes in the world in it, where stuff is made from scratch, not cream of soup bases. It’s WHOLESOME food.

“Wholesome’s just another word for triple left to lose,” sang Jack. (We listened to that Kris Kristofferson special on NPR last week.)

But wait, says Wes, there’s a bracelet you can wear, and it tells you how much you’re walking or running or rowing or skipping or whatever. And whatever you do for exercise earns you extra calories you can eat. Nice system, eh?

Yeah. Finding time to exercise…. I said, “Does the bracelet know when you’re carrying 12 hardbacks through the shop to the farthest points so you can shelve one in each section?”

“Hmm, let’s put that under weight lifting,” Wes said.

So we tried it. Not only does it know, but apparently that’s worth a fourth-cup of Kelley’s chicken and dumplings.

Things are looking up. Booksellers do a lot of booking when we’re booking books.

I’ll be able to eat after all.



Filed under Big Stone Gap, blue funks, bookstore management, home improvements, humor, Hunger Games, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, small town USA, VA, Wendy Welch