Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Our living are is knee deep in

books at present. I was "volunteered" to run the second-hand book stall at the "Grand Bazaar" or fete being held by the Senior Cat's church.
This grand event takes place on the last Saturday of this month but people seems anxious to be rid of their books. I am advised that there are more in the church rectory and in someone's garage. They will, I am told, be moved into the church hall for me so that I can sort and price them.
There will be nothing too fancy about this. I have warned the organisers I do not have time for that. I think I can tell pretty much at a glance whether a book is worth more than what I think could be charged at a church fete. So far however I have not come across any likely looking "first editions signed by the author" type books.
I have been given a great many cook books - most of them in excellent condition. It makes me wonder if they were ever used. Probably not.
My mother collected cook books - and never used them. I have some. I do use them. If I didn't they would go. Cookbooks are something I can discard. They are not, to me, like other reference books. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I rarely cook to an actual recipe.
Then there are some school text books. I doubt anyone will buy those although someone might be interested in "Japanese for busy people"? I don't know. There are some other reference books. Most of them are out of date. Their usage is limited. We may sell some of those however because "home-schooling" parents will often buy such things.
Then there are piles of hard-cover novels. The Senior Cat prowled through these when they arrived. I told him to look for first editions and signed by the author books. There weren't any. Some of these are in excellent condition. They have their dustcovers. I doubt some of them have been read. Someone may buy them. Will they find a home in a designer bookshelf?
And then there are the piles of paper-back books. Some are in excellent condition - and likely to remain so. They are, all too often, award winning novels that have, I suspect, been given as gifts. The inscriptions read that way. I suspect the recipients looked at the first few pages and got no further. I will not bother to cut the uncut pages.
And then there are the tatty paper backs. There are the books that have obviously "done the rounds" already. Most of them are "crime novels" by authors whose names are instantly recognisable. I don't doubt for a moment that they will sell. People will buy them at a very low price. They will read them on holiday and then leave them at the nearest charity shop. I suppose that is something to be grateful for.
I really do hesitate over the buying and selling of second-hand books - but only because the author does not get another tiny royalty from someone else's reading pleasure. I hope they do get some pleasure from the thought that they are contributing to charity.
In the meantime I need to prowl cautiously through those knee deep piles and try not to feel too guilty. Forgive me please writers?

1 comment:

widdershins said...

Speaking with my 'author' hat on, I like the fact that second hand books go round and around. Someone may read a story and buy something else that author has written. And hey, we're not in this game for the squillions of dollars we make.