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by Craig Stark

#39, 28 March 2005

As much as I like bookselling, there are several aspects of it that I'm not too crazy about. One of these is writing book descriptions. There may be a few booksellers out there who actually enjoy this kind of thing - I guess anything's possible - but not me. Not in this lifetime. Sure, there are times when it's fun, times, say, when I have something valuable to sell or, for one reason or another, have a keen interest in a book I'm selling, but the other 99% of the time I find the task both tedious and mentally exhausting. It seems as though I can only do so much of it before I start looking for "better" things to do. Worse, I occasionally catch myself passing over books in my sell piles that I know will require extensive presentations to maximize final values in favor of those that can be dispatched with more quickly, even if they're not as valuable. It's shameful, when you stop to think about it, and if you don't watch it, it's the kind of thing that can adversely affect your bottom line.

Well, guess what. Last week I listed more books than I have in, well, years, spent fewer hours doing it, and it was almost entirely pain free. This week I'm off and running, doing exactly the same thing. My bookselling life has been officially transformed. How can this be? Hah. If you dislike listing as much as I do, I may have some very good news for you, and do stay tuned for the April 4 BookThinker, when I will tell all.

Meanwhile, Tim Doyle is here today, taking time out from his usual fare for a personal retrospective on one of the true giants of the SF/Fantasy genre - Andre Norton - who passed away last week, a day after she turned 93.

EDITOR'S NOTE TO NEW SUBSCRIBERS: last month's Gold Edition was the first part of a four-part series on buying inventory online. Parts II, III and IV will be published without interruption in, respectively, April, May and June. Any new subscriber who wishes to backdate their subscription to Part I (March 7) may do so throughout the publication window of this series. Subscribe before the June issue appears, for example, and you may still start your subscription with the March issue.


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