From the Editor

by Craig Stark

#57, 5 December 2005

As a rule, reference books aren't cheap, and it seems that no matter what the topic is there's almost no end to them. Book-related reference books are no exception. I have 100s of them on my shelves, and I don't even want to think about what I spent to acquire them. Worse, there are probably 1000s more that I don't have. But the good news for booksellers is that, if you know what to buy, as few as a dozen or so key titles will meet most if not all of your needs. BookThink's ongoing series on building a book reference library has featured a number of them already.

Step down to a major genre, and the same pattern usually holds. There are still lots of reference books you could spend money on, only a few that are useful enough to merit purchase. Science Fiction editor Timothy Doyle begins a series on SF and Fantasy reference resources today with a detailed look at two of the best multi-purpose titles in this genre. Both of these titles may be purchased new or used on BookThink's BookShelf page.

Also, re the possible relocation I mentioned some weeks ago, it's definitely still a possibility, and I've been doing some serious thinking lately about how it might impact my bookselling business and what, if anything, I should be doing to get ready for it. At this point, it seems as though some species of "gypsy bookselling" may be in my future. Today's article looks at some of the obstacles that will need to be overcome to make this happen - and work. If you've done any of this yourself, any advice, suggestions, etc., would be most welcome!

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Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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