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The BookThinker Newsletter

ISSN 1547-9501

#72, 3 July 2006

BookThink Update
10 July 2006>>>

Update Announcements



George Vanderbilt's Library
A Dream Realized
An Interview with Suzanne Durham

Today we're off to George W. Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate in the mountains of North Carolina. Why? Well, there's a library there, and if you haven't seen it, perhaps we can inspire you to visit. It's inconceivable to me that anybody with an affection for books wouldn't be deeply moved by the experience. We'll make a number of stops along the way, first meeting with Special Collections Manager Suzanne Durham. Suzanne has been cataloging the Library collection since 2003 and is certainly the most informed person on its present contents.


The Library at Biltmore
A Brief History

Next up is Biltmore aficionado Todd Walker. Todd has held a Biltmore season pass since 1991 and, having met with difficulties over the years obtaining information about the Estate, set out on his own to collect/discover whatever he could - and of course continued to question staff members on his visits! To date, he's amassed over 1,000 documents and 100s of photographs, some of which he's generously shared with us. Happily, Todd has also contributed an article for BookThink - a brief history of the library.




Contrived Nature
Landscape Architecture & Its Role at Biltmore House

On our third stop, BookThink's Pamela Palmer will take us on a tour of the grounds - and don't for a moment think that this has nothing to do with books. Does the name Frederick Law Olmsted mean anything to you? Legendary landscape architect Olmsted designed the Biltmore grounds, also New York City's Central Park, and wrote numerous travel books. Pam's tour, complete with photographs, will give you a profound appreciation for his work and illustrate why vintage landscape architecture books are such a hot bookselling niche.


Denizens of Biltmore
The Cast

Finally, for those interested in Biltmore personalities, Pam has also compiled a cast of characters with photographs and brief biographies.


From the Editor
Important announcements for BookThinker readers.

The Future of Bookselling
How To Succeed In Spite of It
Part II: New School and Old School Bookselling

Part II of "The Future of Bookselling: How To Succeed in Spite of It" continues today with a discussion of New School and Old School bookselling. I, for one, owe much to Old School booksellers, and I'm reminded daily how much the success of my own business is based on what I've learned from them - and will no doubt continue to learn. If I haven't said it before, thank you. Time marches on, however, and Old School booksellers, however experienced and knowledgeable, aren't the future of online bookselling. New School booksellers are. The transition from old to new isn't complete by any means, but speaking only of online bookselling, is the torch ready to be passed? Maybe. Much will depend on how New School booksellers conceive and subsequently sustain their roles. Look here if you need an attitude adjustment.

BookThink's Top 10 on eBay
May 2006

Also today - May's Top Ten on eBay. A few days ago, Pam mentioned that the top book had sold for over $50,000. I replied, "What was it? Some Mormon thing?" And she said, "How did you know?" Actually, I didn't know, but my guess was based on past experience. Read more about this in "From the Editor," but go here immediately if you want to get right down to business and mine some blazing flashpoints.


50/50 Issue #14
Now Available

Issue #14 of 50/50 is now available for purchase; its focus is "See The Light" Subscribe today here.


Gold Edition #28
How To Become a Full-Time Bookseller
Part VI: How To Move Inventory
Issue #28 of the Gold Edition is now available for purchase. This is Part VI of a six-part series on How to Become a Full-Time Bookseller Purchase now.



BookThink Consulting - Phase I
BookThink's eBay Critique

NEW! Are your eBay auction presentations lacking that certain something? Are you frustrated with listing high quality items again and again and not getting top prices for them? If so, BookThink's new consulting service, eBay Critique, may be the answer. eBay Critique consists of two elements - one, a detailed analysis of your existing eBay auctions identifying specific problem areas; and two, suggestions for improvements. Primary areas of concern include image quality, presentation layout and textual content. Read our FAQ for more details and get started today.

Previous BookThinker Update -

BookThink Update
26 June 2006>>>

Update Announcements



The Future of Bookselling
How to Succeed In Spite of It

Also in today's issue, a new series - "The Future of Bookselling: How to Succeed in Spite of It." No doubt, it's difficult to accurately predict what will happen a year or more from now, and predicting what will happen more specifically in bookselling might be more difficult yet. However, there are some trends that seem to be pointing in a direction that will negatively impact booksellers who sit on what they're doing today. This series will address those trends and suggest some strategies for meeting them. Part I: An Introduction To the Series appears today.

Collecting Science Fiction
An Interview with Ray Bradbury

Science Fiction icon Ray Bradbury is living proof of what happens when you do what you love doing all of your life: Not only do you get to live to be 86, but also, at 86 years young, you're still doing what you love - and most noteworthy of all have retained the acumen to do it. BookThink's Science Fiction Editor Timothy Doyle had the honor to interview Bradbury recently, and time and time again his love of writing is vitally, almost youthfully expressed in his replies.


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