I love books. I collect them. I give them away. I share them with others. I sell them.
It's the selling that makes my book life interesting--especially the selling online. When you sell online, your customer base is made up of readers from every state in America and sometimes from booklovers in other countries. That's why an online seller must maintain a selection of books that some of us would find harder to sell in a brick-and-mortar bookstore. Some might be called obscure. Others are just expensive because they are so rare. And still others are multicultural books that I've tried in the bookstore but they haven't moved.
Here's a look at three books randomly chosen from my online bookstore, which I keep at my house.
The Tiger Hunters by Anatoly Builov, translated from Russian, is one of my favorites. The cover shows three beautifully illustrated lions just lolling around in the snow-covered woods. There is something so charming about the scene. I see that someone has recently brought this title back as a print-on-demand. I feel proud to have a hard copy. The new printer's summary is: COMPELLING HISTORY OF SPECIAL OPERATIONS IN SUPPORT OF US EIGHT ARMY'S CRITICAL STRUGGLE OF SURVIVAL DURING THE KOREAN WAR. HISTORY IN ITS FINEST HOUR.
Here is an excerpt randomly chosen from page 93:
"Throw off your pack!" almost shouted Pavel with authority.
The bear pushed his forehead and ears out of the hole. Nikolai obediently threw off his pack.
"Shove a round in the breech," ordered Pavel softly. He slowly raised his carbine to his shoulder and waited for the bear to put his whole head out...
Nikolai stood with the carbine at his shoulder , taking aim at the bear. Pavel distinctly remembered that there were only four rounds in the magazine of Nikolai's carbine.
"Shove a round in the breech, damn you!" he insisted furiously.
"You go to hell!" snarled Nikolai.
Doesn't it make you want to read more? And find out what happens? I actually do know. In the next instant, the bear charges. That's all I'm going to say.
Here is an excerpt from Together with the AINU, A Vanishing People by M. Inez Hilder, randomly chosen from page 49:
A deceased Ainu is dressed in his ordinary clothes, including his underwear and socks. Socks are reversed on the feet with heels resting on the top of the feet. Women relatives prepare a woman's body; the wife or mother or a close woman relative, a man's body. A man's loincloth, however, is changed by a close male relative.
Another excerpt, this one from John Deere, Blacksmith Boy, page 152:
But in spite of John's fine workmanship and his growing business, hard times were just ahead for the Deere family. One cold winter night when the wind was blowing hard, John and Demarius heard a pounding on the door.
It was Lemual Derby. "Hurry, John!" he shouted. "Your shop's ablaze!"
John pulled on his trousers over his night shirt and ran toward the smithy. He got there just in time to see the flaming roof cave in. No one could even get close to the roaring fire.
How much do books like these go for on the Internet?
The Tiger Hunters is $29.95; Together with the AINU goes for $12.95; and John Deere, Blacksmith Boy (a 1964 hardcover in excellent condition) costs $24.95. And you need to add $3.99 shipping for each.
So, online selling is a way to find treasures--not only as the buyer, but also, as the seller. Because I am catering to a wide and diverse online population, I acquire and read books I never would have picked up. And I am grateful for that.