Monday, February 23, 2015

The Early Bird gets fast-food

The schedule changed a little this year for Beth David Synagogue's annual book sale. Instead of a preview sale on Saturday night with wine and snacks, the preview sale started early Friday morning. Which meant die-hard dealers running the car heat and then standing in line in record-breaking (for North Carolina) 5-degree F weather.

My toes were so cold, I hobbled along like an ancient person for the next hour.

I'm not usually the first person in line, and this was *officially* no exception. However, since I'd dropped off a family member at the airport at a ridiculous hour, I arrived at the dark, deserted building two hours early.

Did I mention it was 5 degrees?

I didn't even put the car in park in the ice-covered parking lot. After driving up Friendly Avenue and starting back down, again, I found a McDonald's, went inside and ordered coffee and a hash brown. Just a little something to while the time in a heated area.

Back to Beth David. As a bookseller for the past four years, I still have plenty to learn. My lesson for-the-day was that, on cold, dark mornings, dealers place boxes and handtrucks in line at the door. If I'd known that, I would've thrown an old box on the sidewalk when I first arrived. Not that it really mattered. Most of the die-hards were mega-sellers with scanners, which means they go to different tables than I do as we pour through the door.

I put my warm body in line for the last 20 minutes, stamping my feet and conversing with dealers from as far away as Atlanta.

Either I didn't find much, or I'm growing more discerning. I drove home with a handful of books, including a first edition of Aldous Huxley's nonfiction follow-up to Brave New World, Brave New World Revisited.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Books of 2014

Graphic courtesy of Goodreads

'Seems I read constantly in 2014. Strangely, I've neither read nor written much so far in 2015. I'm sure I'll get over it soon.

Books for writing research

Covered with Glory: 26th N.C. Infantry
Camden: Historical Archaeology in the S.C. Backcountry
The Carolina Backcountry on the Eve of the Revolution (lovely 18th-century gossip and social history)
Bush River Monthly Meeting minutes 1772-1783 (unpublished manuscript)
Friends in Mexico
Costa Rica: a country without an army

Books for fun

Kathy Reichs' Bare Bones and Grave Secrets
George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series (I devoured all five books last summer!)
A Conspiracy of Paper (meh)
Love in the Time of Cholera (quirky romance steeped in historical setting)
Double Vision (middle-grade; read it before giving it to my nephew)
The Murder of the Century (well researched nonfiction)
The Last Camellia
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (not finished)
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (my first James Bond book)
Skipping Christmas

Business and Life books

The Happiness of Pursuit
Hidden Treasures
279 Days to Overnight Success
The Daniel Plan
(I highly recommend this)
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur (finished from 2013 reading)

Thursday, February 05, 2015

It's a start!

Tannery Books has a physical presence, again.

I had a bricks-and-mortar bookshop for two and a half years in my small North Carolina town. In summer 2013 the storefront closed and Tannery Books became online only.

Now I have a booth at the Bush Hill Trading Post (Bush Hill was the colonial-era name for Archdale, N.C.).

Bush Hill Trading Post is a large building with a store in the middle that sells nostalgic items like RC Colas and Moon Pies, and candy by the pound. Around that is an antique mall.

I'm excited to put books in front of a whole new set of browsers. They'll be separate inventory from the online store at

I'm also excited that I don't have to be there. Sellers pay a small commission that covers employees. The shop is open Monday through Saturday, something I couldn't do with my former shop and part-time library job.