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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Crispy Pages Versus Dusty Covers: What's Your Pleasure?

I have had a big dream for years, and every time I get on a dream kick, the dream gets bigger and bigger. I know what you're thinking:

  • World peace (not really -- I'm actually looking forward to the rapture -- the only reason I ever watch the news is so I can pick out prophetic signs, seriously)

  • A cure for poverty (actually yes, I would trade any of my dreams to achieve this one for all of the hungry children in this world)

  • A mansion (nope, I have enough trouble cleaning the house I have -- I like to look at them, but I wouldn't want to live in one)

  • A convertible Mustang for each of the major production years starting with 1964 and ending with a metallic midnight blue with silver racing stripes 2010 Shelby GT500, which can go from 0-60 in 4 seconds, and a garage to hold all my 'tangs in (okay, a Mustang or ten would be AWESOME, but that's not it -- although when I was 10 I did want to be a female race car driver -- maybe I haven't quite moved past it. Check them out 2010 Mustang Shelby GT500, but be warned, looking at these pictures may make your mouth water)

  • Summers in Hawaii (okay, maybe I have a few dreams, but most of them will have to wait until I become a multimillion-dollar best-selling author -- yeah, right)

No, this is a dream that is within reach which is why it makes it all the more dangerous to dream. I want to own a used book store. I know... I know..., but hear me out.

I love books. I don't need to make any money (who needs money when you're a writer -- okay, I admit I glossed over the part in my writer's manual that said writer's don't make any money). I just need to sell enough books to pay the rent or the lease on the store.

What? You don't think I'll even get that... hmph, some friend you are. Good friends are honest, you say? Well, what if I told you I planned to sell rare books and 1st edition, signed books and that I plan to have an online used book store as well? Sounds a little better, don't you think? You're right, there are about a bagillion (yes, I know that's not a word) people selling used books online.

Why do I even need a store front if I plan to sell them online, you ask? Well, the store would be a great and quiet place for me to write. And, it would be nice to get out of the house to write. Yes, I have heard of a library, and yes, I know it's free to go there.

Did you ever see Ellen (the first Ellen sitcom in the 90s - I think it was also called These Friends of Mine) before it went off the deep end -- when it was just one of the funniest shows ever? Ellen managed a small book store, and it was the coolest book store. I've seen other shows and movies with book stores just like that one, and they all feed my dream when I see them.

Uh yes, I have seen You've Got Mail. Yes, I know what happened to Meg Ryan's little book store. :( What's that? Is there a big name book store in my town? Well... there's that little store called... uh uhm... Books-A-Million (she quickly says through a sneeze into her hand), but it's just so big and sterile with all of it's constant newness. Where's the character? Where's the love? Where's the history?

Wow, you can be harsh. Do you really think people would rather have crisp, clean pages that smell like fresh ink and a cover that has almost never been touched than pages stained with who-knows-what and a cover that you have to blow the dust from who-knows-where off of?

I was in a used book store, Landmark Booksellers, this weekend and 1st edition, hardback Stephen King books were listed at $55-$65, and that wasn't even the good stuff, like Carrie or The Shining. This was more recent stuff. The older classics would go for a lot more and a signed copy... wow, could you imagine. Still think I'm crazy?

You do? Seriously?

Okay, maybe you're right, but it's not going to keep me from dreaming. Thanks for the dose of reality. I need it sometimes.

So, what's your pleasure? Do you prefer shiny, crispy, new books, or do you enjoy popping open a dusty book that has more of a story to tell than just the one that is printed inside?


  1. Melissa said...

    I'm a little bit of both. I do love love love a nice clean book and that wonderful fresh smell, but there is something to old books. When Roger's grandparents moved out of the old homestead after, like 150 years, I was able to get a handful of wonderful old treasures like "Sandman Twilight Stories" with the cover coming off, handwritten Xmas 1920; "The Maternity Handbook" c. 1932, written by the The Maternity Center Association, New York; "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" published 1910; and our two gems: "Story of the Confederate States; or History of the War for Southern Independence", c. 1895 (no lie!) It also states it is "suited to all of those who wish an interesting, instructive and true account of the war for southern independence, but designed specifically for the boys and girls of the South." NO LIE!! His grandpa apparently bought it from someone in 1929, according to the notes. And then we also have the Ford Model "A" instruction book from the Ford Motor Company, c. 1930.

    It makes me the material being written today worthy of saving for so long? In this disposable society, will our children and grandchildren find any treasures like these when they go through our stuff? Is the quality of book production enough to last for all the ages? Hhm...


  2. Anonymous said...

    My dream is coming true. God has given the family I had prayed for, minus one of my favorite blessing. My blessings are still running over, we are looking at getting an building half between here & Crownpoint (an old Trading Post - still has useable pumps) so that when the groups come, we will have a place to feed the missionaries. We have 2 groups scheduled to come, along with my friends (actually missionaries) from Mexico. How often do you hear of that, missionaries coming from Mexico, not to Mexico.

    We can then use the building to have a possible kitchen of sorts, that we can feed people all year. The people with no money. Not really sure what God's end results will be for me, but I feel He is aboout to do Wonderful things on the rez.

  3. Sue said...

    I say keep dreaming Karen! I hope your dream comes true for you ;-) It's important to dream so go for it!

    I love the history of an old book but I would have to say I'm a new book kinda girl.

    Oooh.... and about the "Crack Brownies"... the recipe is on my blog at this link:
    along with the story behind them! They are THE best, most decadent brownies you'll ever taste... and addictive... just like crack ;-)

    Have fun at the movie today!


  4. Stephanie Faris said...

    Let's see if I can post a comment here... I've never tried before!

    In the 90s I was very active in Romance Writers of America. I once posted on an e-mail loop that I didn't want to make millions, just enough to be able to quit my day job. A published author e-mailed me and said, "Very few writers will ever be able to make enough to quit their day jobs. Sorry."

    That e-mail infuriated me. Who is she to tell me what I can and can't do? And I'll tell you, after that I watched as one by one, my friends sold novels and were able to make a full-time living doing it. Granted, they had LOW standards of living and many of them were in writing type jobs that only paid around $15K or $20K anyway (and were married to men who made good salaries). But it all depends on how dedicated and prolific you are. Meg Cabot was so determined to quit, she wrote a novel every month one year and it was in that writing spree that she sold "The Princess Diaries" and made enough on the movie rights to quit (and then some).

    Sorry...didn't mean to write a novel here. It just annoys me. I believe you should be realistic but anyone who dashes your dreams is no doubt someone who just didn't achieve his/her own dreams. You can do anything you just takes working toward it.