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3:15 p.m. - 2011-05-26
Wishing Orient Would Find Me.

I found Bordertown by accident, as many of us did. Lucky me, I was browsing the shelves of my own store. The best perk of having my own place was bringing my son to work with me, but a damn close second were all the happy surprises I found in my stock. Used bookstores are as much a trove of the unknown to the owners as they are to the customers. I never knew what I'd find. At the estate sales, the library sales, and the garage sales where I bought by the boxful and in the hopeful sacks and cartons brought to me by customers wanting to trade for store credit I discovered hundreds of writers and stories I might never have found otherwise. Volume (no pun intended) is the only way to scratch out a living in such a marginal (again, no pun intended) business. So I bought in job lots and learned to quickly eyeball and set value on the offerings lugged in by the barterers. Not only did time = money, but I found out very early on that if I sat with the barterers and did a book by book evaluation I'd lose most of the good stuff. Looking at their book friends with farewell eyes the owners were struck with nostalgic remorse and suddenly couldn't let that one go. Or this one. And, oh wow, I'm sure I didn't mean to put this one in.

Hey, as a book fiend I absolutely understood, as a business owner I couldn't afford it. And it made no one happy when after a lively half hour of book talk I had to say, "Honeybun, you've taken back everything I might have had the chance to resell and you want me to do what with this junk? Think there's a big market for your out of date textbooks? People busting down my door for 'Breakthroughs in Semi-Conductors' and 'Poetry for Phys Ed Majors'?"

So, the quick eyeball it was.

It went onto the shelves quick too. Never knew who might come in and what they'd want. I tried to have something for everybody. A personal best- over 120,000 different titles.

(Most common question from 1st time customers, "Have you read ALL these books?" Dopiest question ever. Nobody goes into Fashion Bug and asks the clerk, "Have you worn ALL these clothes?")

Anyway. Getting the new stock up fast was a priority. I'd sort by genre without really attending to each book, just seeing what it was and where it needed to go. By the time he was four Alex was an excellent alphabetizer and would help shelve. After that I'd be finding new-to-me things on the shelves all the time. Such was the case when I first wandered into Bordertown. Browsing the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section and I pulled out these…

Please go HERE for whole story about these books and all things Bordertown.

Gobsmacked. The cover art fetched me so much I sat on my tall stool by the register for quite a little while too delighted to even open them. And maybe a little afraid the stories within wouldn't be as good as the covers. They were, obviously, why else would I be telling you about all this?

Okay, it's not completely altruistic. There's prizes involved. Again, for the details go to THIS page. Not only will you get the skinny about the contest, you'll thank me later for getting you to the edge of Bordertown. Go see. Really.

Have fun! ~LA

PS: Thanks, Dichroic!

1 Wanna talk about it!

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