Monday, October 3, 2011
There's a Reason for Everything
Charlie Everitt, in his classic book about the trade, Adventures of a Treasure Hunter, (required reading for anyone with a love for old books and American history) claimed that he took a vacation from book selling every year and went off fishing with his wife. He said that while he was on vacation he never thought about books, not even for a moment.
In my younger days as a book dealer I found that hard to believe. I never stopped thinking about books. Family vacations were just excuses for book scouting trips. But as I got older I discovered that it was beneficial to take a break every once in a while.
Last Monday the wife and I headed up to our place in Cape Breton for a short vacation, but of course stopped in Halifax so I could look for books. There are two places I shop regularly, and these guys have often paid for my vacations, and then some. But this time both told me they hadn’t bought much since June when I was last there.
One fellow was leaving town to visit relatives, and the other fellow said, “I haven’t bought a thing in your line since you were last here.”
“Does that mean I’d be wasting my time if I looked around?”
“You could look around, but you wouldn’t see anything except what you saw last time. Why don’t you and your wife just go off and enjoy your vacation?”
I was a little surprised to hear myself replying, “That doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all.”
So my wife and I got a nice hotel down by the water,
Had dinner at a Brazilian restaurant, walked around town in the warm evening, and watched TV until we fell asleep. The next morning
we drove up to Cape Breton, and I spent a wonderful week not thinking about books, just like my idol, Charlie Everitt.
That’s why there’s no blog entry this week.
Next week – “Sleepless in Seattle” and other musings from the Seattle Book Fair where Ten Pound Island Book Co. will have a corner booth. Stop by and say hello!