Hazzah! – Astronomers have found an earth like planet outside of our solar system (take THAT intelligent design fans) between that and all the bits of junk we have flying around the galaxy – one of these days we are sure to piss off our neighbors enough for them to wanna come over for brunch – unless of course they are dining here already.
Why look? Cause we’re human, we like to huddle, that’s what we do. Grouping keeps us from getting eaten by the meaner nastier things on the planet. OOPS, we are the meaner nastier things these days aren’t we? We still like cluster, we like to stand around and kick mud off our boots and talk about the weather and Angelina’s twins.
Even if you discount the non-joiners in the crowd like me, I’m not a joiner, I’m only on the biblio list cause I lost the directions to unsubscribe and I’m too lazy to ask for help – Booksellers love to congregate. We will do it at the drop of a hat: two bookseller meet up in a bookstore aisle and poof just like that 3 hours go by and the store closed around you.
Back in the P.I. (read pre internet) days, we joined trade groups to keep in touch, to promote a sense of togetherness but basically it was good for business. Networking was the only way you could get access to stock that wasn’t your own. Trade groups don’t perform the same function anymore, but they still give off a warm and fuzzy smell. Some offer group benefits, shows, discounts, some just send you a Christmas card. Joining something like IOBA, MARIAB, WABA, GLBA etc… can help assuage that feeling that you are the only one trying to make a living in this increasingly frustrating business.
The preceding touchy feely passage was brought to you because I have once again sworn off buying books from booksellers I DO NOT KNOW! – I ordered ten books by and about a certain author and eight of them came either packaged badly or not as described. Join a group if you don’t know how to do what you are doing. Like most customers I’d rather pay more to be pissed off less.