Report from the Front – Carol in Colorado

Carol Brussel from Laura Nevada’s Library is liveblogging from the 29th Annual Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar.

8.8.07 –

you sell books. to sell these books you list these books. you innocently go from day to day, using your little database, blissfully unaware of all its pathetic limitations, its lack of knowledge of the book world. you craft your listings and send them on their way into the big, wicked world of the internet. you sell these books, list more, and consider yourself a book dealer.

you are wrong, wrong, wrong.

you have never listed a book correctly. you have no idea what bibliographic information is, and you wouldn’t recognize it if it were staring you in the face. you should immolate yourself on a pile of POD books if you hear that terry belanger is even in your time zone. you need to burn, yes burn i say, any computer that has even a nanobyte of your data. you need to take the measly few decent books you have, and burn the rest with your idea of your former sniveling bookselling self, and start again.

veterans of today’s book seminar session are here to inform you that a minimum of two weeks, ten hours per day, spent poring over reference books and writing cataloging information, is what you need to plan on. then you can perhaps list mass market paperbacks. even a few hardback books, if you are an apt student.

no, heck, you would screw it up and note a book club edition as a first edition, first printing, first state. and you would be horribly, eternally wrong. better to rise up from your computer now, and go forth into the world, and cast aside any ideas you have had of being a bookseller. try to use your powers for good. pull espresso for real booksellers. wash the floors in a real bookstore with your tears and your hair and try not to splash the books. go back to university and get ten degrees, learning all major european languages as well.

then write another damn book description.


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