Monday, December 29, 2008

Nostalgia, Inc.


A former customer posted a shot of one of the aisles of Biblioasis in October 2003 on his blog. A year before we made the leap into publishing and the shop went all to hell. There are days that I really do miss the quiet of that place, the routine, sorting through the dusty and mildewed boxes of magazines and books to find a gem. A gem need not be a first edition Kafka, or Darwin, or Munro, though these came my way from time to time as well: merely a Blaise story in an early Tamarack, a Gallant in a New Yorker, or somesuch. Used booksellers are the first line of defence in the preservation of a culture; their sifting and sorting and annotating and cataloging ensure that so much that would not otherwise survive will do so. There was a time I was even a pretty good one, I think. Bookselling in the spare moments not consumed by publishing, working out of the basement, dealing entirely online, isn't the same. Though the basement is getting to the point where it looks similar: the same shelves are up, and they are beginning to get as crowded. In 2009 I hope to get that side of things up and running fully, helping to carry the weight of the publishing. And to perhaps provide a bit of the refuge that that shop once was.

3 comments:

Rebecca Rosenblum said...

I love this picture!

Michael Januska said...

Great pic. I know what you mean about the nostalgia of being a bookseller. I was a bookseller in what feels like a lifetime ago and still, whenever I go into a bookstore, I find myself straightening piles of books or hovering over a staffer cracking open a carton. Best of luck in the New Year, Dan.

Kerry said...

Wonderful post. It makes me nostalgic too, and I was never even there.