"But it's always interesting when one doesn't see," she added, "If you don't see what a thing means, you must be looking at it wrong way around."
Agatha Christie
English Mystery Writer

There were 89 customers who came through my door yesterday, plus really, as I lost count a few times. My record high count is 112. I average 55 to 65 per day, most months . For one person clerking the store that's a lot of people, and a lot of books coming in and going out.

This picture is from my intake table, where I clean, price and put books away.

I like what I do, but there are times I can feel overwhelmed. Yesterday was one of those times, I came home really tired.

Sometimes I think I should hirer a person a couple of hours a day just to put books away, so I wouldn't have to stay after work, or come in on Sunday afternoons, but then I get worried about making that kind of commitment to anyone.

I dislike with a passion firing people if it doesn't work out. If they can't alphabetize, (everyone says they can - I need to devise a test) or figure out how to move books up and down the shelves to make more room, even after being shown over and over. Or are so slow they can't get a simple small job done in an allotted time.

There are more books in the world than you can imagine. I know because I've got at least 70 thousand of them in my store.

These are the intake shelves where I put the books after I clean them. Full, and over flowing. Blessings of every kind. Hours of adventure, mystery, romance, for you to curl up with in your favorite chair.

This is the doorway into my storeroom. 100 sq. ft. and it's full too.

It's looking sunny and clear out there this morning. Aw, blue skies, and another beautiful day.

Books will be on some one's To Do List.

I'll be there.


  1. If I was not already involved in making a living with one of my first loves, bicycles, I would think I could enjoy immensely, the activity of being a book seller. Seems both of our chosen fields have to be labors of love. Money cannot be the driving force.

  2. Hi Linda. Bevie here. I don't comment much, but I do visit.

    I agreed with MRMacrum in that money is not the driving force. "Labor of love" is much better.

    Out of curiosity, though, what kind of money does it take to start a used book store? I've been out of work some time, and I really do not want to go back to the way things were. I would rather do something I enjoy. I enjoy books, and something about this post right now made me wonder if perhaps I couldn't start a used book store. I suppose it takes a lot, huh?

  3. Yes, it is a labor of love. And if you don't expect to live high, it is just fine. Enough money does come in to keep the doors open and pay the home bills. Not something you would be happy with if you had been a CEO, but for everyday people it is enough.

    Bevie, as you could see in the pictures we used white bookcases. They will brighten up a place. We bought them from Staples on sale for 25.00 per case. (that was half price) The register stand we foraged, used, it was white. Basically we just tried to keep a unified look throughout the store. The shelving was the big thing. Staples has a sale, or they used too, two or three times a year.
    Bend is around 80 thousand people, with an outlying population in other smaller near by towns, maybe a couple of hundred thousand or so. So we have a good population base for customers.
    I am still getting new people in the door everyday. Two or three every day. I really thought I'd ceiling out by now, but I haven't. I've been in business now for five and a half years, and still growing. I don't know what to attribute that too. But I will smile and thank them all for coming.
    Location is so important. It is your advertising. (you NEVER spend good money on advertising) Except in rent. Finding a good location is really important. But not in the high, upper end of town, so to speak. Try to keep the rent around a $1.00 to 1.25 a sq. ft. The bigger the community you live in the safer you are with a bigger space.
    Our space is around 2500 sq. ft. Once you set your store up, rent will be your biggest bill.
    It took us about 7 or 8 months to be in the black. We had paid back the amount we had taken out of saving.
    If you have any used book store in your area, near by towns or cities, call a ask if they have any books you could buy at a good price. Tell them what your doing, if they feel that is too close, to their business, try a little farther out. You WILL find someone willing to sell boxes of books to you. Once you've been in business for a while, the over stock will always be a problem.
    I'm running out of time, I have to be some where this morning, so call me at the store. 1-541-617-9271 Give me or Kent, the guy who works for us, and gives me my two days off, and I will call you back on my cell phone so you don't have to pay for it.
    I'd love to help you get started.

  4. Thanks. I'm talking with Spouse even as I write this. I like the idea, but coming up with the money will be a problem. We've exhausted our savings already.

    Never was a CEO, but I've been told more than once that I have a librarian's mentality when it comes to organization.

    And I love books.

  5. With the economy being what it is maybe you could find someone to come in and help sort once a week for store credit? Then if it doesn't work out no one's livelihood is at stake...