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Thursday, 8.4.05:  Books!

Books will probably be my downfall. They are certainly my nightmare -- the monkey on our backs. We are both addicted to books -- they are our answer to everything. But our floorboards groan with them. Every room in the house -- except the living room -- has book shelves packed to the max. There is even a shelf in the garage for my do-it-yourself guides (which I only use to decide when it's time to call a repairman).


Selling books (or giving them away) is important -- otherwise our passion would eventually push us out of the house. For a long time I sold books at a pretty steady pace on Half.Com, a subsidiary of Ebay. It was great: just enter the ISBN number from the back of the book, the condition, your desired price and, voilą, you were in business. They took care of all the invoicing and payment -- all I had to do was pop the book in a padded bag and add postage.

But then they stopped advertising and my sale books -- packed into a 6-foot bookshelf in my utility room -- have gone dormant. Ebay has been leaning on their sellers to transfer the books to Ebay, but they don't make it easy. And some of our books just aren't worth the hassle.

So yesterday, when I finally began the labor of entering the books into my Ebay store (feeling like Tom Sawyer looking at a mile of fence to whitewash), I got the bright idea to box up some book lots and auction them off as wholesale stock. Then I won't have to waste time transferring my 99-cent specials into my store, hoping that someone will find them.

I started with all my paperback novels, went to my John D. MacDonald hardcovers, and graduated to my once-trendy business and management books. Ah-h-h-h, shelf space!

I wasn't going to have anymore auctions till September, but I figure now is the time that retail booksellers are stocking their shelves, so here I go. They may not sell for much but shelf space is more valuable than these tired old books.



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