Interesting online store by a member of one of my Facebook group members, her name is Colleen and has an awesome online store where you can purchase vintage, used, and rare science fiction and fantasy. Check it out!
In her own words:
“From Connecticut, librarian, just moved back from 3 years in Boston getting my MLIS degree and working at a public library where i was given many of the books I sell (or at least the ones that started me off) from people donating to the library because the woman running the Friends of the Library group was of the opinion she couldn’t sell anything old or in bad condition in their yearly sale, only new things that would attract people, and she knew i LOVED old books so she would set them aside for me–that got me started, grew my collection so fast and so great that I decided to start up an etsy to sell some of them just to make room because I knew i wouldn’t get to read all of them, even though my library is now pretty big (now that I’m not living in a tiny apartment in the city that is ha) and then the site and my business BLEW UP from there to the point I am now doing this as a part time job alongside being a librarian at Quinnipiac, which I never expected. Thought this would be a casual thing but it’s kind of taken over my life, in a good way 🙂
Have an intense love of and fascination with Ireland. Studied at UConn for my bachelor’s in English and minored in Irish Literature, took a Gaelic course in college (it is just the most beautiful language in the entire world, ever) and spent a semester abroad in Galway (ugh even just thinking about it… *sigh*), some of my favorite writers are Irish writers especially Yeats, would love to move back there and live there full time, maybe that dream can come true the more i work on this site the more money i can save up to make that happen 🙂
I’m also a creative writer and I’ve put that on hold recently but would love to be able to pick it back up. I have one book in the works that is so special to me it really consumes me when I let myself write it, and I can’t without putting the shop completely on hold, I’m sure other writers can understand that if you want to write a book it has to be nearly ALL you are doing outside of work, so I really would have to compromise this shop and it’s not at the point I want it to be at where I’m willing to put it down and pick up my writing again, you know? But the book is in me, and one day hopefully it’ll be out of me and on the page and on some bookshelves 🙂 Let’s just say I would describe myself if I had to in one word as a writer, for sure.
Studied for my library and information science masters (MLIS) at Simmons College in Boston where I took rare books courses and other related courses, publishing, other book related courses and research courses and internships that helped/help me in this venture, hunting down information about these books online so I can present them with as much accurate info as possible. I love the search and using these skills, if you ask me to find something specific or seemingly impossible to find online I will race to do it and usually find it or at least SOMETHING — makes me feel like a smart literary detective, being a librarian and using these skills for my rare/vintage/signed book business as well. I absolutely love it and it is one of my greatest strengths.
My favorite writer is Robert Penn Warren, I have a line of his from a poem of his tattooed on my calf sticking up sideways just out of my boot that says “in this century, and moment, of mania, tell me a story.” 🙂 I recently had a situation happen that changed my life kind of (anecdote here), where I was looking for books for my shop and wasn’t going to look for books for myself, but i let myself go over to the fiction section where his stuff was, then the poetry section where his poetry was (he was the first poet laureate) and I knew all the works and had most of those editions (there weren’t many) but didn’t own all of them, and i was debating even looking at them because i knew i was going to want to buy one, as a collector to own myself, and i picked up one of his poetry books called audubon, one i knew of already of course and specifically one i hate the cover of, but i just picked it up to see how much it was (two dollars) bc I knew i didn’t have the copy and should probably get it because i love him and his words and want all copies of all his books in every edition, and then on the front inside page is his signature!!! It says “To Trudy (or judy, his casual handwriting is terrible as is customary with most writers), warmest regards. Robert Penn Warren.” I sat there for what seemed like forever just looking at it, and because it was scribbled hastily I tried to convince myself it wasn’t his signature, but it was, and so I now have it displayed on my mantle. The weirdest part is not that I got it for two dollars or that I almost didn’t even pick up the book but that the last page of the book has my tattoo lines on it. So in a sense this book was meant for me, and that sums up my entire idea of writing, reading, books, and my bookshop in general. No Other Book Like This One. There really is no other book like that one, and it’s like the story of it, the history of it and how I found it and my tattoo and everything about it makes that one book special and unlike any other copy. I want to know who trudy or judy was. I want to know how it ended up there. I treasure it, and I love making people happy and finding them the books that they will treasure in the same way, and so far when I have (I get emails back and reviews and things from customers) they are all so happy with their books and it makes me BEAM. That really factors into my life view and purpose.
–News wise the most exciting thing lately is that I’m going on a rare book radio show on the seventh that I’m nervous and excited about, so I’m trying to catch up on all my descriptions and make sure I get some of the really cool books I have (I have over 100 still to put up and I’m buying more every week, I know all the good places to go so it’s hard not to want to sniff out deals and special jewels of hard-to-find or very old books every day, but they are piling up so I do have to get more of them up and stop hunting for a bit) before the show so when people take a look at my site if they’re interested they’ll get the full sense of what I’m trying to do–which is present the books almost like a blog, like i was saying. that’s where the creative writer in me comes in, and where my passion sort of pours out in my selling of/describing the books themselves. That’s why I love the etsy platform — it’s for creative people, not like amazon or eBay where it’s wholly sale-based. etsy is item-based, presentation-based, what makes your product special, what makes your store special? Creative people love etsy and personally I go on there all the time for gifts I need and don’t need to buy, lol, and so when I decided to use it it just felt natural to me rather than making an Abebooks account, where many rare book sellers sell their books, sometimes without any descriptions more than a sentence long and a lot of times without even pictures of the product (how can you feel comfortable buying that way?!?! that is not something I understand, but maybe that’s just the photographer in me balking at that lol)