What’s Happened Since 2011

Without question, I have enjoyed my return to life as a bookdealer with a “brick and mortar” bookstore.  My bookstore – The Eclectic Reader – struggled along in its last location from October 2o11 until October 2013 when we had to leave because a Papa Murphy’s Pizza palace offered the landlord more money and a longer lease.    The dismantling  of a bookstore and putting now 15,000 books into a storage unit was traumatic.  Seven months later, negotiations on a lease were finally completed and all the material comprising an entire bookstore was released from its vault and unloaded into a new location.

I am the artist and this was my next canvas.  Out of emptiness I once again created a used bookstore, setting up the shelves, defining  areas of the store and organizing all of those books – a task that took months to approach completion.    I did have some help moving heavy objects, unboxing and alphabetizing.    I will not be doing this again in my lifetime.

Monty, the bookstore cat, and I have settled in.   Now the challenge is to bring in the customers, to set up events and book signings and host book groups…and to do all of this before I run out of money.  Luckily I am still cancer-free.  Re-designing and developing a bookstore and working six days a week has left little time for the National Diary Archive.

Although it is not my main focus at this time, I do have some things I will write about.    I finished reading my mother’s 1942 diary and I have some thoughts to share about that.  I have had one diary and one very interesting “commonplace book” donated for the archive.  The diary’s theme is button collecting in the 1940s.  The commonplace book presumably belonged to a minister and includes letters, copies of poems, news articles, and pictures pasted over the pages of a Glasgow ironworks book.  The dates in the book go back to 1879.   Some letters are from Fountain Grove, Santa Rosa, California.  Some newspaper clippings are from the Bailie in Glasgow, 1881. The theme is spiritual in nature.  The handwriting is hard to read but exquisitely beautiful.  A certificate  in the book declares that  William Robertson of Glasgow has become a member of the National Secular Society in 1879.  There is a letter mentioning Swedenborg.   More on this later…

For information on The Eclectic Reader go to eclecticreaderbooks.com  To contact me directly go to eclecticreaderbooks@705839gmail.com.IMG_1063841


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