Friday, March 14, 2008


Hello Dear Readers!!!!

Welcome to the Odyssey Bookshop's new *new* blog. I'm completely overwhelmed with work and sort of worn out from bookselling events, so I think it is the perfect time to move our blog to a new platform. As you may have noticed if you followed our older blog, it was on myspace. Sure, social networking may be an important part of commerce in this web 2.0 world, and sure there are workshops and all about how businesses can make use of myspace in this networked landscape, but it is time for this store to put on its big kid pants and step out into (I can't believe I'm actually uttering these words) 'the blogosphere'.

We will update and enrich this new place as time allows (heh, do you know what that phrase means to independent booksellers?), but I wouldn't expect to see anything drastically different from the myspace blog. We'll probably continue to rely on the store webpage and our email newsletter to tell y'all about events, and I'll continue to intend to post at least weekly (hopefully more), and I promise to rope, wrangle, and heckle other people around here into writing. Wasn't it nice to hear from JP and Victoria the other day? Maybe one day Mr. P or Mz. C (you know who you are, oh bookfriends with the fabulous library lives) will give in and write something for y'all. Also, sorry for leaving you post-less for 2 weeks, I caught a bit of flu and had to spend all my not-sick time catching up from it.

Emily R. posted a while back about loving this job (in part) because of the free books, and I completely agree. We just got in a really fun looking new science/nonfiction title (Physics of the Impossible, Michio Kaku), and I've been lusting after it since Mr. UPS carried it in the door in a delicate bed of less-worthy books. After a bit of prodding I contacted our Random House sales reps (Hi Ann! Hi Michael!) to see if any ARCs (Advanced Reader Copy) were printed and happen to be lying around taking up valuable space somewhere. Not only were they totally nice about me flat-out asking for free stuff, they dropped a copy in the mail for me! Woo Hoo Free Books!! What sort of a business are these people running, if I can just ask for something and they'll send it? You guys will have to come in and let me sell you a couple of copies to prove that it was worth it.

I mentioned being tired from bookselling events, so let me explain. We have been returning unsold textbooks to their publishers and changing that section of the store into remainder-land, meaning that Seth, Neil, and I have been packing and moving a lot of very heavy boxes, but that was all last week. Regarding this week, Wednesday night we hosted a Fundraiser for Western Mass Jobs with Justice (Joan's husband John is president so we've got an 'in') with Jim Hightower before his reading event across the street at Mt. Holyoke. It was tons of fun and I think I have to read his new book too (Swim Against the Current; Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow), but it was also a 10.5 hr workday. Last night Rebecca, the Emilys, and I went to an 'Emerging Leaders' reception thing hosted by NEIBA which was mellow, fun, and somewhat inspiring. I started bookselling because I think it is an important thing for healthy communities (and because I needed an employer when they needed an employee), but I've been loosing sight of that as the paperwork builds up and the hours get longer. This event reminded me of the reasons people have for getting into bookselling, and of the important role that bookstores can play in people's lives. Maybe this isn't such a bad place, and hey, I could see myself sticking around for a while and enjoying it, even. I hope we do more 'Emerging Leaders' things, it feels like a resource I could really use. Again, useful fun and educational (thanks for the drinks, NEIBA!) but a long day.

I'd love to tell you about the fantastic books I've been reading, but frankly I'm out of time. Again. It's been lovely, welcome to the new blog-space, and come by the store to say hello sometime, eh? Oh, also, the next full moon is coming up, as is the vernal equinox (I think they are less than a day apart this year, next Thursday and Friday), so get ready for another jolt of wonderful weird charged life energy, as light and dark balance with light 'gaining power'. Should be a good time to listen to the world beyond the parking lot. Which is not to say that parking lots aren't influenced by full moons, but they're probably less aware of 'em than, say, owls.

Take Care, Everyone!

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