Monday, September 21, 2009

Sociable rats.

The Bulletin had a hard hitting article on those rats on Wall Street in the business section today -- no, wait. They don't have a business section on Monday....those are real rats.

Should have known when the lead-in said "Rats are adorable, pretty clean."

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I know I've already posted this once, but it bears repeating: From the Chicago Sun-Times:

"Though bookstores represented only a fraction of the total, their closings are forecast to jump 500 percent from last year, to 400 stores." Maybe a fraction of the total closings, but for bookstores I believe that would be over 10%.

Still haven't got a handle on the status of 'used' bookstores. Anecdotally, there are lots of comments from tourists that their local used bookstores have closed. Common wisdom is that they 'must be doing well because of the great recession.' I suspect that usual forces are at work, only more so....

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The only Emmy award that interested me, was the one for Micheal Emerson for Lost. If he hasn't won before, it's about time. I love it when a bit actor takes over a role so thoroughly, they have to write him into the series...

Meanwhile, I have to decide whether I want to continue certain series: both House and Heroes having two hour premieres really is too much. I keep wanting to like Heroes, and I keep sort of hating it. And House has been so formulaic and so re-run that I think I may skip it, too.

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Finished The Foreign Correspondent, by Alan Furst. I can't believe I hadn't found this writer before. He reminds me of Hemingway, a bit, only less mannered. It was surprisingly subdued in it's derring-do, which only made it more believable. The writing and the characterization made it compulsively readable, even though the actual events were more realistic -- muddy and inconclusive and sideways. I'm going to have to order his books new, since I don't see his books used all that much.

Picked up a Stephen Greenleaf 'Tanner' mystery, set in mid-1980. These are like little time-capsules set in the era he wrote them, from the early 70's on...

Speaking of which, I've added Rex Stout to Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler on the 'essential mysteries' bookshelf. Now if I could just order the Travis McGee stories by John D. McDonald. Why aren't those in print?

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Stealing another retailer's words. The owner of Meltdown in N.Y. about manga,

"That time (when we order any and all manga) has passed for us. We are left with 2,000 over-stocked books and we learned a lesson. We’ve since curbed our appetite for taking risks on unproven titles and are just stocking the greatest hits now.

Nowadays for us, it’s all about getting books that appeal to the more sophisticated readers out there and figuring out how best to cater to them."

Well, exactly.

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I've ordered absolutely everything I wanted for the store. I'm treating it as my Christmas budget; I'm just getting it in a little earlier than usual and giving myself more time to sell it.

When I ask myself, do I think what I've ordered is too much, (?) the answer is -- 'no,' over the long run, probably 'yes' over the short run. That's why having cash is a good thing. I don't have to worry so much about the short run.

This month has been so good, it's at least possible that I'll have 2/3rds of it paid for upfront by sales over projections. That would be keen. But I'd have to continue for the next 9 days what I've managed for the first 16 days, and ...well....I don't expect it. I always have a drop off at the end of the month.

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3 comments:

Broofa said...

Re: Bulletin business section - are you implying they should have a business section? Seems like a silly idea. Unless it's limited to just local business news. But would that be all that different from what they have today?

Re: Used bookstores closing - I found it interesting that when Cycle Oregon laid-over in Grants Pass this last week the used book store in town drew a lot of business. I think. When I walked in there must have been at least a dozen cyclists perusing the racks. The sales staff were struggling to deal with the crush, that's for sure.

Then again, the average age on Cycle Oregon is something like 47-48, so not exactly a mainstream customer base.

blackdog said...

"Should have known when the lead-in said "Rats are adorable, pretty clean."

My daughter had three rats as a kid. They really are very nice pets, except that (a) their urine stinks, especially the males, and (b) I was severely allergic to them -- I'd get an asthma attack if I so much as walked into Liz's room. So the rats had to go.

Duncan McGeary said...

Rats are great, if you don't mind watching them die an agonizing death every three years or so....