Lost in Books

This tends to be a busy season for a book buyer – it is for me, at least. We’re in the process of culling our inventory for the books that haven’t been selling as well as combing catalogs for books we think will fare better. Between the stacks of incoming catalogs and cart loads of clearance crammed into my work space, it’s pretty easy to get lost in the books! At home I’m usually reading a book, so my family acts like I’m not there. It’s as if my body is entombed at work and only my ghost makes it home!

There is a character in The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon (available soon in paperback) known as the boundary maven who ensures that the ultra-orthodox Jews of Sitka, Alaska do not cross any figurative or literal lines on the Sabbath. By creating, mapping, and maintaining a collective of eruvs the boundary maven is able to accurately guide the Verbovers through the world they inhabit. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is a book with so many layers I found myself wishing I had a book maven to help me keep it all straight!

I’d really like a book maven to assist me with all of my many catalogs, too. Typically I have an account rep going through the catalog with me, which is great, but what I need is one maven who knows all of the catalogs to keep me from getting lost in world of books I inhabit. Then a realization settled gradually and inexorably on my shoulders: I am my customers’ book maven. This is a significant responsibility, and one I do not take lightly. You’re in my world now!


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