Saturday, February 19, 2005
Dear Thrasher...

"I don't want to ride your asses—you know
you rock my world even with the lame ads.
It's like, I need a lifeline here, you
can't imagine Rankin, Georgia—mullets, no street
courses, one shitty skate park. I skate
with four cool punks, try to steer clear of posers.

We've got a big problem in Rankin with posers.
I'm 12 and not stupid. I know
guys here think us girls can't skate—
That's crap! It's your fault. Running those ads
makes idiots here think it's street
last, clothes and babes first. It's on you."
More books in and out at the moment than is really feasible given a 2400 square foot workspace. Boxes of (uncleaned and unpriced) mysteries up by the desk, cleaned and priced mysteries stacked sky-high on the shelves. New arrivals full again.

Philip K. Dick, Borges, Haruki Murakami, Jack Kerouac et al. walking in the door!
Thursday, February 17, 2005
100K Club -- cjb & Team Cat

Seabus to Skyride, & etc. Balmy, 15 or 17 degrees on the Cut, Tuesday's snowshoe track fading back to rocks and logs, which made for some entertaining hopscotching from snowpatch to snowpatch.

A noticable pickup in workday energy, and an extra notch back in my belt. Cleaned the apartment, transferred 4 huge boxes of art catalogs and manky old trade paperbacks to the shop, and started in on Iain Banks' latest science fiction novel, which at $30CDN for the trade paperback is not exactly cheap, but pretty much required reading.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
100K Club -- cjb & Team Cat

Seabus to Skyride, & etc. Blue sky, budding branches on bare trees. The new trekking poles made short work of the 20%+ grade at the base of the Cut. First day in my life on snowshoes. I spent the better part of an hour tramping up and down the final half-km stretch of powder below the gondola station, testing and refining my new skills. (Briefly) at peace, a nice change from last night's 3 hours of apartment alarm bell ringing (guy stuck in elevator) and the dream that followed, in which a local indie musician, who's never been anything other than totally pleasant to me in real life, came after me with an axe.

Running across the grass field behind my old West Vancouver elementary school right at twilight. Sunlight's last gleamings on the railway trestle in the trees.

Shouting, "I need some help here!" The startled faces of the yoga class and the after-school activity club, pressed to the glass.

Ducking around the monkey bars and the concrete tunnels. Pulling on a locked side door. A janitor walking away, oblivious, up the hall.

Hoarse harsh breath on my shoulder.

The axe whickering down.
Monday, February 14, 2005
ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): the Godzilla stand-up in the back of the local budget sushi joint. 6' tall!

"I (heart) Sapporo," says the Lizard King, clutching a building-size can in his scaly paws.
Sunday, February 13, 2005

A James Bama Doc Savage cover. Big stack of these Bantam 70s pulp reprints in over the weekend. The stories aren't that well written, but the plot summaries -- all apocalypse! all plangent! all purple! -- read like distant relatives of Burroughs' Nova Trilogy and Smithson's "Crystal Land."Posted by Hello
Sunday night, Mr. Miles Davis on the deck. Books everywhere. All five "new arrivals" units (10' x 6' = 60 linear feet of books) filled since Saturday morning, and another 2500-odd mystery pocketbooks still in boxes around the desk, waiting to be unpacked, cleaned, priced, and filed away onto the shelves of what is now probably the largest collection of mysteries in Vancouver, if not the Lower Mainland.

Buds on all the trees outside.

Steve, one of the regular scouts, was in late this afternoon, lamenting the decline of his industry. In the old days (eg., 1960s-70s-80s), very few bookstores paid for recent books, preferring to spend their scarce cash flow on antiquarian stock. Hence, shelf stock went to the Salvation Army, or Value Village, or some other thrift store, where it was disinterred by a small army of freelance scouts and carried into dealers, who paid the scouts next to nothing for it.

Nowadays, most reputable stores pay for recent stock, and most thrift stores think they're the Strand Bookstore. So much stock goes directly from consumers to dealers, and the scouts make do with the (inevitably overpriced) dregs that show up at library sales, church sales, & etc. The upside from the scouts' point of view is that, thanks to Alibris, ABE, Biblio, etc., anyone with a computer can now go into business as a "used book dealer."

These changes don't frighten me, but some of them do puzzle me. Case in point: the woman from Langley who drove in today to buy mystery paperbacks, because I have "better selection and prices" [my italics] than her local Value Village. Sure enough, over 40% of my paperbacks are now cheaper than they are at Corporate Thrift Store. Go figure!

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