To introduce myself I will begin by affirming that yes, it is I who packs the books. Since 99% of our book sales are online and about 40% of them are sent overseas, it takes a lot of bubble wrap and a steady tape gun to protect every purchase. Customers make a point of commenting on the packing and so, I guess my efforts are paying off.
I didn’t start out packing books, it happened by default in the early years. Back when the Bookseller was still in the Navy and the internet was still pretty new. As it turns out, most days I like packing books. It is very relaxing and my mind tends to wonder. Mostly, I am thinking about the recipient or rather their address. How can you not wonder about someone whose address is Rose Cottage? And, some times a book will catch my eye. I admit that I am a little obsessive with making sure that foreign orders are well wrapped and I do tend to hoard packing materials. O.K., so I start to drool when I see pristine white styrofoam packaging that I can salvage but that’s because it doesn’t add much weight and it makes a lovely little bed to tuck a book inside.
When I am not packing books I don’t really do a lot to support the Book Seller. Being a former Master Chief, the Book Seller is prone to barking out orders and sometimes I cheerfully obey but usually I don’t respond well to that. Let’s just say he is lucky I make him lunch, most days.
He used to ask me if I would take over the Book Store if he were hit by a garbage truck and I used to shudder and say, no! I am no dummy, if I said yes, then I would have to learn how to use Quickbooks now and then the next thing you know, I am packing books and printing out the invoices! Besides, I don’t think that running the Book Business without him would be much fun. He did named the business after himself, after all, there is no “and wife” or even “and cats” after it.
It’s that time now, to go pack books. I’ve got one going to Malta, one to a soldier at a military base in the Pacific, a book to a regular customer, one to another book store, a huge book going to a library….