Winter Madness July 29 2017
We have been so very busy of late. So much has happened it is hard to decide where to start.
Johannesburg is a wonderful place to be. Things happen. Authors write books. Bookdealers have launches and of course our weather is very mild. This winter is no exception. However every so often there is a cold snap this was the case on the night of Raymond Suttner's book launch at our Blubird shop. We were mindful of the fact that over eighty people would be there, the shop is small, some would say that there are too many books. I think there were just too many people who were interested in the event. We spilled outside. In preparation we brought in heaters. We were ready and the crowds descended.
They were excited, they were erudite and they exuded enough body heat to keep us all warm and snug. Or maybe it was the passion that Raymond spoke with. His talk was remarkable the audience was in awe and there were some pretty interesting people there. ANC stalwarts, publishers, authors, professors and of course a whole lot of politically minded bibliophiles. We were an interesting bunch even if those who attended felt that we were a little squashed . This was nothing compared to what happened a couple of weeks later. I'll need to give some background.
Book people and Bibliophiles are generally wonderful, it is no surprise that we tend to make friends with our regular customers . We share the same passion after all. After a while one gets to understand the interests and wishes of our new friends and the friendship develops into a deeper understanding. So when one of our loyal long-time customers (a retired Law professor) sadly had to cull his library since he was relocating we knew the books were good as we had sold many to him. He decided to sell off a few thousand of his books (roughly a third of his library). His new home would not be able to house the whole collection at least not if he and his wife wished to stay there as well! The keepers were boxed and the rest were shelved in his beautiful library. We advertised a three day sale. Word got around and all hell was let loose.
We had a feeling that this was going to be popular but we did not imagine the queues of people trying to get in. There was no space. We had to control the amount of people in the library at one time. It was a feeding frenzy as people grabbed piles of books and tottered to the front to make payment. The excitement was contagious and I have to say after witnessing that I defy any one who says that books are a thing of the past. The average age of our customers was below thirty. How exciting! I have a whole new generation of customers to make friends with!