A bookshop is a place where people go to buy books. A second-hand bookshop is much more than that.It is a place where people – a particular kind of people – go for many different reasons.
Some stick their heads through the door, scan the contents of the shop and say:
“Uhg, only books”, then they quickly disappear.
Another person’s face lights up when he observes all the shelves filled with books.
“Books, books, glorious books!” He comes in and browses for ninety minutes.
There are people who sprints in, grabs a book, pays and sprints out again.
Most people, the regulars, stroll in, chat for a few minutes before they go and search out the treasure of the day. This treasure might be one special book or it might be a stack of books that cost less than one new book in a new-book store. A 1953 Dostoevsky or a 2017 Grisham causes quite some excitement.
More than one regular visitor have told me they come to the bookshop to relax. When they leave, their batteries are charged and they feel uplifted. ( I doubt it is only the books that make them feel better, it is the presence of the Holy Spirit that they experience here.)
Second-hand bookshops are good for meeting the right people. A week ago two people connected here in the shop. Both book lovers, one a trader, the other an artist, exchanged e-addresses. The artist needed specific books on art, which we did not have, the trader had many books on that same subject.
As we do not buy stock, but rely on donations only, we often receive strange items in a bag or box when we unpack. People just seem to throw unwanted stuff into a bag or box and deliver them to the Hospice shop. Anything from a broken heater to an antique chamber pot to furs falling apart, the claws of the of the animal still intact. Everything sells.
We also find wonderful valuables, like complete works of famous writers, first editions from a century ago and in mint condition. What a surprise when a perfect Cartier bag was discovered in a box full of coffee table books. Every day brings surprises that makes my day good and the effort worthwhile, not loosing focus on the reason why we run these shops. It is to provide the means needed for the service rendered to the suffering, dying patients in the care of Hospice.
It was to this purpose that I agreed, as a volunteer, to write about about the work of Hospice, the patients stories and how Hospice played a role in in making their last days bearable, help them die in dignity and relative comfort. Now that I work in the Hospice bookshop full time, there is little time left for writing much without neglecting my fiction writing, but I do what I can.
my next novel is making progress, slowly, but I know I will get there. The fourth murder is committed and still no clues, witnesses or apparent motive and the murderer lives among the unsuspecting towns folk. How is it possible? Is someone protecting him, or is there a darker, deeper agenda behind all the strange happenings in this once peaceful town? The people are relieved when strict security measures are implemented, but is it really to their advantage, or is there some conspiracy to restrict their freedom? If so, why? And why does the religious leaders support all the new rules and laws?
My first thee books are still available at:
Happy reading until nest time.