Monday, March 23, 2009

putting it out to the universe

this is an absolutely serious post.

i want to work in a second-hand bookshop. this is something i have wanted all my adult life. what started as one of those oh yes, that would be nice fantasies has now solidified into a bloody-minded determination to achieve my goal.

i am a teacher, and have been doing some relief work around the traps. while i've enjoyed this, what i really want to do is spend my days working with books. they must be second hand though. no borders, no readings, no dymocks. you get my drift.

this is my strategy.
1. ask here if there's anyone who can help me realise my dream.
2. find all the second-hand bookshops in my area and send them a letter, probably including the above phrase putting it out to the universe. that would help, wouldn't it? we all know second-hand bookshop owners are a quirky bunch; modern-day hermits, often cranky-panted eccentrics, who nevertheless love books.
3. look for ads, but i really don't think that will work. seriously, has anyone EVER seen an ad for a sales position in a second-hand bookshop? i didn't think so.
4. ask you lovely people for help. any leads, suggestions, contacts. if you're a reader and your surname is SYBER then PLEASE CONTACT ME AND OFFER ME A JOB.
i don't want lots of money, just enough to pay for some bits and pieces. what i really want to do is buy myself some time; what this means is being able to earn a bit of money so i can do my own writing thang. which i don't know how that will turn out considering i'm not ambitious, but i am driven. another good thing about me not being ambitious is that i wont try and take the shop over, with innovations and new ways. i'm a really good shelf organiser, i like fiction and non-fiction, i'm a huge reader and i have lots of energy for books. there are other things i don't have a lot of energy for. like exercise. and smiling when i don't feel like it.

see? i'd fit right in. i've got a master degree, so i can effect that kind of superior, bookish quality that you need to have. i wear glasses too, so that helps, doesn't it? i have a big car which i don't even need to pay petrol for, and so can trawl the country-side for fabulous books to sell in the shop.


i've already got my three kids, so i won't get pregnant on you. they are all old enough to get themselves to and from school. if your shop is in st. kilda, or albert park or middle park or the cbd or windsor, the kids would be ok at home on their own if they're sick.


please meet me for an interview.

ok, now this is all wrapped up in a leaf, tied with gossamer, and decorated with a yellow (yet thistly) flower. i am releasing it onto the breeze, actually a stiffish on-shore sea wind, closing my eyes, and wish wish wishing.


Perseus said...

One of my best friends is the daughter of the owners of my local second hand bookshop, and it's a good 'un.

It's in Lorne but.

Double but: They have too many books, and half the stock is in storage, covered in cobwebs in an abandoned church hall some 20kms inland. Maybe if you found an empty shop in Melbourne they'd provide the stock? But then that would mean, you know, working hard, every day, running your own shop.

sublime-ation said...

I love this idea for you. Most bookshop owners are in general, grumpy. They normally love bailing me up at parties for various writer/publisher things I do that irritate them irrationally. I was blessed to work in one once, now RIP, that had owners who weren't like this, they have become firm family friends now.
Apart from the drudgery (hours spent unpacking books, people who want to photocopy books not buy them, etc,) it is quite nice.
I don't know any 2nd handys, though.
But I shall put my ear out for you.
Best of luck.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I think this place would be perfect for you, Melba.

Melba said...

Thanks Ramon, you may be right, but I want to work in a real book shop.

And Perseus, I want to say how nice I think it is one of your best friends is a chick.

Re having my own shop, I don't mind working hard, I don't think, but it would be a headache I know. And the pressure then to make money becomes important and that would be annoying. I feel like I've been working hard for ages, but to what end? To help other people achieve their dreams? What about mine?

I would have civilised hours, like 10 to 3, but I don't think I'd like working there on the weekends. I would then hire a uni student to work weekends, but then they would let me down because they like to party too much.

Sub, I thought you might be the one with a lead for me? But that's ok. I'll keep this post here, putting it out to the universe. Today I'm feeling very lacking in motivation, more than usual, so am struggling even with the idea of drafting a letter of approach to the three bookstores I can think of that I would like to work in. Went to a second-hand bookstore yesterday and came away with three hard-cover biographies - Virginia Woolf, Miles Franklin and Hemingway. By my account, I'm going backwards in terms of I didn't get a job and spent $. I didn't ask though. It's too hard to approach people like that. Letter is better, and then both parties can ignore the results if necessary.

squib said...

I see you've given up on our pirate bookshop ship idea Melba

And I was just about to take 'learn to sail a windjammer' lessons too

Melba said...

That's right squib. I'd forgotten, not given up.

I'd be happy to do that! Any sort of second-hand bookshop, on a ship would be ace. As long as it's moored to something attached to land.

Perseus said...

Um, so that's a no?

I'm going to the footy tomorrow night with her. I could ask.

Speaking of which, we have a spare ticket to Richmond v Carlton (which is now sold out). Apparently, they are going for $220 on ebay. I though am prepared to offer it for free, as long as person who gets the ticket lines up and gets me and my friends coffees at half-time. The queue at the coffee trolley is HORRENDOUS.

Melba said...

Wow I didn't realise you were really serious. I'd love it if you asked her about the stock. Maybe she could sell it to me bulk. I'd be more than happy to drive down in a rented truck and get it. If I could find a shop front; even if I could start selling it online from home that would be a great start.

If you can remember, do ask. THANKS!

Enjoy the football.

Magical_M said...

Having just moved to the wonderful city that is Melbourne I have yet to acquaint myself with any second-hand bookshops. Must remedy that.

But when I am remedying the situation (and I will make it my mission to do so this week) I will enquire as to how one might go about obtaining a position of employment with them.

Did I spell remedying correctly? Is it even a word?


Melba said...

Magical M???

Everyone is coming back to me.

So happy right now.

And yes, please, ask how one does get there.

Have been talking with Clokes re renting a shop. We are keen. We shall see. Hang onto your hats! And old bookcases, cause I might need to buy them.

sublime-ation said...

Hm, not second hand. I know one lovely 2nd hand (art books mostly) dealer who has no shop, just does auctions/catalogues, and the only shops I would advise are nice new book shops like Brunswick Bound. Sorry, keep putting it out there...