This is a list of the real products and services that we use everyday to run our business everyday.
Book Reseller Musts
BookScouter: A free site that compares book buy back offers from the industries top sellers. Every book we consider buying gets checked here first!
Socket Mobile 8Ci Bluetooth Hand Scanner: The scanner we use to enter ISBNs into the book scouter app on our smartphone. This device cut our scouting time in half, letting us cover twice as much territory while book hunting.
USB Scanner: This is our internal inventory scanner. It hooks directly to our computer by USB and is great for updating our catalog of books, compiling buy back orders, and creating listings on Ebay and Amazon.
Cleaning and Book Care
Absorene book and document cleaner: A gummy putty used for spot cleaning valuable documents of open grain paper book covers. This won’t work miracles, but for materials that can’t get wet, this is the best product for removing dirt and dust safely.
Lineco Document Cleaning Pad: Another dry surfaces cleaner. Great for larger areas like paper book covers and dust jackets.
Book Bags 10″ x 13″ by BCW: These are the archival bags we use to seal and protect our books. They serve two purposes: to preserve the handwork we put into cleaning and restoring our books and to protect them during shipping. These bags don’t cost a lot, but they are the most important element of our shipping and handling.
12x9x3 Shipping Box: We tried a ton of shipping boxes, mailers, and envelopes before declaring these boxes the absolute best for shipping books. The dimensions fit a wide ranges of book sizes from trade paperbacks to textbooks, and at less the 50 cents each, we can afford the extra protection of a sturdy box for every book we sell.
Course Packing Paper: Like our shipping boxes, we tried a ton of different packing materials before discovering this one, and if there is one thing that we learned through that trial and error its that quality matters! Less expensive paper and similarly priced rolls offering more square feet simply didn’t hold up. They required twice as much to fill the box and even then crushed down to nothing during shipment leaving empty space for books to bang around in. This course, thick paper is perfect for crumpling up and filling voids in shipments. It’s soft enough to not damage items but thick enough to hold its shape in transit.
I wouldn’t call myself any kind of book seller without a list of notable reads! Here’s how I pass my time once the selling’s done.
Favorite Book: Drop City by T.C. Boyle
Set in the early 70’s, Drop City chronicles the last days of a California commune as they attempt to relocate to Alaska once they lose their land. It’s a book about peace, love, and how hard it is to keep those feelings going once the food starts to run out. Beautifully told and equal parts hopeful and bleak, I read this gorgeous book about once every two years.
Favorite Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Rothfuss is the author of the confusingly titled, King Killer Chronicle. An as-of-yet incomplete fantasy series that follows the rags-to-nicer-rags rise of a young bard named Kvothe. After two excellent books, “The Name of the Wind,” and, “The Wise Man’s Fear,” we still have yet to meet a proper king for Kvothe to kill, but I promise you won’t give a fig about it as you begin to tear through this terrific prose. It’s rare that I hang on an author’s every word, but with Rothfuss, I do. I apologize in advance for getting you hooked on a series without a conclusion in place, but feel free to stop by the author’s terrific blog to soak up some time until the next release.
Runner Up: Stephen King
I love Uncle Stevie… but you don’t need me to discover his decades spanning career as a novelist. Just look at any stack of books…. seriously. There’s a Stephen King book in it, I promise.
Favorite Series: The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman
The Magicians is the story of Quentin Coldwater and his fellow classmates at a college for wizardry in upstate New York. Despite what comparisons this may conjure up for you, The Magicians stands on it’s own legs as an achievement in modern fantasy. Smartly told and incredibly deep, The Magicians leads you on quest so satisfying you’ll turn the last page feeling like you’ve eaten a pat of butter.
Favorite Historical Non-Fiction: Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants by Robert Sullivan
I love New York City history, and of all the works I’ve read about Gotham, this off beat, street-level observation of the city’s lowliest dwellers is my favorite. Chronicling the twin rise of both rodents and humans in NYC, Rats is a cleverly narrated and utterly engrossing tale of not just survival, but the ability to adapt and flourish.