Monday, December 27, 2010

Sweet memories of profiteering

Every year on this day, I hope to recreate an exciting event of the past. When it fails to materialize, I accept that and move on, but Hope springs eternal. Every year on this day....

I go to the Barnes and Noble site and beeline for the end-of-the-year clearance sale. But every year, I'm disappointed. Because The Big Bible Blowout happened only once and will never happen again.

I'm surprised that it happened at all, and I strongly suspect that somebody got way fired for it. But 4 years ago, an enormous load of super-expensive Bibles got listed in the sale books for five dollars each.

I mean, expensive editions. Not just King James, not just those cheapie "gift" Bibles with stiff paper and cramped print. Big ones, leather ones, study Bibles, modern translations. 50, 60, 80-dollar Bibles. Very very resellable.

I'm a bookseller. I have a Pavlovian drool-response to great book deals.

4 years later I can still feel the adrenaline rush. Copies of the choicest items were selling as fast as I could click "add to cart" but despite a few "sorry- sold out!" notices, I managed to score two shipping boxes of assorted editions.

Then I proceeded to sell them for tidy profits. Every one of them.

This is the kind of crass, Scrooge-like person I am. I felt just a little bad about it, but, as even some of my most Christian friends pointed out, I paid what the seller asked, I stocked what our customers wanted, and I sold it to our buyers at a price that was nice for them as well as for our book business.

Ever since, I check B&N late in the day on Dec 26th or early the 27th. The instant I see the lovely "end of year clearance" banner, I'm on that "Shop now!" button like a duck on a junebug, but never again have they made such an error.

I kind of feel sorry for whoever put premium Bibles in the clearance sale back in aught-six. Not easy to get a job reference after that debacle.

But in my declining years, as I reminisce over the good times, I'll remember the sweet profit I made on Bibles when Opportunity knocked.

I keep telling yall, I am not a nice person.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Blessed Christmas!

May wonderful things come your way now and through the coming year.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

One hundred Christmases

My great grandmother, Iola, age 8, got this from her oldest sister, Bell, who was 17.

There were 3 sisters. Bell, Iola (the giver and recipient of the first book, above), and Jessamine, who as a small child got nicknamed "Precious" and was called Precious all her life. Iola named her own firstborn -- my grandmother -- Jessamine, and she, aged 7, got this from her namesake aunt.

Again to my grandmother, now age 10, from her own mother.

And another to my grandmother, now age 12, from her mother.

And now we come to my mother, age 1, receiving a gift from Iola who's now a grandmother. Someone in each generation gets the Jessamine nomer. My niece is the 5th generation to have it.

Again to my mom from her grandmother, Iola, whose name has now become "Granny," and is the name I knew her by as well. She's holding a newborn me in this photo, and I do remember her.

To me when I was 9, from my dear godmother.

To me from my mom. Signed by her, on behalf of my beloved stuffed animal menagerie. You'll notice that I was 29 years old. I never outgrew my love for the stuffies, though Hurricane Hugo took most of them.

Books. Best Christmas gift there is.