The (Mis)Adventure of the Week

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

(Or, Joyce Becomes A Bookselling Monster!)

It all started last week, when I finally got around to listing some books for sale on Amazon. These were good books, beautiful books, that I bought in a a fit of passion, only to eventually succumb to buyer’s remorse. For many months, I kept them on my shelf, admiring the shiny cover, smiling over glossy pages, knowing I should recoup my losses, yet unwilling to let go. But finally the guilt of watching my husband lug 150 pounds of books up to our third floor apartment overcame my bibliophile defenses. I love my husband very much (more than my books, really); I love his back too. And so I determined to get the dirty job done.

After a few weeks of procrastination, I set up my seller’s account and started putting up books. After agonizing over beloved (but rarely-used) volumes and discarding the titles that were selling so low it wasn’t worth the effort (my threshold was $5), I ended up with nine respectable listings. Then I sat back for what I expected would be a long wait. I figured I would sell one every two weeks or so — every week when things were going fast, perhaps only one a month when things were slow — and my eventual hope was to be rid of half by the end of our six month lease. The leftovers would undergo judgment at that time and either be kept or somehow discarded.

Well, I woke up the next day and found that no fewer than SIX bulky volumes had sold in the night. SIX! Shocked would hardly begin to describe it. With only a tenuous grasp of where I could print out packing slips (we don’t have a printer) and a vague idea where the post office was, I set out, a large bag of books under each arm. My first stop was the library, where I’d noticed a “First 10 pages free” sign on the printer. Well just my luck, it was Thursday, the Farmer’s Market in Los Alamos. That meant all the parking lots were packed with cars, forcing me to improvise. Not thinking, I parked in a narrow lane and upon returning found myself squarely blocked by an SUV and a big red truck. Now, since low-carbing, my constitution has been stronger (if not exactly iron), so instead of panicking, I gulped, got into the car, and proceeded for several minutes to drive fruitlessly forwards two feet, backwards two feet, forwards two feet, backwards two feet, to the grave stares of many passersby. I thought about calling my husband, or perhaps even my Mommy in Missouri, but alas I didn’t have my phone. (Sigh.) Finally, I summoned my courage, revved the car over the curb, and made my escape (missing the SUV on my right by about two inches and the large decorative rock on my left by maybe a bit less). After that, I merely needed to execute a hair-raising 20-point U-turn in another tiny alleyway and I was free. I drove home shaking, called my husband hysterically, pulled myself together, and headed to the post office.

After half an hour of frantic sorting and letting people pass me in line, I finally had my six books shipped. I arrived home, exhausted … to find another one had sold. (!@%*$!) Five days later, I shipped my ninth book. Wow. I don’t know whether to laugh hysterically for joy or laugh hysterically in agony. (Both maybe.) Why, I could almost quit my day job.

Speaking of which, I have one now! More on that later …