Thinking back I think must of first got my hands on a computer in about 1969 and over the years I have used them, mostly reluctantly to do this and that and I suppose if you are reading this and comment on Blogger, Facebook or some sort of social media site you know in a way it’s a hit like saying. “Hello how are you?” By this I mean, you don’t necessarily want the person you say it to tell you all about their piles, or that thy have just contracted something that was one fatal and now an uncertainty in the ever changing world of medical science. So what do you mean? Probably something like dogs sniffing around a lamppost, something along the lines of, “I’m alive and notice you are too.”
Sorry I digress, back in the day 1998 this would be, I thought the internet would be the easy way to put books online and sell them, I was of course wrong. To being with I decided to try the online bookselling databases, what happened with this was the books you wanted to sell, with me and the books in my bookshop this was the ones that had been on the shelf for too long in the bookshop. To expand on this if you look at the books that went out on the shelves in my bookshop today by clicking on this link http://michaelsbookshop.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/priest-sow-corner-in-bookshop.html you will see that for instance the BBC Handbook for 1960 may be a bit of an acquired taste and when I go back to the radio and TV section in the bookshop in a year’s time it may still be on the shelf, so I will then want to move it on by selling it on the internet and gat a different book for my walk-in customers. To begin with this all worked very well with the online databases only taking about 5% of the selling price of the book. Well now all of the online secondhand book databases have either been gobbled up by Amazon or some other huge multinational company and seem to wind up taking about a quarter of the selling price. Anyone who has tried selling a collection of books on the internet will know that it is difficult time consuming and the money raised isn’t very much.
The biggest snag from the customers point of view with buying a secondhand book on the internet is that you can’t browse it properly, look at all the pages checking for signs of banana bookmarks, see if it smells badly of damp, but most of look through the pages reading bits and deciding if it really is the book for you.
After some though I have diced the best solution here is to photograph all of the books on the shelves regularly and put the photos n the internet in some sort of organised way, so that you dear reader can look at the spines and decide whether it’s worth wandering down to the bookshop. Will this work? I don’t know really, we put the Bygone Kent Magazines up earlier this week see http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/bygonekent/ and now we have started on the paperback fiction, see http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/fictiona/ and http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/fictionb/ and http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/fictionc/