It's hard to believe I'm starting my fourth year of business. But it's true, I just checked my business papers to be sure. I filed my state business certificate August 11, 2005.
Let me tell you a little about Mobile Libris and me and how this whole thing started. ML is a book selling company that sells books in the greater NYC area for all kinds of events that happen outside of bookstores. We have no storefront, just an office space in Manhattan's flower district with lots of boxes of books stacked practically floor to ceiling and just as many loose books hanging out on shelves. Several times a day, a few of our twenty or so booksellers come to the office to wheel away a suitcase-full of books and head to an event to sell them. She might be going, say, to the James Beard House to sell the book of the guest chef who's preparing that evening's dinner. Or we might have someone headed off to the Upper East side to sell at a private party being thrown for an author to celebrate the publication of his new book. Maybe it's a luncheon lecture at the Council on Foreign relations and their guest speaker has a book on the subject at hand. We don't actually schedule the events ourselves, but are asked by the publicist, author, or event organizer to be their retail representative at these events and sell the books pertinent to it. We've sold books for Barbara Walters, Alan Alda, President Musharef of Pakistan, Tommy Chong (of Cheech and Chong), Rick Moody, Francine Prose, Carol Gilligan, Mary Higgins Clark, Valerie Plame, Mark Doty, Junot Diaz, etc, etc, etc. We sell books in swank apartments (I once was in Joan Rivers' apartment. Oddly enough I ran into Jason Shinder there!); private clubs (the most exclusive -- I can't recall the name just now -- is in mid-town Manhattan. It costs over $100G to be a member -- by invite only -- and security for the building includes fingerprint ID!); hole in the wall bars (we just sold a book about heavy metal music at Angels and Kings in the East Village); and everywhere in between. Anyway, it's all pretty fascinating -- different subjects, different genres, different locations, different clientele, all day, every day. Cook books, poetry books, political books, mysteries, histories, photography, fiction, and on and on and on. Books, books, books, books, and more books.
So yeah, I love books. And reading. And here's a funny story, and I'll close with this tonight. When I was a little kid, no more than four years old, my older sister and I decided we were going to run away from home (obviously, there's a sad part of the story, too -- what four year old kid is so miserable she wants to run away from home?? -- but that's not the part of the story I'm telling now). We pack up our little-kid suitcases and head out from the dead end street we live on (ha! we lived on a dead end street! really!). We're going to live in the big empty field that lay opposite the top of our street. We settle ourselves in some comfy part of the field where we plan on spending the rest of our natural lives and open up our suitcases so we can start organizing our new home. And what's in my suitcase? Books! That's the only thing I packed. No clothes, no food, no other mementos of my former life on Garvin Lane. Only books. That's all I needed. And here I am, however many years later, still carting suitcases full of books around.