[An image from the first book I sold on Etsy]
I took a little bit of time off at the New Year because I wanted to start the year right. At the end of last year, I posted a top 50 of my favorite books that I listed last year. It was fun to look back at all the books I’d found and to think a bit about what I love so much about selling vintage books online.
What do I love about my job, you ask?
I love that even though I’m pathologically shy, selling online gives me the chance to deal with so many people from so many places while still keeping my distance and being nearly invisible to the world.
I also love that I learn new things every day just by buying, researching, and describing so many books. I know way more answers on Jeopardy these days and I’m certain it’s from immersing myself completely in the world of books.
And most importantly, I love old books. I especially love old children’s books. I love the art work; I love the innocence; I love the stories; and I love that my job gives me the opportunity to share my finds with so many other folks who love old children’s books.
Now you may ask, how did I get into selling vintage children’s books online?
The full answer is kind of long but the short answer is very simple. I did it for the kids! I did it for MY kids, to be more specific.
When I started 8 years ago, my children were very young and I wanted to be home with them. I also wanted to home school them, so I found myself going to a lot of used book sales and buying more books than I could manage to keep the kids stocked with new and interesting material to read and study.
I was also buying books that I didn’t want the children to touch because they seemed so rare and valuable. (I wasn’t often right about that at the beginning, but I’m getting better.)
Within a year of homeschooling I had dozens of books that the kids no longer read and dozens of books that I had to keep them from reading and no excuse to keep any of them around except that I had a feeling that someone somewhere might want them.
Enter Etsy: a place where people like me bought and sold books like mine, and where it seemed like community was emphasised over commerce. I listed a few books just to see if it worked, and somehow it did! And I’ve been selling ever since.
For the last few years, it’s been a helpful part-time income, but this year my goal is to make it a full-time income. What that means for me is that I’m going to go to a lot more sales and spend a lot more time listing books. What that means for you is that you’ll see a lot more of me online AND you’ll see a lot more books in my shop! Everybody wins!
And with that, I’ll get back to my listings!
Happy New Year,