cellini's Diaryland Diary


This fucking bookstore that I am trying to buy.

I am very close to buying the bookstore. Waiting now for the critical numbers; interest rate and term of years for the loan. It has to work out to a monthly payment that I can conceivably wrest out of this place.

The owners whom I am buying it from are so utterly deluded. The owner, Sandy, is 81 years old, confined to a wheelchair, suffering from MS and various cognitive ailments Some days, he's not really there at all. Today, he was kinda there and was enjoying going through boxes of late 18th and early 19th century books with me almost as much as I was. He can manage about an hour or two at a time, twice a week.

His wife, Donna, is a retired nurse who kinda thinks that she understands the business but really doesn't.

Perhaps we should price a first edition Hemingway without the dust cover at $100, thirty shy of what it is going for on the premier online book sales site? No, she thinks that I'm missing the spirit of the "rag and bone shop" idea where we aren't really rare book sellers and put everything out at $8.50 for hardbacks. She wants me to learn more from how Sandy prices books. Sandy does not have an email address and has probably never used the internet. He has never once looked at logs of what books have sold at what prices. His pricing for books are literally the utterances of a mentally incompetent man who keeps thinking that this is 1988. I love his enthusiasm for touching the linen paper of an 1840's volume that I hold out to him, but he has no fucking idea how to price books in 2023.

How the fuck does she think that I am going to make a $3k or more monthly payment to buy the store, on top of all of the existing expenses, by pricing first editions at $8,50?

This woman responded to the proposal of establishing a staff picks shelf by saying that she needs to think about it for a month. Putting culled books on a $2 book shelf for a week before they go to Good Will? Impossible.

Of course this bookstore is unprofitable. Donna and Sandy have prevented making any money from either the high end of our stock or from the low end.

Also I caught an employee of over twenty years stealing from the store. He is taking valuable first editions home and either hoarding them or selling them. I don't know which. But this shitbag has acted like he was in charge for the last decade. Presiding over the this place falling into decay, never even sweeping or straightening books. There were literally beer cans stuffed in among the shelves when I started. There were books with half an inch of crumbled plaster from the walls atop of them. Books deformed from lying askew for years. This fucking shitbag opposed everything that I did to fix the place. I identified a copy of issue two of Wyndham Lewis' literary magazine, The Enemy, in our storage rooms. Worth $150 at least. Also a first edition of Call of the Wild. The shitbird took each of them home. I noticed each missing and texted him to ask if he knew where they were. Each time he said that he had taken them home just to read them.

A 65 year old book guy has already read Call of the Fucking Wild. He owns a copy of it. If he wants to read it, he could take home one of the four other editions that we have in stock. You don't need to bring home the actual first edition. And he has zero track record of IDing first editions and appraising them to price appropriately.

Last Monday I went out and picked up six boxes of books from an elderly person who was moving. Among those boxes I found two first editions by Hemingway and first editions of Bambi and Bambi's Children. I pulled those books and set them aside. I left the bookstore locked up at 6:30 pm, and returned at 8:30 pm, at which time one Hemingway and the Bambi were gone.

The shitbird had quit on Sunday afternoon. Almost certainly because I have made too many improvements to suit his taste. But he still has his keys, and I think this piece of shit made one final theft on Monday night.

How many thousands of dollars has this piece of shit stolen over the last 20 years?

I have to get his keys from him. And then once I own the store, of course I will change the locks.

Today I had long conversations about Stirling engines, biographies of Dali, The Beatles, and first editions of the Hogarth Press. I really like this job. I have an opportunity to own the bookstore and make it really profitable and pay myself a real wage. I just have to get through this process and own the fucking thing and then I can make it very pretty and sell first editions online and treat this thing the way that it deserves.

In the midst of all of this, this is basically all that I am thinking about. I am fucking the good Lindsay, but I have to use condoms which is fucking bullshit. She is such a good person. I wish that I could be passionate about her, but I am not. I don't feel moved to buy her flowers. She wants to help me with the bookstore. She was pretty but the thinning of her hair is real and she puts no effort into her appearance. She still looks good naked. A few days ago she said that she wants to get her tubes tied because she is that serious about not wanting to bear children. She is about 35. I would like the option of having more children.

Alex is MIA. She is basically an NPC. She's stuck in her routine and cannot imagine a way out or accept help in that direction. How do you love an NPC? I would like to think that she is actually conscious. The evidence so far suggests that she is like one of the robots from the first season of West World. Barely aware that external events influence her life and that she can do things differently in order to change those external events.

3:11 a.m. - 2023-09-21


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