is there money to be made selling books on the internet?

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THE POPULATION OF THE U.S. is ap­prox­i­mately 330,000,000. Of course, Amazon reaches around the planet, so the po­ten­tial market for just about any­thing you might want to sell is in the bil­lions! If you’re into books and think you might want to dabble a little in buying and selling them to pick up a few bucks, my ad­vice con­sists of two words: “Think again.” READ MORE

a series of trials, errors, and occasional victories

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BERNI JUST BROUGHT ME a sheet of paper ti­tled “Ten Rules for Being Human.” Un­for­tu­nately, it had been pho­to­copied so many times that the let­ters were all a blur, so I couldn’t read it without squinting like Mr. Magoo. (I’d ask, “Who passes crappily-rendered stuff like this around?” but some­body gave to Berni and she gave it to me, right?) READ MORE

covers of 19 various unrelated books from the 19th century

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ONCE UPON A TIME, we made things with care, with crafts­man­ship, even a touch of art. The number of items so made that were used in everyday life would be a long list in­deed, but here I am only going to ad­dress the front covers of old books. Re­ally old books.

When we see and hold books like this today, it’s not un­usual to wonder why they went to so much ef­fort to pro­duce some­thing so few people would read. READ MORE

shawna mccarthy created a space of her own

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TWENTY ODD YEARS AGO, I was turned on to Glimpses, a novel by Lewis Shiner. I’d never heard of the au­thor but as I don’t keep up with much of any­thing any­more (it’s the old age thing), that wasn’t sur­prising. Be­cause of the source of the rec­om­men­da­tion, I read the book and thought it might be an Amer­i­can­ized form of “mag­ical re­alism.” READ MORE

blmf literary saloon (where used books come to be found)

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1501 Pike Place
Suite 324
Seattle WA 98101




Monday-Sunday 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM



Photo of interior of BLMF Literary Saloon bookstore in Seattle.

“Looking for poems written by cats? A Star Wars travel guide? Maybe a book on how to sur­vive a shark­nado? You can find those and more at BLMF Lit­erary Sa­loon. Books fill the win­dows, line the shelves, pile around the floor and frame the checkout counter. READ MORE

new mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar book store opens in redmond

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THE U.S. CENSUS of 2010 un­cov­ered sev­eral dozen full-time book-lovers among the 59,000 res­i­dents of Red­mond, Wash­ington. Like most such readers, these res­i­dents re­quired a reg­ular in­take of new and old books, and while some of their needs were filled by the King County Li­brary Sys­tem’s branch in Red­mond, other needs have gone sorely lacking.

When Bor­ders closed its Red­mond store in 2011, there was no longer any local ac­cess to a leisure walk about a store, from one’s fa­vorite sec­tions (say, sci­ence fic­tion or base­ball) to genres one rarely no­tices (such as bas­ket­ball or New Age) to a wall of col­or­fully il­lus­trated chil­dren’s books to the re­mainder table, where a book that you’d never pay $24.99 for can be found for two bucks. READ MORE

posting online ain’t the same as being in print

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REGARDING POSTING ONLINE, in re­sponse to having the of­fi­cial Elvis Presley web­site at Grace­land picking up one of my articles—which I trum­peted loudly to family and friends via Face­book and email—my friend Stephanie Locke posted a nice com­ment on my A Touch Of Gold site: “Good to see Umphred back in print.”

In­stead of simply ac­cepting the com­ment, I re­sponded with, “Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t con­sider being pub­lished on­line as being in print. READ MORE

pangur bán and the nameless monk

EVERYBODY KNOWS what a co­in­ci­dence is: “The oc­cur­rence of events that happen at the same time by ac­ci­dent but seem to have some connection”—at least ac­cording to Merriam-Webster. But of course it’s not that simple: ‘real’ co­in­ci­dences not only catch our at­ten­tion, they res­onate with us.

Real co­in­ci­dences seem to ‘mean some­thing,’ even if that meaning is just be­yond our ken. READ MORE

philosophical mutts and zen master cats

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GUARDIANS OF BEING is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Eck­hart Tolle (words) and Patrick Mc­Don­nell (pic­tures). I have en­thused over it since its pub­li­ca­tion in 2009, and have rec­om­mended it to everyone! The book de­scribes beau­ti­fully and play­fully how philo­soph­ical mutts and zen master cats help in grounding human beings—call us out of our reveries, our wor­ries, and our self-absorption, and plant our feet back on the ground of the here and now. READ MORE