I’ve always loved books and being surrounded by books, but I didn’t originally set out to become a bookseller or work in the book trade.
There were some early indications about my future career that I didn’t think much of at the time.
When I was eight, I took an old book to Sotheby’s for a kids’ appraisal day. It turned out not to be worth much, but I made the local TV news—my first press appearance! They referred to me as Wine Thatcher, not the last time my name would be mixed up.
I remember the day and the feeling I had when I finished reading Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story and had to begrudgingly hand it back over the counter to the school librarian. Not only did I come to the end of the book that was not supposed to end, but I couldn’t even keep my favorite book at the time on my shelves!
Selling books began as a hobby for me in the summer of 2001. The online customer service company I had started ran out of money that year and I needed to figure out what to do next. I soon found that I loved telling the story of the books I held in my hands—mostly old books, antiquarian tomes with previous owners’ names and notes in the margins.
From day one, what intrigued me the most about books was the infinite potential for storytelling that didn’t start or finish with the content on the pages. Authors have a backstory of their own and while they may write books, they generally don’t sell them. It’s up to others to tell the complete story about that specific book.
As I sold more books and got requests to build collections for clients, I started thinking of how a group of books together on the shelf could tell an even bigger story. A collection of books said a lot about what the books had in common. They also reflected the interest and personality of the person whose shelf they were on.
What I’ve realized over the past eighteen years is something that I think we all know—printed books are magic and they have unlimited potential to engage, inform, and entertain us. As we look at our shelves, we also sense that printed books have the ability to do all these things and more without even opening their covers. They tell a story whether their covers are open or shut, whether they are on the shelves or in our hands.
I invite you to explore the possibilities of storytelling with books around your home as we take you on a journey that will hopefully enrich your life.