Welcome back to our Bookseller Spotlight feature! Biblio loves to support independent booksellers…it’s what we are all about!
Marcia Marsille was kind enough to take the time to tell us about the Village Bookmarket of Palmyra, New York.
What makes your bookshop special?
All bookshops are special, because we (the proprietors) are all different. I strive to be helpful; I try to keep a neat and orderly shop (if I can’t find a particular book, how is my customer supposed to find a particular book?); I also offer bookbinding and book repair services.
How did you get started selling books?
In February 2007 I got a post card from a mailing that a used bookseller had sent out stating she had “Good News and Bad News”. The Bad News was that she was closing her store. The Good News was her reason for doing so, to start her family. My thoughts went from “oh, how sad,” to “someone should do something,” to “maybe I could do something,” to “I want to do something.” It was if the Lord was dropping the opportunity into my lap and saying “Here, try this, you’ll like it.” I was able to purchase some of my predecessor’s inventory, shelving, and equipment, and the landlord was glad to let me take over the same storefront.
Would you like to share any favorite memories?
I’m next door to a candy shop which also sells some cool drinks. One day two ladies come in the back door, get about 4-5 feet in and I hear one say to the other, “I don’t think this is where the slushies are.”
A lady came in to browse. After awhile she saw the book “Petunia” on the shelf and became quite weepy. She had had this book as a child and it brought back wonderful memories for her. She bought the book.
I was manning our booth at our local county fair when a woman paused and looked at some Little Golden Books that were displayed. She chose “We Like Kindergarten”, illustrated by Eloise Wilken. After she paid for the book she opened it up and pointed to a little girl in a plaid skirt. “That’s my husband’s sister,” she said. She went on to tell me that in the early 1960s Eloise Wilken spent a week sketching a kindergarten class in Canandaigua, NY, which is approximately 15 miles south of where I am located. Her husband’s sister was in that class and “We Like Kindergarten” was the result. While I was familiar with the work of Eloise Wilken, up until then I had not been aware that she had been a resident of the Rochester, NY, region.
I remember how shocked I was when I pulled a copy of “Bambi” out of a box. Not Walt Disney’s “Bambi”, the novel “Bambi” by Selton. I knew Walt Disney’s “Snow White”, “Cinderella”, etc. were stories that pre-dated Walt Disney, but “Bambi”?! I took it home and read it!
How do you view your role as an independent bookseller?
As a used bookseller, I am a temporary way-station for books that are between homes.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
I love it when a customer finds just what they were looking for or something wonderful that they didn’t realize they were looking for. That in-take of their breath; that “Ooooh!” sound they make. Priceless. I love hearing the “why” behind a purchase. “It’s a gift for my mom, this was her favorite book as a child.” “I loved this book as a kid and I want to read it with my child.”
I also like the fact that there is always something new to learn, about books, about life.
What is most challenging part of your job?
Bookkeeping and time management.
What was the most interesting book acquired/sold in your shop?
I have in stock a small, two volume Holy Bible from 1756.
What do you think of e-books?
While I like physical books best, e-books are another option for reading for many people.
Do you have a piece of book repair/preservation advice?
NO TAPE! No scotch, masking, packing, mailing, duct, or other kind of tape! Tape damages covers and pages leaving stains and residue. Tape is extremely difficult to remove without damaging covers and pages when repairing a book. I would not even use the “book tape” if it can be avoided. If you don’t think you can fix it without using tape, please, please, please seek the advise of bookbinder/book repairer. Also, please do not wait until your book is in pieces. A $5 or $10 “quick fix” by a professional on loose hinges and detached pages can save heartache and expense later.
Do you have a bookstore cat, or other mascot?
I considered getting a cat, but I know too many people with severe cat allergies, so I got a fake cat instead. His name is “Dusty” because he lays around all day collecting dust.
The Little Store that’s BIG on Service.
207 East Main St., Palmyra, NY 14522
HOURS: Tues, Wed-10 AM-6 PM Thurs-10 AM-8 PM Fri-10 AM- 6 PM Sat-12 Noon-5 PM
PHONE: 315-597-0210 FAX: 630-597-4540
EMAIL: info@VillageBookmarket.com WEB: VillageBookmarket.com
FACEBOOK: Village Bookmarket TWITTER: @VillageBookmkt
Look for Village Bookmarket on YouTube.com