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An interview with Wonderful Books by Mail

Biblio checks in with Wonderful Books by Mail to learn more about their book business, collecting interests and more! To view and shop their inventory, click here.

When did you get started in bookselling?

I am 71 years old. I first sold ink on paper when I was 12.

What drew you to bookselling?

I said a prayer that I would find a way to make a living that would put a roof over my head, food on my table & not contribute to war,nor need someone to follow after me and clean up a mess. The prayer was answered in half an hour when I visited a small community bookstore that was in need of a new partner. I could live in the back of the old grocery store that the building had been.

Did you have any mentors in becoming a bookseller?

Harry Cutler,Head perfumer for Revlon...Who also loved books.

What are your specialties as a dealer?

Children's books. Books by women American regional authors. Natural history. Any book I have never seen before & that I know nothing about.

What is your favorite part of being a bookseller?

The customers..(little things about their personalities). The smell of books. Making a living from what I love..The many books that pass thru my hands.

Do you have an open storefront or have you in the past?

Open storefront from 1968 until 1971.When I moved to the country & began selling thru the mail with occasional catalogs.

If so, do/did you have any bookstore pets?

We had a (kitty litter trained) RABBIT.And a DOG who would come to ME and quietly say "woof" if someone came into the store that he did not like.He was much too polite & intelligent to make a store display.

What is the funniest / strangest / scariest thing that ever happened in your store?

Someone once brought a horse up the wooden steps & inside the store...just so we could see if it could be done.