“It is the most friendly vocation in the world,” he announced…“A bookseller is the link between mind and mind, the feeder of the hungry, very often the binder up of wounds. There he sits, your bookseller, surrounded by a thousand minds all done up neatly in cardboard cases; beautiful minds, courageous minds, strong minds, wise minds, all sorts of conditions. And there come into him other minds, hungry for beauty, for knowledge, for truth, for love, and to the best of his ability he satisfies them all…Yes…it’s a great vocation.”
Elizabeth Goudge, A City of Bells
Antiquarian Gems and Gently-loved Jewels
Now Open for Business
I’d like to extend the gladdest of greetings to all of you who are stopping by today and to thank you for coming to celebrate the realization of a life-long dream. While the world of the delightfully-dusty and dim bookshop seems to be vanishing before our very eyes, it is my desire that anyone who visits here may experience the warmth of a glad welcome and perhaps some good conversation, a hearty recommendation or two and a few touches of personal attention. Not to mention some lovely books for a reasonable value! We may not be able to talk face-to-face amid the tomes, but you can browse my reviews and ask me your questions. I consider you my friends, kind readers and kindred spirits. And it is my privilege to invite you to peek at my shelves and make friends of some of my favorite books…
But first, a little technical information:
- Lanier’s Books is open for business online today. The shop is brand-new, beta, so we are expecting a few ‘opportunities’ to arise here and there. Please have patience and bear with us if things do not quite work out like you would expect. We are going to do what it takes to address any issues quickly to make sure you have a satisfying experience. And, as always, if you have any questions or encounter any problems, do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The URL for the bookshop is ‘http://laniersbooks.com/wp2010/shop.html‘. There is a link to the bookshop on the sidebar of http://laniersbooks.com. The URL may change in the future. The book shop lets you search for books by title, author, or anything else just by typing a phrase into the search bar at the top of the shop. You can clear out the search terms by clicking on the ‘Search:’ label next to the bar. When you highlight a book, details and photos will be displayed at the bottom of the screen. You should be able to purchase a book through PayPal by clicking on the ‘Purchase book button’. This will transfer you to an external PayPal site to make the purchase. You do not need a PayPal account–you can use a credit card for the purchase. More payment options are expected in the near future, but for now, PayPal / credit card are the options.
- We are not expecting so much traffic that we need to worry about multiple people purchasing the exact same book at the same moment. If this anomaly does happen to anyone, we will certainly straighten it out as quickly as we can. It might help if you refresh the inventory using the ‘refresh’ button in the upper-right hand corner (not the browser refresh) before making a purchase to make sure that no one else has just completed a purchase of that book. The inventory list will update automatically every 5 minutes, but you can speed things up pressing the button before making a purchase.
- We are planning on adding a ‘shopping cart’ soon. In the meanwhile, if you want to purchase multiple books, you will need to make these as multiple, independent purchases. Sorry for the inconvenience.
- This shop-on-the-internet requires the Adobe Flash Player. If you do not have this installed in your browser, you may need to download a small (1.5 MB) plug-in from Adobe. This also means that you probably will not be able to browse the shop’s inventory from an Apple iPhone or iPad.
- We are shipping books by media mail to keep postage simple and low. Let us know if you think this is a problem for you.
- If you are a customer living outside the standard U.S. media mail shipping area, we are planning on addressing your situation soon. If you would like in the meanwhile, you can go ahead and purchase a book. We may need an additional PayPal transfer to cover the remainder of the shipping charges. We will handle this on a case-by-case basis as we work out these details.
If you take a look at my sidebar, you’ll see that it has undergone a long overdue renovation. There’s a Contact form where you can send me your questions and the titles of books you’d like for me to search out for you. A brand new Gallery, updated Music and Links pages. And, of course, a link to the Bookshop. And if you scroll down to the bottom of this page you will find new links where you can follow Lanier’s Books on Twitter and on Facebook. That’s where I’ll be posting quick updates on new inventory and featured books, so come follow/twit/tweet/like whatever. 😉
My beloved husband Philip and my darling friend Gretchen have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to improve the site and to make the launch of Lanier’s Books a success in every way. There’s no possible way that I can thank them adequately–it really deserves a post of its own, for all the long hours of coding Philip has put in and the endless chats Gret has cheerfully maintained. Together they have made my dreams materialize and I really have no words at my command to express my gratitude. I am blessed beyond measure. (I love you both.)
Before I went to bed last night (ahem, this morning) I stood for a while, looking at the titles and spines of my inventory, now grown so familiar, rank and file upon the shelves. I thought of all the beautiful ideals and truths housed within, pure sweetness and light all but glinting off the gilt of some of them. And I thought about the new homes that await them, and the sympathetic minds that will give them safe harbor.
Suddenly, and without warning, I waxed very sentimental. I felt like I was sending children off to camp, or into the Great World. I felt like I needed to say goodbye to them. Or, at least, ‘Goodnight’. And as I turned out the light and closed the door of the upstairs bedroom that houses Lanier’s Books, it felt a little like closing up shop for the day at Downs’. I could almost hear Katherine’s loved drawl behind me, and the bumping of the cat carrier wherein the pampered ‘D.C.’ made his trips to the store and back home every day.
I think she’s smiling today.
Raising my teacup to her. And to all of you, my friends. Thanks again for coming by.