The End of Summer... The Beginning of Something Else?

Can you believe it? Summer is already over?!

I would like to start this post by saying thank you to everyone who visited us over the summer. It has been amazing meeting everyone, locals and tourists alike. We are so appreciative of you all and it is with a heavy heart that I have to report that things will be changing in the not-too-distant future. For those unaware, My name is Christine and I own Finch Books. I am also due to have my second child in three weeks. I have been stressing over what to do with the store for the past 8 months and it wasn't until recently that I made a decision. My mother and business partner has decided to take sole ownership of our little store for the foreseeable future to allow me the ability to parent my newborn as well as my (nearly) five-year-old. I am incredibly sad to be stepping down from the store because it has filled me with such joy every time someone comes in and marvels at what was once just a dream of mine but instead of dwelling on the sadness I am looking towards the future. When it comes to the store, the future is still uncertain. For the time being, beginning after this weekend, our hours will shift to our fall/winter schedule: 

Sunday-Tuesday ................ Closed

Wednesday-Thursday ........10a-5p

Friday-Saturday ................. 10a-3p

Any future adjustments to our schedule, our offerings, or just any changes to the book store in general will be announced here as well as on our social media pages. (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). Our plans so far may involve closing for renovations at some point in the future, changing our layout, potentially offering food items as well as coffee and tea or it could be something completely different but either way we want you (our loyal customers) to be in the know every step of the way. We ask for your patience and understanding as we go through this uncertain time. Additionally because we are still unclear about our exact path forward, we will no longer be buying books or offering trades. We will of course be honoring trade credit that we have given out to customers prior to this but will not be issuing any future credit. We will still be taking donations if you need to get rid of your books. If there are any questions, feel free to call us during business hours at 757-578-2168 or email us anytime at finchbooksva@gmail.com. 

On to happier news. This weekend is labor day weekend and we are having a huge sale. We've been accumulating books all summer long and unfortunately, we're running out of room. This weekend (and potentially continuing into September) we're selling these books at ridiculous prices. We've got books as low as $0.50 each, Romances for $1.00 each, History and Military books are 10% off, our gift items including brand new coffee mugs, deluxe tote bags, and pencil pouches perfect for back to school are also 10% off and if you spend $30, we'll give you a tote bag ($5 value) for free. We will be adding new discounts through out the weekend and potentially continuing for the entire month so watch our social media for updated specials or call, email, or just come in and see what we've got. 

Again I want to thank everyone who has stopped by and said hi, everyone who bought a cup of coffee or bought a book from us, everyone who just looked around and said they loved our cute little store. You all made this journey for me worthwhile and I can't wait to see what's next. 

 

It's been fun, 

Christine Loney

 

 

We're here!

As an update to all our customers I just wanted to let you all know we are here, open for summer hours. We will continue our normal hours Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-5pm and Sundays, 10am-3pm. As always we will be closed on Mondays. This Sunday is Easter and we will be closed. Occasionally (because I am the parent of a 4 year old and sometimes life gets in the way a bit) I may have to close early, open late, or won't be able to open at all. These instances, while hopefully rare, will always be posted on our social media pages but may not be posted on this website. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates and news.  We appreciate your understanding and your patronage. As always feel free to email us with any questions or comments at finchbooksva@gmail.com if you can not reach us at the store. 

 

 

Taking a Break

I wrote here a little over a month ago that we would be making some small changes for the winter. Shorter hours, no more pastries. I'm here to tell you we're doing it again. It is with a heavy heart that I have to take a little break from this beautiful store I've built. Tomorrow will be our last day open until March 1, 2017. This has been a tough decision that many other business down here at the beach have had to make. I wish more then anything that I could stay open and endure this hardship but the sales aren't there. I'm going to spend this time finding great books and unique gifts to bring to this store and I will continue to do online sales during the hiatus. My hope is to get the majority of my antique and bestseller books on our website as well as possibly Amazon or eBay, so look out for those. Most importantly I will be looking to improve the customer experience for this store and will be looking into offering a more solid trade-in-credit option for customers looking to sell books. I would like to thank all of my wonderful, amazing customers and am pleading with you all to stick with me during this tough time. If you have any questions or concerns or if you have any advise or suggestions for improving the customer experience please do not hesitate to email me at finchbooksva@gmail.com. Thanks to everyone who has made this dream of mine possible. We'll be open today and tomorrow (Jan 20-21) until 3pm and then...we'll see you in March! 

 

-Christine Loney

Owner of Finch Books

 

Winter Changes

This is our first winter and it has not been easy. Being a tourist town, I knew winter in Virginia Beach would be a struggle but because of the lack of visitors to our great resort area, Finch Books has had to make some changes. Time will tell if these changes become a seasonal tradition or not but for now this is the way things have to be. 

Hours:

Hours here have been shortened to Tues-Sat 9am-5pm and Sun 10a-3p. We will still be closed on Monday. 

Pastries:

We will no longer (for the next few months at the least) be carrying fresh pastries due to the added cost. As soon as spring/summer traffic picks up we will absolutely be resuming the sale of those delicious Sugar Plum pastries. 

Coffee and Tea:

We will absolutely continue selling coffee and tea although because we don't like waste here at Finch we will wait to make a pot of coffee until it is ordered. This means you might have to wait a minute or two to get your coffee but on the other hand you know it will be fresh. Tea will still only take a moment. Also we are adding flavors to add to your coffee or tea for just $0.25. Currently we are offering Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut, Lavender, Blackberry, and Vanilla (also sugar-free Vanilla). We are always looking to add flavors so if there's a flavor you'd love to see let us know. 

Deals and Discounts: 

We used to offer a different discount each day but for the next few months we will be having a month long special with other deals or discounts peppered throughout. The deal for December is 10% off all gift items including candles, bathbombs, soaps, flasks, notebooks, totebags and more. For any additional deals be sure to check our deals and discount page or our social media. 

 

One thing that won't change during this long, cold winter is our love and appreciation for all of our customers. Whether you bought a book for a dollar or spent a hundred dollars here, we are so happy to meet and serve each and every one of you.

Happy Holidays and Keep Reading!

- Finch Books

 

 

The Struggles

I'm gonna start this blog post with an apology. Not that I think anyone has noticed but Finch Books has been largely absent on the social media scene for a while now, not to mention on this blog. It's not that I don't want to post on instagram and facebook and twitter every single day, it's just that it's difficult. As the sole employee and owner of this beautiful establishment, I do it all. I come in everyday and make coffee, put out pastries, clean, put out the various displays, fill out the shelves with new books and try to come up with a creative, new, interesting social media post. It's tough. This is also not mentioning everything I do before, during, and after work for my family. I work six days a week by myself and I still have to find time to do laundry, feed my toddler and dogs, clean the house, do dishes, put away toys (both the kid's and the dogs') and go to bed at a reasonable hour so I'm not a zombie when I have to go to work and do it all over again. If it weren't for my husband, my life would literally fall apart. I honestly don't know how single parents do it all on their own. 

I've been at this for nearly three months now and about 90% of the time I feel like I'm losing my mind. The struggles, while small compared to those of others, are real to me. Sales are not where I'd like them to be. I went from spending literally 100% of my time with my beautiful baby girl and now I get to see her for an hour before work and a few hours after work before it's time to put her to bed. I'm, in all likelihood, not going to be able to visit my grandparents this year. I haven't even paid myself a salary, so all this work, stress, and sacrifice seems to have less and less of a point each day. I've also been dealing with a resurgence of my depression and anxiety symptoms since rejoining the workforce. This is something I've dealt with since I was a kid and it's probably something I'll have to deal with, on and off, for the rest of my life. It's not a dangerous situation for me (and never has been) but it does make day-to-day life feel like I'm walking through quicksand. But everytime someone comes into my store and is pleasantly surprised by the cyprus tree seeming to grow through the ceiling or marvels at the black walnut countertop my husband crafted for me or sits down on our comfy, orange, leather sofa and reads a book with their coffee, it fills me with such a sense of accomplishment it makes it all worth it.

The point of this blog has been (and hopefully will continue to be) to show the inner workings of owning a small buisness (specifically a book store) but I also want this place to be a place I can show my true colors. A place I can vent about my problems and boast about my accomplishments. A place I can be funny and serious, or sad and angry. I want to talk about issues I care about and books I love. I want this blog to be a reflection of me and while I may try to act perfect sometimes, I am, like nearly everyone else, far from perfect. So to end this rambling, complain-y blog I'd just like to say this: If you come into the store and you see me behind the counter please understand if my hair is up in a messy bun, I have no makeup on and the bags under my eyes are dark purple. This just means that I'm putting my infant buisness ahead of myself right now and that's the way it has to be. 

All About Me

I realize after writing a few post that some of you reading this might not know me. I'm sure the majority of you reading this now are my family or friends (thanks for the support guys). Some of you might be customers or potential customers (soon-to-be customers?) who might have met me. But some of you might not know me or my store at all. For those of you I'm gonna do one of those old school Myspace questionnaires (remember those?). Here goes nothing:  

1. What is your name? 

My name is Christine Victoria Loney. 

2. What's your favorite sport? 

I'm really not into sports at all but if I had to pick I would say Hockey. That's the only professional sports game I've ever attended. Go Caps!

3. Have a crush <3? 

IRL: my husband. Otherwise Ryan Reynolds. 

4. What is your eye color?

It has been described to me as the color of the cool tranquil waters of the Mediterranean but ya know I just say blue. 

5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? 

Physically, I'd like to be a bit shorter. Maybe like 3 or 4 inches shorter. If we're talking personality-wise, I'd rather be a bit more outgoing and less shy around strangers.

6. Are you allergic to anything? if so what? 

I'm not really allergic to anything (got lucky there as both my sisters and my mom suffer from bad allergies.) but I will say even a small amount of dust gives me red, itchy eyes and a scratchy throat so I'm probably allergic to that

7. Have you ever broken a bone? 

Nope. 

8. What's your favorite movie? 

This is really impossible to answer cause I love about 400 different movies but I would say Cabin in the Woods and When Harry met Sally stand out to me. 

9. Books or Movies? 

I kinda have to say books, don't I? I will say this though, books are best when you want to be quiet and have time to yourself and movies are best when you can enjoy them with someone else. So they each have their place and I love them both. 

10. Favorite Book? 

I have many 'favorite' books but my first favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird

11. What's your favorite website? 

Probably Buzzfeed. I'm on there multiple times a day. I love that I can get my news, decorating ideas, cat videos, and recipes all in the same place. 

12. Favorite Number? 

13. 

13. What's your favorite letter? 

Never thought too much about it but i guess Q. because a KW would look so weird at the beginning of a word like Kwail or Kwiet right? 

14. Do you know all the words to The National Anthem? 

Uh...probably not. 

15. What's your favorite holiday? 

Halloween, no question. 

16. What song mostly describes your life right now? 

Bad Moon Rising? I have no idea. It seems fitting and it also just came on the radio so there ya go. 

17. Who's your favorite band/artist? 

Yeah, I don't really have one. When I really cared about music it went Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Aerosmith, Green Day, Good Charlotte. Then in high school I stopped caring so much about music and now I listen to oldies and 90's music mostly. I guess Queen is probably the one band I can listen to whenever and it would make me smile. 

18. What's your relationship status? 

Married, with child. 

19. Do you exercise? 

Does chasing around a three year old count? 

20. Have you ever thrown up before? If so why? 

I don't know the kind of person that answers no to this question but yes, yes I have. It's been a while and the last time was probably morning sickness. I can't remember if I've thrown up since then but if I did it was probably due to alcohol. Mama likes her wine...and rum...and vodka. You get the point. 

21. Right or Left handed? 

I am the only right handed person in my house right now. Married a lefty, made a lefty. 

22. What's your nickname? 

I don't really have one but my family sometimes calls me Chrissy. 

23. Do you wear makeup everyday? 

Most days I do. Every now and then I'll go makeup free at work and pretty much guarantee on my day off I don't have makeup on.

24. When's your birthday? 

August 10. 

25. How do you feel about YOLO? 

I guess it's ok. Pretty much everyone says it ironically now, right? I dunno. 

26. What's your favorite quote? 

"Monsters are real. Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win."

-Stephen King

27. What's the worst thing that happened to you in your entire life? 

It's between either my parents' divorce or my depression/ADHD diagnosis which both happened the same year. 

28. If you could live in any state, what would it be, and why? 

If I had unlimited funds it would be one of three places. Either Colorado, Southern California or Washington State. Colorado because it's beautiful, clean, and has good schools for the most part. Washington because it's beautiful and I love the idea of living in a North Western Forest-y area but still being close to a major city like Seattle. And California is mainly for the weather. All three of these also have the underlying reason being that I wouldn't get arrested for using the medication of my choice. 

29. What annoys you? 

Politicians, stupid people, stubborn people, hangnails. 

30. What food do you hate the most? 

Bacon, because it's so tempting but I haven't eaten pork since before high school. 

31. Do you have any pets? 

Yes, two dogs. A three-year-old Basset Hound named Louie and a six-year-old Boxer named Quint. 

32. Jeans, skinny jeans, skirts, denim jeans, or crazy patterned tights? 

Regular, somewhat skinny jeans usually. 

33. Do you wear your seat-belt in the car at all times? 

 Absolutely yes I do and I'll get mad at you if you're in my car and you don't. 

34. Do you like this survey? 

Yeah, it's ok. Seems a weird question to ask when it's not over yet but ok...

35. Who's your favorite super hero? 

Deadpool's pretty great. 

36. Is that your natural hair color? 

I don't think purple is a natural color. In fact, I don't think I've had my natural color since I was 15.

37. What color eyes would you like to have? or do you like them just how they are?

I love green eyes but I'm overall happy with my eyes as they are. 

38. Do you look more like your mom or your dad? 

I've been told I look more like my dad then my mom but I can't really see it. 

39. What's your favorite type of food? 

I guess Italian. Give me some pasta, sauce and cheese and I'm good. 

40. What three things could you not live without? 

Food, Water and Air. 

41. Who do you miss right now? 

My baby girl. But she'll be back soon. 

42. On a scale of one to ten, how bored are you right now? 

I would say I'm about a 6. This quiz is pretty fun but after it's over I'll probably slide down to a 2. 

43. When something drops from the bed, you stay on the bed and stretch to get it don't you?

If I can reach it, yeah. Doesn't everyone?

44. How tall are you? 

5'9

45. What's your shoe size? 

Women's 10 or 10 1/2

46. How would you describe your personality? 

Smart ass and pessimistic but hopeful. 

47. What's your favorite kind of cheese? 

The sharpest cheddar you can find. 

48. What's your favorite ice cream flavor? 

Cookies and Cream or Moose Tracks. If we're talking Ben and Jerry's then Half Baked totally hits the spot. 

49. Did you like this survey? 

Well, I did like it until you repeated question 34 and also forgot the 50th question on a "50 Question Survey" but other then that it was great. 

 

Thanks for sticking with me. If you'd like to take this survey here's the link.

 

 

Book Review: Born to be Killers

In addition to blogging about my life and the book store, I am also going to post book reviews for books which are available in the store (until they've been bought that is). This is a review for Born to be Killers, the first book I read since opening my store. (I'm working on my fourth book since opening so there's plenty more reviews to come.)

I am a huge true crime fan. I love reading about historical crimes, serial killers, financial crimes, mob bosses and unsolved mysteries. When I've got free time my default channel to watch is Investigation Discovery. So when I was choosing a book to read from my brand new library of hundreds of books I never would have thought to read, I came across a true crime book I hadn't heard of before. To be honest, I don't even know how I came across this book. I've personally (and painstakingly) collected every book in my store myself and I could tell you with near certainty whether I got any particular book from a yard sale off of Rosemont or a library sale in Glen Allen. This book just seemed to appear in my collection, so it stood out to me. 

Born to be Killers is a hardback book of 576 pages with a red dust jacket. Oddly enough on no page does it have an author listed. All it says at the bottom of the title page and on the spine of the dust jacket is "A Time Warner Book". The book is separated into four sections: Children Who Kill, Men Who Kill, Women Who Kill and Couples Who Kill. Now I will say if you're not quite as depraved as it seems I would be you're probably gonna read that list of sections in this book and decide this book's not for me. I would have to agree. The first section (Children Who Kill) is particularly disturbing. 

The Children Who Kill section is comprised of 14 sub-sections. The first describes the types of reasons and causes that typically occur for children to go from innocents to murderers. These reasons, as explained in the book, can include abuse, neglect, drugs and alcohol and neurological disorders. It does briefly mention the influence of violent television and other media. I would say that while this book is a good resource for case facts, take the analysis with a grain of salt as you read. This book is a bit outdated (originally published in 2004) and I know for a fact that they're have been multiple papers published since then that show violence in television and video games has shown to not have a negative effect on a child's behavior and some have even shown a positive effect, allowing the adolescent to act out violent impulses in a safe setting. Although I'm sure other studies have shown the opposite. The book doesn't cite any sources for their information which makes it seem more opinion based (although who's opinion? since an author is not listed). 

After this brief introduction the book goes into the case histories which include a pair of eleven-year-old girls who killed two toddlers in 1968, a teenager who convinced her classmate to kill her abusive father, and the infamous West-Memphis-Three case, one in which consumed the country with it's viciousness, satanist twist and apparent injustice. The stories in this section are particularly graphic and disturbing, even more so because the perpetrators and most of the victims are children. Even for someone who is always interested in the darkness of humanity, I found many of these stories hard to read, with the worst of them staying with me long after I've closed the book (just look up Job Venables and Robert Thompson...it will give you chills). 

The next section is about Men who Kill and include some of the most infamously frightening killers in history. The introduction to this section is titled "Are These Men Monsters?" and goes on to introduce several types of killers. These categories include the serial killer, the disorganized killer and the mass murderer. The Men who Kill section includes the stories of Ted Bundy, Jack the Ripper, the Boston Strangler, Ed Gein and Vlad the Impaler. As you can tell (if you're familiar with you historical criminology) these stories range from 20th century murderers to crimes dating back centuries. It also includes more unknown cases like Thomas Wainewright and Dr.Harold Shipman. This section is the largest in the book and takes up nearly half the text. 

The next section is Women who Kill. The introduction to this section includes a list of 16 different reasons why a woman might resort to murder. These reasons range from self-defense and psychopathy to monetary gain and revenge. While I would agree with these all being possible reasons a woman might commit murder, I would also say that each/any of these reasons could be applied to a man, a child or even a couple or group. Although it does make the distinction that for women, more common reasons are revenge or profit while men are more likely to be "sexually driven" to murder. Looking through the case studies it appears as though the majority of these women killers are killers of children, often their own children. This section was particularly hard to read as a mother of a small child. I can not even imagine the amount of depravity someone would have to possess to commit such an act. The only really well known female killer included in this text was Lizzie Borden. Interestingly enough, she was technically found not guilty even though her reputation never recovered. 

Finally the last section is about Couples who Kill. This section is the smallest with only five case histories. These mostly included couples who killed for money or convenience. Most of these cases involved a male/female team with many of them having a sexual component. One was a pair of sisters who mysteriously out of nowhere killed their employers in a very bizarre case. Another seemed like it could have been the inspiration for the movie Natural Born Killers

Overall this book provided me with hours of entertaining, WTF reading. I would recommend this book to anyone who gets absorbed in serial killer biopics and has to catch the newest episode of Killer Next Door on ID. I will say this book is not expertly written and it seemed like there was a typo on every single page. For a Grammar Nazi, this irked me like nails on a chalkboard every time I saw it (my favorite was when a mom called her daughter her "little angle" , but eventually I just got over it. The book seems to be well organized and well researched despite the lack of grammar proof-reading. 
 

 

  Born to be Killers  is still available here at Finch Books for $9.99. If you mention this blog post I'll give you 10% off. Remember there is only one copy available so first come, first serve.&nbsp;

Born to be Killers is still available here at Finch Books for $9.99. If you mention this blog post I'll give you 10% off. Remember there is only one copy available so first come, first serve. 

A Book Older then the United States?

 A couple weeks ago, a lovely woman came into my store. She tells me that her and her husband had been collectors of old books and they were looking to downsize their collection. She asked if I were interested in purchasing them because she wanted them to end up with a good home. I completely understood as about a quarter of my current book inventory came from my home (there are about six books left in my house now). She brought them in and left them with us so we could do our research and come up with an offer. Once i opened up the box and began to look at these books I knew I had found something special.&nbsp;  Within this large box were some of the oldest books I have ever seen outside of a museum. Now this isn't saying a whole lot. I've always been a collector of brand new books and of books that I wandered across in whichever bookstore I happened to be in at the time. I was never a person to search out rare or valuable books on my own. Occasionally at a thrift store or a flea market my husband or I would find a book from the 40's or 50's. These books weren't valuable, we just bought them because we thought they were cool or about a subject that interested us. I never thought I'd be the proud owner of a book I'm pretty sure is older then this country.&nbsp;  The book I'm speaking of is  Charity and Truth &nbsp;and it appears as if it was printed in 1728. I can't be entirely sure of this until I do a bit more research or contact an antique book appraiser but the only date printed in this book is 1728 or the year of the lord MDCCXXVIII which of course is 1728. The funny thing about old books is finding accurate information about books written and printed before our first president was even born. The details are difficult to find to say the least.&nbsp;&nbsp;To accurately date a book without a clear publication date (as most books written before the 19th century lack) you have to look at a variety of factors and even then it might not always be clear.&nbsp;  One way you can get information on a book is to check the author's bibliography. If your book is a first edition, seeing the first year a particular author's book is published will tell you how old your book is. This can still be tricky with older books. For instance I believe my copy of  Charity and Truth  is a first edition, however, the author is listed as H.E. After a bit of research it appears the author is Edward Hawarden. After a bit more research it appears as though Hawarden wrote at least four books between 1714 and 1729 with  Charity and Truth &nbsp;being published in 1728. If my copy is indeed a first edition as I believe, that would mean it is nearly 300 years old.&nbsp;  Another way you can date a book is looking into the publisher's background information. For instance learning when a publishing house started and what they called themselves over the years can give you valuable information into when a book was published. Unfortunately in this case there doesn't appear to be a publisher listed in the book (perhaps because in the 18th century that wasn't as common a practice as it is today. Here's the first page of the book (where publishing information would normally be).&nbsp;

A couple weeks ago, a lovely woman came into my store. She tells me that her and her husband had been collectors of old books and they were looking to downsize their collection. She asked if I were interested in purchasing them because she wanted them to end up with a good home. I completely understood as about a quarter of my current book inventory came from my home (there are about six books left in my house now). She brought them in and left them with us so we could do our research and come up with an offer. Once i opened up the box and began to look at these books I knew I had found something special. 

Within this large box were some of the oldest books I have ever seen outside of a museum. Now this isn't saying a whole lot. I've always been a collector of brand new books and of books that I wandered across in whichever bookstore I happened to be in at the time. I was never a person to search out rare or valuable books on my own. Occasionally at a thrift store or a flea market my husband or I would find a book from the 40's or 50's. These books weren't valuable, we just bought them because we thought they were cool or about a subject that interested us. I never thought I'd be the proud owner of a book I'm pretty sure is older then this country. 

The book I'm speaking of is Charity and Truth and it appears as if it was printed in 1728. I can't be entirely sure of this until I do a bit more research or contact an antique book appraiser but the only date printed in this book is 1728 or the year of the lord MDCCXXVIII which of course is 1728. The funny thing about old books is finding accurate information about books written and printed before our first president was even born. The details are difficult to find to say the least.  To accurately date a book without a clear publication date (as most books written before the 19th century lack) you have to look at a variety of factors and even then it might not always be clear. 

One way you can get information on a book is to check the author's bibliography. If your book is a first edition, seeing the first year a particular author's book is published will tell you how old your book is. This can still be tricky with older books. For instance I believe my copy of Charity and Truth is a first edition, however, the author is listed as H.E. After a bit of research it appears the author is Edward Hawarden. After a bit more research it appears as though Hawarden wrote at least four books between 1714 and 1729 with Charity and Truth being published in 1728. If my copy is indeed a first edition as I believe, that would mean it is nearly 300 years old. 

Another way you can date a book is looking into the publisher's background information. For instance learning when a publishing house started and what they called themselves over the years can give you valuable information into when a book was published. Unfortunately in this case there doesn't appear to be a publisher listed in the book (perhaps because in the 18th century that wasn't as common a practice as it is today. Here's the first page of the book (where publishing information would normally be). 

 As you can see the title is actually  Charity and Truth: or, Catholicks not uncharitable in laying, that none are fav'd out of Catholick Communion Becaufe The Rule is not univerfal.&nbsp; It appears are though the F's in the title are supposed to stand in for lowercase S's. it's also rife with Olde English spellings like the word Catholicks and sav'd. A very interesting page but providing no publishing information what-so-ever.&nbsp;  To date a book you can also look for design details like gilded page edges or lettering, leather covers, dust jacket design, illustrations etc. to figure out which edition you possess and thus how old it is. &nbsp;You might be able to glean some insight into you're book's age by scanning the text for any important dates or if the book has ads in the back as some books in the early 20th century and later had.&nbsp;  Lastly you can look into outside sources for appropriate information about your book. Looking on bookselling websites like abebooks.com or bookfinder.com, even Amazon or eBay might get you a little information on not just your book's publication date but also it's price. Another resource includes libraries. A librarian will most likely be able to search for your book in a program called WorldCat which will show every library who has a copy of the book you're interested in. You can then contact the library and have them give you any information they have on the book.&nbsp;  Finally, the last resort is to contact an antiquities or book dealer for appraisal and information. They will in all likelihood charge for their services (the amount of which I have no idea). This is the route I will be using for this book. Even though, through my research, I am pretty sure this book is as old as it appears to be, I have no idea about the history, rarity, or price of a book like this. I will eventually be contacting an expert who can help me price and maybe even sell this and other apparently rare or immensely old books. So if you know anyone...      For transparencies sake I got most of my information when I googled how determine a book's age and stumbled upon a website called Emptymirrorbooks.com. I clicked through their website and it seems they have a wealth of information on book collecting, poetry, literature and more. So hop on over there (when you're all done reading this blog of course).

As you can see the title is actually Charity and Truth: or, Catholicks not uncharitable in laying, that none are fav'd out of Catholick Communion Becaufe The Rule is not univerfal. It appears are though the F's in the title are supposed to stand in for lowercase S's. it's also rife with Olde English spellings like the word Catholicks and sav'd. A very interesting page but providing no publishing information what-so-ever. 

To date a book you can also look for design details like gilded page edges or lettering, leather covers, dust jacket design, illustrations etc. to figure out which edition you possess and thus how old it is.  You might be able to glean some insight into you're book's age by scanning the text for any important dates or if the book has ads in the back as some books in the early 20th century and later had. 

Lastly you can look into outside sources for appropriate information about your book. Looking on bookselling websites like abebooks.com or bookfinder.com, even Amazon or eBay might get you a little information on not just your book's publication date but also it's price. Another resource includes libraries. A librarian will most likely be able to search for your book in a program called WorldCat which will show every library who has a copy of the book you're interested in. You can then contact the library and have them give you any information they have on the book. 

Finally, the last resort is to contact an antiquities or book dealer for appraisal and information. They will in all likelihood charge for their services (the amount of which I have no idea). This is the route I will be using for this book. Even though, through my research, I am pretty sure this book is as old as it appears to be, I have no idea about the history, rarity, or price of a book like this. I will eventually be contacting an expert who can help me price and maybe even sell this and other apparently rare or immensely old books. So if you know anyone...

 

For transparencies sake I got most of my information when I googled how determine a book's age and stumbled upon a website called Emptymirrorbooks.com. I clicked through their website and it seems they have a wealth of information on book collecting, poetry, literature and more. So hop on over there (when you're all done reading this blog of course).

Source: emptymirrorbooks.com

Opening A Bookshop

It's been a little over a month since my store (the one whose website you are on right now, might I add) opened it's doors and it has been a whirlwind to say the least. In some ways it has been exactly as I expected. In other ways I've encountered unbelievable frustrations and disheartening realities. No better place to start then the beginning, I suppose. 

I've always wanted a sanctuary. Since I was a child I would watch various tv shows and movies and it seemed the characters always had a regular place to be at home when they weren't at home. The coffee shop in Friends, the diner in Seinfeld, the bar in True Blood, the bar in How I Met Your Mother, the bar in Cheers. I've been a reader since I could read and I always imagined having a place that as an adult I could come to and relax, be myself with a select few close friends, enjoy a hot cup of tea on a cold day. In my head this place was almost always a book store or a coffee shop (one that also served tea as I personally despise coffee, I know, I'm crazy right?). This place in my head never manifested. The book stores near me were crowded bleak stores full of books but lacking character and tea and really any comfortable place to relax. Either that or they were Barnes & Nobles. The coffee shops tended to be small or crowded or both. My sanctuary never manifested. 

As time went on, I grew up. I got married in 2011. By the end of 2012, I became a mother. That year I also became a stay-at-home mom, mainly because it was actually cheaper then putting our infant in daycare and getting a (low-paying) job. By 2013 most of my friends had moved on with their lives (both of our faults, they were busy with school and work, I was busy with a bouncing little girl who took up about 120% of my time). We would talk occasionally, see each other even more rarely and soon enough birthdays were forgotten and Christmas consisted of a text. Getting married and having children young was one of the best things I have ever done. I love my family and our home and what we've made it together but there always seemed to be something missing. The lack of friendship, the monotony of everyday (breakfast, playtime/laundry, lunch, naptime/dishes, movietime/more laundry) and the lack of money for our growing family convinced me something needed to change. I searched for a job that at the very least would have paid for daycare. The pickings were slim. I could work some jobs at night and get to spend the day with my kid but never get to tuck her in at night again. I could work during the day and get paid peanuts (peanuts not quite being enough to pay for daycare) or I could go back to school to hopefully one day earn enough money to help my family in the way we needed. The latter option being the most expensive but also the most practical option in the long run. I decided I would go back to school and get some business or finance or accounting degree. It would be the most boring year and a half of my life but in the end I would be educated enough to at least qualify for a higher starting salary. 

I started looking at classes at ODU (my former school...before I dropped out) and TCC. I would need to take about 3 semesters of classes to complete my degree. That meant that even with night and weekend classes I would still need to find daycare for my child 3 or 4 days a week. It would be more affordable then full-time daycare but it would still be out of our reach if we wanted to remain above water. Getting frustrated with my lack of options and money, I bitched to my mom about how hard it was to get anywhere with these limitations. My mom, who was no stranger to these problems, completely understood. She was a young mom too and while she did have a college degree and was actually able to bring me to work when I was a baby, it was still challenging for her. My mom offered to help us out and to pay for my college classes. I totaled up what it would cost of all 3 semesters and realized that was quite a lot of money. When I told my mom how much it would be, I said something along the lines of "I wish I could take this money and open a store, maybe a book store." 

This suggestion wasn't completely out of thin air. I had always talked about wanting a store. I had fantasized about moving to the country (where living expenses were dirt cheap) and opening up my little mom and pop bookstore. I even discussed opening up a bookstore/cafe with my sister the year prior because we both felt stuck and needed a change. She ultimately decided she needed the secure paycheck more then she needed her freedom. I held on to the idea because to me a bookstore represented that sanctuary I had been searching for my entire life. 

My mother has always been supportive but I never expected her to take this suggestion (was it even a suggestion or was it just a fleeting fantasy spoken aloud) and run with it. She encouraged me and by May of 2016 I had a business license, a signed lease, and a bank account with the money earmarked for college courses sitting in it. At first I was afraid to spend any money. It was so precious and was the only thing standing between my dreams and utter failure. I didn't know where to begin but slowly, I began to get my head above water. First I started collecting, cataloging and pricing books. I would scour the internet and classified ads for anything that might be useful. I traveled two hours to a library sale outside of Richmond. I went to about 50 yard sales buying every book I saw. I collected books from my friends and family. I went through my own collection of books and donated all but a handful to my store. I ended up with an empty white box of a store stacked with over a thousand books. Now that I had the books, I had to get the store in order. 

The stores construction and remodel took the majority of my money and time. I had to deal with "contractors/handymen" who would show up once a week for half a day. I had to deal with having to completely replace each light fixture and many electrical outlets in the entire store. My husband, nicely enough, donated his time and skills and made all of my book shelves as well as the beautiful wood bar in the front of our store. Since he works full time that meant that he could only work on the bookstore after hours plus his two days off. Basically for three months he worked about 18 hours a day, seven days a week. I don't think I could ever say thank you enough to him. Memorial day passed. Fourth of July came and went. Finally towards the end of July, after painting and decorating, it looked like we might be ready to open. At this point my store was beautiful and exactly what I had pictured in my head. Warm rugs adorned the floors. A comfy orange couch was flanked by two tv trays with matching brass lamps upon them. The shelves were stained a dark walnut and wrapped around the store. The walls were a tranquil blue and green accented by the wood paneling across from the front door. I affixed tin letters painted white to spell out Finch. Every time I walked through the door and saw the name of my store, it filled me with such a warm loving feeling. 

The store was done, as perfect as it would ever be. The books were priced and on the shelves, with hundreds more still in the back, unable to be crammed into the already over-filled shelves (we are in the process of adding some more shelves...as soon as my husband has time to build me more of them). The coffee maker was installed and after a minor hiccup was now functioning perfectly. We had our pastry case and an agreement with Sugar Plum Bakery (a favorite from when I was a kid) to sell their pastries. I could not be happier, until opening day. 

The ugly reality is "if you build it, they will come" is a lovely line in a movie but under no circumstances should you apply this logic to opening a business without some further analysis. I figured being on the beach, with so much pedestrian traffic going by, I was bound to get in a good amount of walk-ins. I also figured with the new apartments opening up directly across from my shopping center, I would get some neighbors stopping in. I was pretty incorrect on both of those counts. The only thing I've heard from across the street is one woman calling me to say she doesn't like my sign and that I should change it (literally as they are installing it, while I have the bill in my hand). The walk-ins still make up a majority of my customers but at a much lower rate than I anticipated. Business has been hard and it's been stressful. If I'm successful that stress will be neverending. I've still not made enough money to pay myself a salary (which I won't do until I repay my mother's generous loan). I'm here at 8 am everyday (except Mondays) until 5 or 5:30 pm. After work I pick up my daughter from daycare, go home and then try to do all the chores I used to have all day for in the span of a couple hours. Then it's dinnertime, bedtime and back to the store the next day. Every time I sell someone a book they've been looking forward to reading I'm overjoyed. Whenever I sell someone a book I've already read (and loved) I smile to myself, knowing that if they're anything like me they're gonna have a blast. I have a job that while frustrating is the most rewarding job I could have ever dreamed up. I finally after years of trying to find what I was meant to do and feeling like I never fit in anywhere, have a place all to my own. This book store is a different kind of sanctuary that what I dreamed of. It's not really a place I can relax and enjoy but it's a place that makes me feel complete and gives me a reason to get dressed in the morning. My only hope is that this store will be the kind of sanctuary I envisioned for someone else. If you're reading this I hope this can be your sanctuary, your home when you're not home. Your coffee shop, your diner, your bar, or your bar or your bar.