Hi. My name's Mike. I've been a freelance journalist and writer for more than twenty years. And, for the last eight years, I've worked as an online bookseller.
So, why did I suddenly come across like a low-rent Larry McMurtry? Well, it's kind of a long story.
In 2007, I wrote and published a book. Before publication, I spent some time looking for a cost-effective way to sell the book online. After researching all the options, I settled on opening an eBay store.
Seeing as I was paying monthly rent fees to eBay, I figured I might as well throw some other books into the store. I dusted off a few hundred books that were living under the house and I sold them off.
I was still busy freelancing, but I was getting a real kick out of selling books. It was immediate, it was fun, and it was making me some good money on the side. In fact, it wasn't long before I was turning over more dollars as a bookseller than as a journalist. That probably says more about my earning powers as a journalist than anything else...
After a month or two, I'd run out of my own books to sell, but it didn't matter. Books started finding me. Or maybe I was looking out for them. I started to buy up big and, before I knew it, the eBay store was holding 3000 books! In the process, I was immersing myself in all things vaguely bibliophilic. In no time at all, I knew my marbled paper* from my marginalia.**
Two years into my odyssey, in 2009, I opened this very website. I still have a store on eBay Australia, but I like to direct some of my energy here as well.
That's my background sorted in a few paragraphs. Let's talk books...
Naturally, I gravitate towards stock that I'd like to read myself. I guess that's what's guided me through this whole adventure from day one. I'm a reader, a pretty voracious one.
There are always half a dozen books on my bedside table at any one time. Right now, I'm tackling Paul Watkins for my fiction fix. After reading his first novel Night Over Day Over Night (masterfully written, in his teens, no less) I decided to raid his back catalogue. I've read four or five now, but nothing compares to the stark brutality of his debut.
As you can imagine, the bookselling's a hobby that's got a little bit out of hand. I should also add that I rarely, if ever, sell ex-library books. If a book is in poor condition, I tend not to bother offering it for sale as well. I like all my stock to be in the finest condition possible. When I grade a book, I err on the side of caution. Prior to listing any item for sale, I carefully assess the quality, condition and value. Any defect will be noted honestly and clearly.
That's about it really. Thanks for making my acquaintance. I hope to make yours after you drop me an email. If there's a particular title you have in mind, I'd be pleased to try and track it down for you. You never know, it could be sitting on one of my bookshelves waiting to be listed. I'd be happy to walk the stepladder and prepare it for a new home.
*Marbled Paper: a book's paper decorated with an imitation marble pattern.
**Marginalia: notes in the margin or margins of a book. Oh yeah, and a damn fine online bookstore.