A guest post by my friend David Nilsen who writes beautiful sentences and sells books (two of the highest compliments in my arsenal):
List of careers I have ever considered pursuing, beginning with early childhood through the age of 20: race car driver, veterinarian, professional basketball player (I believed I could fly, I believed I could touch the sky), rock star, computer engineer, English teacher, writer. Amount of money I have made as a result of doing (or not doing) any of the above things: zero dollars. What I do now at the age of 29: sit at a desk in the basement of a bank resetting people’s passwords, explaining how to turn printers off and on, and ordering debit cards. Lasting joy I take from this: I’ll let you guess.
Contrary to what we’re told in elementary school, attaining our adult goals is not the simple dial-a-dream experience it’s made out to be. The universe, as it turns out, owes us nothing.
I never finished my college degree. I got married instead because love was the only thing I was sure of at the time. I kept meaning to go back, but things got in the way. Now it is unlikely I will ever do so, but I still have goals, and I am reaching for them. It just turns out there is less spontaneous smiling and high-fiving involved than the brochures promised.
I love books. I am a geek about them (and most things), if you must know. Our house is arranged around books. And a few years ago, I started selling them. It started out very small and quickly grew into a legitimate business taking up a huge amount of my time outside of work. My goal is to make it my sole source of income by the end of next year.
Achieving this is daunting. If you haven’t noticed, the book industry isn’t doing real well. Borders just closed and e-readers are gaining in popularity every day. But in the used book market where I focus, you can succeed if you find the right niche, establish a good online presence and provide what your community is looking for. Right now I am working towards setting up a brick and mortar shop in our downtown business district while continuing to sell online.
I want to do something I love and believe in. I love books, and I believe their proliferation is a necessary part of a free society. I want the children and young people in my community to know the love of discovering new books and authors, I want those who love knowledge and wonder in my community to have it at their finger tips, pages tanned and corners worn. And I am working hard to make it happen. High-five.
Please head over to David’s blog where you can get his Twitter info and also find out how to buy used books from him.