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An interview with Never Too Many Books

Biblio checks in with Never Too Many Books 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?

My husband said, "Honey, you have too many books, you need to get rid of some." But Honey I replied, You can "Never have Too Many Books" I started selling off some of my own, then the business just grew.


What drew you to bookselling?

My love of books of course. I have been an avid reader since a very young age (learned to read at three. Started as a part time thing but when my last child started college, I decided to do what I love full time.


Did you have any mentors in becoming a bookseller?

Lots. I have met many both current and retired booksellers in my travels. The best advice I ever got. " Don't go into debt to open a brick and mortar immediately, let the business grow on the internet first."


What are your specialties as a dealer?

No not really. I have a bit of everything...1890's prayer books to this years romances.


What's the most amazing book you've ever sold?

I don't know if it is amazing but the most unique title I ever sold was "The Art of Sheep Shearing" what I thought was going to be a long term storage book sold within 24 hours and for a good profit.


What is your favorite part of being a bookseller?

The HUNT, I love going to book sales. I don't ever use a scanner. I go on my instincts alone, I get the duds but I also find the treasures the "Scanner People" miss. I have now expanded my business to include house cleanouts, I handle only the books. This is a whole new and wonderful level of treasure hunting.


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

I am currently housed in an old mill turned warehouse/retail space. I share the building with several antique and furniture dealers so have been getting shoppers stopping in. I have recently added a little retail/ discount store, and am currently reorganizing my main inventory for easier browsing. Place is called: The Mills at Pulaski it is at 58 Pulaski St in Peabody. My space is on the second floor.


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

No pets. But I do have a resident ghost


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

The first incident with the ghost, working here in this extremely creepy building at night. When suddenly all the lights start flickering and the door opens. Of course I don't see anyone, actually got up turned off my computer and left for the night. Turns out he has quite the sense of humor, and I have gotten used to his antics. Though I still laugh when a customer jumps up and shouts "What was that, something just touched my shoulder."


What is your favorite bookshop (other than your own)?

Unfortunately they have both recently closed. One was Derby Street Books in Salem, MA (under new ownership and the place is too clean). It was fun to go in and just wonder how the owner got those books to stack that high and when was one of the stacks going to fall. What was great though is you could ask the owner for a specific title and he could tell you exactly where to look, without the benefit of a database. The guy was incredible. The second was the Book Smythe in Middleton, MA. he had the greatest selection of fantasy and sci/fi.


What do you personally like to read? Collect?

Fantasy, both urban and high. Some Sci/Fi. A few thrillers. I collect mostly fantasy.


What's your favorite book you personally own? Would you sell it, if the price were right?

I have copies of the Shining and Salem's Lot that I purchased new back in the 70's. I managed to get both of them signed by Stephen King when he did a small talk at my college back in 1978. (The college was in Maine, and understand he only have three books out at that time, and wasn't the megastar he is now). I have had several offers for them over the years and the answer is always NO.


What one book would you buy if price were no object?

I can narrow it down to four. Any signed first edition of Lord of Rings or the Hobbit. These books are responsible for me reading fantasy, playing D&D, computer games and being the nerd I truly am.


If you were stranded on a desert island and could bring three books, what would they be?

I would cheat, I would bring my e-reader. (Yes, I have one but it sits on a shelf unused. I love the feel and smell of a book. The actually turning the pages...It is something no e-reader can replace) I don't think I can answer this truly. I could limit it to three authors works...Mercedes Lackey, Jim Butcher and of course Tolkien. As a series fiction reader I would be truly lost.