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Fine...Ask Questions

What's the deal with your business name?

It's a play on words that works no matter how you pronounce it.  My own preference is to rhyme it with "Dead Ink," in which case "read ink" = ink that's been read -- i.e., in a used book. But honestly, most people who see it for the first time tend to rhyme it with  "Bleed Ink," in which case it's more of in the nature of a directive: read ink (as in "slap leather"). Either way is OK with me -- although I have to admit that it peeves me a bit when inattentive folks add an extra letter ("Readlink") or take one out ("Red Ink"). Please try not to do this.

Is that book still available?

Almost certainly.  I've explained elsewhere on the site (but don't mind repeating) that I'm very serious about inventory control.  My goal, always, is that my listed books will be available in every instance, on every site where I sell (including this one).  Since I sell through six different venues, this means I have to be very conscientious about keeping everything up to date.  I'm not perfect, and have made mistakes from time to time, but in general I'm happy to say that in 14 years there have only been a handful of instances in which I've had to disappoint a customer by reporting that a book has already been sold. .

Will you send me a picture of a book (if there isn't one already posted)?

Sure.  You need only ask politely, and I'll e-mail you a nice .jpg image at my earliest opportunity.  I'm working towards the day when this question will be unnecessary -- in other words, someday I hope to have an image posted for everything in my inventory.  (I'm currently at about 77%, and all the "unpictured" stuff is basically my older or cheaper stock.  For many years now, I've been doing photos of everything I list, so that percentage has been creeping slowly upward.)   I'm violently opposed to the use of "stock" images, and have always "opted out" of such services whenever I can.  It was a dark day, in my opinion, when AbeBooks started using them -- even before they were bought by Amazon.  So at ReadInk, our motto (one of several) is: "No Stock Photos, Ever!"


Where do you hail from, stranger?


Well, funny you should ask.  Was it my twangy, vaguely hick-sounding accent?  The answer is here -- a page about my Little Home Town on the plains of Nebraska, and its teeny-tiny place in literary history.


What interests you, book-wise?

Oh, gosh, don't get me started, or we'll never get out of here.  As a general matter, though, I can honestly say that my for-sale inventory reflects my interests pretty well: lots of fiction (particularly older and more unusual stuff, mostly American), cinema, history, American culture, photography, etc.  I am drawn in particularly to material from the period between World War I and World War II, extending through WWII itself (regarding national life on the homefront, not so much military history per se) and into the Fifties (when I was born) and the Sixties (my "formative years").  As another way of approaching this question, you might have a gander at my "Oddities and Obsessions" page.  Be prepared for some weirdness, though.


Do you buy books?

Well, I prefer to wait for them to fall from the trees, but .... yes, of course I buy books!  Gotta get 'em somewhere, and while I still relish the "thrill of the hunt" that infects bookhounds of all stripes, as my business has matured I've come to realize that the best books are not necessarily found in the places where it's the most fun to look for them.  So whenever possible, instead of scouting the world for my stock, I prefer to deal one-on-one with individuals who have books they're looking to divest themselves of, for one reason or another.  (And I think I've heard just about all the reasons by now!)  So if you are such an individual, in the Southern California region, and find yourself in possession of "too many books" and are interested in dealing with somebody who will help you assess them (not "appraise" them, which is a different matter, and a service I do not offer) and give you a fair price for those that are worth something, please give me a call: 323-734-4323 or (cell) 310-991-3391.

What happened to the "Shopping Cat"?
 

[This is now ancient history, but I'm leaving it here for amusement purposes.  Because it amuses me, I mean.]  If you were a visitor to my site in the past, you might remember my previous logo, a graphic of a curious cat perched on top of a small stack of books. I used this image as my excuse to re-christen the "shopping cart" (a ubiquitous e-commerce term that I simply cannot stand) as a "shopping cat." However, the cat logo went away a few years ago, after it was brought to my attention (politely but firmly) by the IOBA (Independent Online Booksellers Association) that their logo and mine were virtually identical.  This was entirely an innocent duplication on my part, but to avoid any protracted fight I agreed to make a change -- although I must say that I found their claim that their logo had been "designed by an artist" to be somewhat specious, for the simple reason that I knew that I had simply appropriated that cat image from a commercially-produced bookplate that was at least 40 years old. It seems pretty obvious to me that their "artist" had simply done the same thing -- used "clip art," if you will, to design their "custom" logo. I'm not at all bitter or resentful about this, but I can't say the same for the cat. Anyway, I still don't like "shopping cart" -- I've never yet seen a real-life used bookstore that had one of those -- so I've renamed it the less-offensive "shopping basket."  Sorry you asked yet?


Why are the font sizes on this page so screwed up?

Beats the heck out of me -- the WYSIWYG editor of my website seems to not understand its own acronym.


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Please write to howard.prouty@att.net
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