The way it began
Seven years ago, whilst stuck at home on maternity leave, I began selling my old chemistry text books online. They sold surprisingly well, so, in an effort to create some space before the baby arrived, I moved onto my fiction collection. I soon realised that having bought the majority of my books in charity shops and at car boot sales I was able to read them and still make a profit selling them on. It wasn’t long before I was buying books specifically to sell and my business ‘Farm Lane Books’ was born.
In the beginning I trawled charity shops, thrilled that my book browsing was now officially a legitimate business. I made a lot of mistakes, but also learnt about the value of books; quickly discovering what to look out for.
With the birth of my second child it became impossible to physically search for new stock so I moved to sourcing it online; specialising in tracking down copies of rare books in other countries.
I then began this book blog and discovered that there was a conflict of interest. Despite the fact I mainly dealt with rare, out-of-print titles, I still felt guilty for making money from the sale of books. I felt as though I was depriving authors and publishers of the money they deserved. In the beginning I used to post if I found anything interesting in a book (like the time I found £35 of old notes) but over the years I gradually stopped talking about my online business, thinking of it as a dirty little secret. Many of you probably didn’t even know that is what I did as a living.
This week I turned my online shop off; mainly because selling books just doesn’t excite me anymore. I feel as though my learning curve has flattened out and I’ve become bored. I’m sad to say that I may have overdosed on books. My house is overrun with them and the acquisition of another one, no matter how rare or expensive, now fills me with dread. I need to get rid of them. It is time for me to move onto a new challenge! Don’t worry – I still love reading books. I’ll just be happier with a smaller, more manageable, TBR pile.
I’m having an extension built on my house in two month’s time. This means we’ll have to move out of our upstairs and live in just three rooms. The time has come for a major clear out! I have 7000 books to sort and remove from my house – I’ll let you know how I progress. Let me know if you have any ideas about the most profitable way to get rid of a large volume of valuable books.
Would you like to know the secrets?
Over the years I’ve acquired a lot of knowledge about the second-hand book market and it would be a shame for it all to go to waste. I’m currently writing a post about what I’ve learnt, but if you’ve got some specific questions, please ask!