What is a “raconteur?” A person who excels at telling anecdotes, a story teller. A raconteur is NOT a racketeer. Though the words are frequently confused, it’s an important distinction. Indeed, a racketeer does not tell stories, but rather exhorts money, which we decidedly do not do.
How do you pronounce it? ra-k'on-tûr'
How do you price your books? All books are 50% off the cover price unless otherwise marked.
Do you buy back books? Yes, we give store credit for books. But we are discerning. We love books, and, naturally, when we first opened the shop, we were excited to get them, each and every one. But we now get over a thousand a week (and we have roughly fifteen thousand in storage). Indeed, books are frequently left anonymously on our back stoop. Milk crates, garbage bags, television boxes, all spilling over. Understandably, we often feel overwhelmed (and, at times, not unlike a certain wizard apprentice who desperately sought a spell to halt water-bearing brooms). That said, we review a box or a bag per person Tuesday and Thursday. PLEASE do not bring in loose books (one or two – fine, but not armloads) or books in torn bags. We DO NOT take books on the weekends (the whole of Friday is spent cleaning/shelving in preparation for our weekend events). Consider this quote by George Orwell, who spent some time working in a London shop, from his essay “Bookstore Memories”: “There was a time when I really did love books, loved the sight and smell and feel of them. But seen in the mass, five or ten thousand at a time, books were boring and even slightly sickening. The sweet smell of decaying paper appeals to me no longer.”
What should I do with the ones you don’t want? I hate to throw away a good book! Well, some books are, in fact, garbage. So, recycle them! Then they’ll be turned into different (maybe better) books. “I house-clean my books every spring and throw out those I’m never going to read again like I throw out clothes I’m never going to wear again. My friends are peculiar about books. They read all the best-sellers. They go through them as fast as possible. I think they skip a lot. And they NEVER read anything a second time, so they don’t remember a word of it a year later. But they are profoundly shocked to see me drop a book in the wastepaper basket or give it away. The way they look at it, you buy a book, you read it, you put it on your shelf, you never open it again for the rest of your life, but YOU DON’T THROW IT OUT! NOT IF IT HAS A HARD COVER ON IT! Why not? I personally can’t think of anything less sacrosanct than a bad book or even a mediocre book.” Helene Hanff, 84 Charing Cross Road
You have a lot of cool knickknacks in your shop. Are they for sale? Yes, everything is for sale.
Do you appraise books? Yes. The appraisal fee is $5 per book. We also sell books (worth $100.00 or more) for a 25% commission.
Do you bind books? Yes.
Will you read my short story/poem/novel if I e-mail it to you or drop it off at the shop? In a word, no. But we do teach a weekly writing workshop which meets Tuesday nights at the shop. If you would like us to review and evaluate your work you must register for the workshop. For info about the workshop, click here.
Can I submit to The Raconteur Reader? The Raconteur Reader consists of short fiction by acclaimed and emerging writers. We do not accept unsolicited work. Instead, the “emerging writers” are culled from our weekly writing workshop. Should we change our policy regarding submissions, we will post an “open call” on our web site.
I sometimes see a German Shepherd sleeping under the table in the back; does she bite? Absolutely not. Her name is Rosie. She's a retired seeing eye dog.
You're store is so cool. Can I take pictures? Certainly. In fact, we've hosted two wedding shoots, three engagement shoots, one fashion shoot, two music video shoots, and two feature film shoots. If your photo shoot is an organized outing with a budget we do ask that you make a small donation to the shop. If it's just you and a camera, click away (and maybe send us two or three of your best shots).