Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Book Traders

I have never found Curtis in too optimistic a mood, but today was the lowest I have ever seen him. Curtis runs Book Traders used book store just up the street and I can be found there at least once a week around noon-time looking over his books. Curtis was in a talkative mood today, but it was mostly about how bad business was. It seems Portand's social policy has attracted a lot of people downtown to his area who can only afford coffee and doughnuts. Some of these are nice people, but not the whole crowd.

His story today centered around a rather plump guy who "can't stop at eating one doughnut" and whose glutony evidenced itself in Curtis catching him walking out the store with 100 of his video's in a bag. Curtis dumped the bag out and threw the guy's bag out into the middle of the street, telling the guy that if it was ten years ago, he would be throwing his you know what out there as well.

Curtis told me this story just after the story about the police, who don't come when he reports crime. Catching someing peeing on his storefront in the middle of the afternoon and reporting it resulted in only a casual remark "That is only George being George". Well that set Curtis off on a tirade which I won't bother to repeat here...

Portland, in Curtis's opinion, is only interested in the Old Port Area. He loves Portland, but is really down now. He says Sunday he only bought in $25 worth of business. He says he will be lucky to make it through the winter. I'm calling all my friends this evening to go give him a visit. That's Book Traders at 561 Congress Street in Portland. Call 207-773-1840 and tell him you are cheering for him and that Dana says to hang in there...

2 comments:

andyp said...

It's hard to see a privately owned business you love struggling. There's gotta be something Curtis can do to keep his bookstore alive. Perhaps he is depending too much on just the local Portland scene. He may need to hook up with Amazon and sell through there. I don't know. Just makes ya think if buying at the cheapest place is really a selfish thing and eventually will come back to haunt us.

Good to see you expressing your stream-of-consciousness more...

Dana said...

Yes it is. He does sell on the internet through abebooks.com and Amazon. He keeps some of these books out back, as they are worth more and he can't have people tearing the dust jackets etc...

I saw him yesterday and I asked him if it was a better day. His reply was - its a new day -- that is as far as he would go.