Hiya bookies. Yesterday morning we were having an epic garage sale when I came into the garage and found a lady using a scanner on the walls of books. I told her those were not allowed and she acted like I had slapped her. She then left.

Lessons here are myriad. Scanners have always offended me, I have always considered them a shortcut to avoid learning the bookcraft, and in many respects they are just that. They allow anybody to become a ‘bookseller’, not only diluting the inventory pool with lots and lots of badly described books, but those bad descriptions lead to poor buyer experiences that whittle away at the overall pool of customers willing to buy books on the internet. The Scanner People are marketers, not booksellers, and they are the bane of those who are booksellers. Obviously, this lady did not know enough about her craft to peruse my books without her scanner, and that is on her. She needs to learn her craft without any tools or crutches first, so that the tools do not become crutches.

But I have also condemned the tool itself, the scanner, which makes about as much sense as condemning a hammer for being a hammer and not a torque wrench. A tool is designed for a specific purpose, if you misuse the tool that’s your fault, not the tool’s.

So, now I have apologized to the scanners, let me also apologize to the Scanner People. See, while they muddy the waters of bookselling, I have to admire their spirit of entrepreneurship. A lady standing my garage at 9 am on a Saturday morning has just the drive and determination to be a successful team member in the new business. I don’t want to partner with just anybody, I want people who want to be a success and are willing to work their butts off to get there. Not all Scanner People will be like that, of course, but some will, and to date I have condescendingly written them off as being somehow beneath my notice.

No more. The new business has refreshed memories of when I was that new guy with a new business and lots to learn, how much fun that was, and how much hard work, and I’m ready to do it again. Anybody interested?