It is with mixed emotions that I announce this Friday will be my last day at Oak Knoll Books and Press. I am sad to be leaving a group of people that has made this job a wonderful beginning for me, but I am also very excited to be soon moving to a new city and pursuing a new avenue in my career.
With just over two years at Oak Knoll under my belt, I can still remember my first day—the smell of books, the new faces, the curiosity as to how I would like my new job, the wonder of how I would remember all the titles and authors and all the other small details that would be required for my job. Many thoughts were flowing through my mind, and while it’s normal to be nervous on your first day at a new position, I distinctly remember everyone at Oak Knoll being so friendly and welcoming that I immediately felt at home at my new job.
I have certainly learned a lot in my time as Publishing and Marketing Assistant, and I cannot thank everyone at Oak Knoll enough for the experience, skills, guidance, and knowledge they have provided me. This bookshop will always hold a very special place in my heart, and I wish the best of luck to everyone, especially James who will be taking over my position. I know he will do a great job.
To all the authors, customers, journals, booksellers, and others I have worked with during my time at Oak Knoll, I have enjoyed getting to know you, and you have also made my experience at Oak Knoll enjoyable.
Well, my time here at Oak Knoll has been enjoyable. And I’m sure it will continue to be after I take on the mantle of Publishing and Marketing Assistant. I feel like I learned so much about the book world in my previous position, but I know there’s still so much to learn.
Obviously, since I’m starting in this new position, it means saying goodbye to Danielle. Word from those that have been here at Oak Knoll for a while is that she’s one of the best Publishing and Marketing Assistants to come through. I hope I can live up to that. The two of us will certainly be working to create as smooth a transition as possible.
I’m never really sure how to end these things, so I’ll finish with this. While it isn’t quite what I thought my mathematics degree would lead to, I’m glad this is how things have turned out for me so far.
Oak Knoll is excited to kick off 2012 with a set of New Year’s resolutions. We have each taken time to think of ways we can improve over the next year, and we wanted to share our ideas with you. Check out what we plan to do in the upcoming year.
Ah, there are so many that I should have made but didn’t. At least I haven’t broken any of them yet.
I need to learn to smile when a person is standing in my book store and asks “Do you buy books?” I guess they think that my books breed with each other in the late evening hours.
I need to learn to smile when the phone caller asks me the value of a book that has been in the family for decades but they can’t remember the full title or author. Bless Jim Hinck and vialibri.net as now I can just recommend that they visit that site.
I need to learn to smile when the person on the phone says that the book must go out that day, as it is a birthday present for his or her husband/wife/child in two days hence. Nothing like advance planning!
But wait – I’m actually smiling all the time because I have the greatest group here at Oak Knoll and have loved being a bookseller for 35 years. I smile when I come to work – how many people can say that?
Rob Fleck (Antiquarian & Library Sales)
Last year, we purchased two exciting collections from two long-time Oak Knoll customers. These collections helped make 2011 a great year for us and for you, our customers, by adding many important and rare books to our inventory. Our main goal for 2012 is to branch out to individuals or institutions that have collections that they would be willing to part with. We hope that 2012 will be the year of collection acquisition for Oak Knoll. It’s actually all very exciting to me! Send me an email at email@example.com if you have a collection that you’d like us to see.
This year I would like to discover more manuscripts and encourage more potential authors to write new books on the history of the book. We are particularly interested in new manuscripts on bookbinding, book collecting, printing, and typography, but please feel free to propose any project that could be considered a “book about books.” If you have a manuscript or a book idea, please check out our website and send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you, so don’t hesitate to contact me! I also plan to continue on the tradition of being the Oak Knoll party planner (or as Bob calls it “the Oak Knoll social butterfly”), as it’s one of my favorite roles here at work.
Danielle Burcham (Publishing and Marketing Assistant)
It’s been almost two years since I started working at Oak Knoll, and I have learned quite a bit since my first day! While at first it seemed like it took all my time just to learn the ins and outs of the book business, this year I plan to really focus my attention on expanding our audiences. This means finding new businesses and individuals who would have an interest in our books but haven’t yet heard of us. I hope to find more organizations and journals who would like to review our books, and I plan on using our social media platforms to facilitate this. If you haven’t hopped on the social media train yet, what are you waiting for? Follow us through facebook, twitter, and our blog. There is a lot to learn about us just through these sites alone!
While I will continue to maintain my responsibilities cataloging books, taking photographs (in our new and updated style), and providing customer service, I also plan to use my research skills to help our publishing department. I will explore library holdings and assist libraries in finding titles to add to their collections, while also finding new groups who might have an interest in our titles. I may even get more involved with our shipping department, helping to pull and pack books. I guess you could say I have my hand in a little bit of everything that goes on here at Oak Knoll.
Considering that I was raised in the image of Mary Poppins, (you know, “Practically Perfect in Every Way”), I failed to see the need for any New Year’s Resolutions. Fortunately, my colleagues quickly disabused me of that notion, so here I sit pondering my role at Oak Knoll and trying to understand how I can make your interactions with us the best possible. First of all, I will put a smile on my face before answering the phone. I once read that this simple action carries through in your voice, making it more welcoming. I will also try to remember if it is morning or afternoon, although I don’t seem to have much luck with that as frequent callers can attest. Yes, I’m the one who says Good…with a long pause…before the next words are out of my mouth. Maybe, I should just say “Hello?”
All kidding aside, each one of us here understands that without the support and patronage of our bibliophile friends, Oak Knoll would be no more than a memory. We come to work every day enthused and convinced that we will either help one of you find that long desired treasure, get the newly required text book for your latest class, or finally see your name in print as the author of a scholarly text. So, bring on 2012! We welcome it and you with smiles on our faces.
Being one of the newest Oak Knoll members, this made Fest XVI my first fest, and what an experience it was! A great experience, of course—with lots of work, lots of books, and lots of people! You could have fooled me that rare and antiquarian books are such a niche market with the large numbers of rare book connoisseurs running from table to table in an effort to see and admire every book on display.
As assigned photographer for the event, I was able to join those crazy book lovers moving from table to table, where I took a photo of each exhibitor standing next to their fine showcase of books. It was such a neat affair to be able to talk to each of the exhibitors, really find out about their work, and feel like I was a part of such an extraordinary event.
Even with as much fun as I had as taking photos and making sure everything went in sequence, still Bob’s party was one of the best events of the weekend. Flowing wine, never-ending appetizers, and the chance to enjoy the beautiful New Castle scenery was every minute splendid.
Check out some of the pictures I took!
-Danielle, Publishing and Marketing Assistant
It’s 2010, why read?
It’s 2010, why Books?
It’s 2010, why Books about Books?
Questions people may have asked you before. Questions you may have even asked yourself before. And really, how could you not question yourself, especially after seeing how we now live in a world graced, or bombarded (depending on how you want to look at it) by technology. I know I have pondered these questions before, and to me, the answers are simple.
It’s true, with so many new ways to communicate and receive information, the printed word is becoming a last resort for many. It’s easy to rely on the iphone, flip out your blackberry, or get lost for hours browsing website after website. And while these are all tremendous inventions and tools, they still cannot replace the simple practicality and beauty of the book.
Just the feeling you get opening a book or walking into a library is unparalleled. It’s never tiring. A library holds potential for education and entertainment. Each shelf contains books on every subject for people of every age. It’s quiet, peaceful, and humbling. The products of hours, even years of work, sit before you in bound pages. The thoughts and stories of people from all time periods, countries, backgrounds, and walks of life are enclosed between the two covered boards keeping it hidden inside.
But why books about books? All things have a history, and books are just another creation that harvest history. To be able to understand the change, growth, and purpose of a book only helps in understanding how important books have been to the development and chronicle of our world. The creation and formation of a book is extraordinary and to think the book could ever be replaced by anything else is a misguided thought.
That’s my opinion, but let me know what you think! Send me a message in the comments field.
-Danielle Burcham, Publishing Assistant
Even after working all day surrounded by shelves of books about books, the staff here at Oak Knoll still can’t resist the lure of the summer read– the opportunity to just sit back, curl up and enjoy the simple pleasure of getting lost in a book. Of course we share a common love of books, but we still remain different, each with our own special book interests. Check out the list of books the Oak Knollers are reading this summer!
- Laura (Publishing Director): The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, Corporate Capital: Wilmington in the Twentieth Century by Carol Hoffecker, The Gospel in Life: Grace Changes Everything by Tim Keller
- Rob (Library and Antiquarian Sales): Semper Fi in the Sky: Marine Air Battles of World War II by Gerald Astor
- Tim (Bookkeeping and Customer Service): DND Source Books, The Bible, Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert. A. Heinlein
- Danielle (Publishing and Marketing Assistant): How Strong Women Pray by Bonnie St. John, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark
- Chris (Cataloguer): Monsieur Monde Vanishes by Georges Simenon, 2666 by Roberto Bolano, The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald
- Marisa (Summer Intern): I Remember You by Harriet Evans, Take Four by Karen Kingsbury, Emma by Jane Austen
- Bob (President and Owner): The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers by Henry James, Cape Cod Stories edited by John Miller and Tim Smith, Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson, Chasing Darkness by Robert Crais
What are you reading this summer? Let us know in the comments section below!
I don’t think I have ever been surrounded by quite as many booksellers, librarians, and bright-eyed book lovers as I was yesterday. Tuesday, June 22, 2010, marked the date of my first book fair with Oak Knoll, and more formally the 51st RBMS Pre Conference Book Fair in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since I had never attended a book fair before, I was very curious to see just what kind of events this new endeavor would bring.
After spending the night before setting up our booth with my fellow workers, Rob and Laura, I was already energized and excited to start the fair and showcase some books. The festive Mexican restaurant we dined at on the way home surely didn’t hurt my enthusiasm either! After a good night’s sleep, we had returned to Philly, and it wasn’t long after we had arrived that other booksellers were already coming to our booth to say hello and browse our titles. They were of course all friendly and talkative, and with such a crowd meandering throughout, I learned why the name tags they provided were so important!
As the day continued, I was able to take some time to walk around the room and look at other sellers’ books. Now, while I thoroughly enjoyed fancying the samples of each seller’s inventory, the more inspiring aspect was discovered through conversations with some truly unique individuals in attendance. Many of the experienced booksellers (and even many of the younger booksellers!) had such an astronomical knowledge of rare books, that it was invigorating to see such a specialized field of interest so strongly represented. An immense passion for books was present no doubt.
After all was said and done, and the delicious wine and cheese served was devoured, I was able to leave my first book fair with a feeling of reward. It was nice to finally put faces to many of the booksellers and customers who play in active role in Oak Knoll’s success. It was also satisfying to know that even though I still have years of knowledge to gain in the world of books, I was able to apply what I do know to help my company and our customers.
– Danielle Burcham, Publishing Assistant