Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Brain at work for Christmas!

A clip of Pinky & The Brain from a Christmas special that perfectly sums up how the unicorntreebooksboss felt doing the bookcase boogie just before the Lincoln Christmas Market.

So apt on so many fronts in fact!! except the spellchecker given to Pinky should really be given to the minions!

Bookcase Shuffle Completed and light has come to the dim!

Those of you that visited before the manic Christmas Market weekend, and indeed even in the week before will have noticed that the bookcase shifting boogie had been an ongoing process of near completion!
That is to say Secondhand was shuffled and has come out straight and bay like with no nasty walls and hidden hiding places, instead the bookshop is now light and airy and tidy and easily viewable from all places, and it looks good!

Alright so for a few days it looked like a bombsite, but now it is beautiful and it is alphabetical again! We also have wonderful flat tables for display purposes and its just nice, nice, nice - you will all have to come in and visit.

It got done last week when I had to forfeit my day off - even though I was very sick with nasty minion germs - and come in, well it was quiet ( until I started moving things of course that is!), I was feeling ill so I thought I would re-arrange all the furniture again to make the minion germs sweat it out and leave (works on real minions, give them lots of hard work to do and they often seem to make like invisible, all the while saying it is not so but they have other tasks I have tasked them with! so it might have worked with minion germs!) but they germs did not leave, but the job did get done! then on the following day once all the hard labour was done minion one returned to work just in time to alphabetacise (thats a bit like aerobacizing but slower!). And so it was done in time for Christmas Market.

Christmas Market time was as ever fun and filled with strange people wearing santa and elf hats ( bah humbug we repeat!) however we did also on the sunday have a visit from Darth Vader - lightsabre included! that caused a little stir for a while and was good fun too - shame the minions were absent that day as I am sure they could have swapped some awesome tales of the darkside with the darklord!

So anyway come visit the new look shop - it looks good, and other customers have said so too, the number of customers who have said they didn't realise we were so big is quite good (though quite concerning too in a strange way) and the number who now just wander in to secondhand without saying 'is it ok to come in' is also very good! - many favourable comments, though it seems some people can't help but to also say 'oh no where are the books now'!! like we have hidden them! when in point of fact they are now much easier to see - when what they really mean is where is the one author I am reading/collecting at the minute, however as today minion one put up posters with arrows and diagrams, and as I can now stand at the till or computer and go , THERE just to the LEFT, turn slightly RIGHT bend down 27degrees perpendicular to the FLOOR and YES, THERE is that Kathy Reichs you wanted! all whilst still serving the queueing customers ( I multi-task you know), means it all seems to be working out to the good.

Anyway if you are after calenders or diaries you better get in fast as they are ripping out at a wicked rate and all we have left is what is out on the shelves now!
Same goes with Nativity Sets, Boxed Book Sets, DVD's on warplanes and steam trains, and believe it or not Communion Wafers! all that prepping up for that Christmas Eve/Day lark.

I mean come on top christmas topics and gift stories - no Nintendo DS in stock, You can't get a Wii and the GPS Sat Navs keep getting people lost - one would almost think there was a religious meaning to this season, no room in an in, surrounded by donkeys and asses in a stable with no indoor plumbing to speak off and the supposedly wise men being guided by a star in the end after ending up in the wrong kings palace! Cool Yule thats what I say.

So anyway drop by and see the new look shop, and feel free to bring me some festive cheer - I quite like Hot Chocolate laced with baileys or brandy for my cheer and as a cure to a red nose!
See you in the shop tomorrow!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The time to be giving!

Ha! Tis the season to be giving! 
That did not mean for the minions to be giving me the snuffley nose and sore throats they have been suffering with this last week!

Anyway winter aches and frosty fevers aside - though minion one remains out on sickly leave with no voice (ahh bliss I hear the voices echo inside my head! peace at last after tumultous days of orders to be more minion like and less boss like!) - all is still well with the shop and tomorrow we have smiley minion in to share the day with - perhaps I can share the snuffle and scratch along, pass it on as it were, after all a trouble shared and all that lark!

Today we pretty much sold out of Advent Candles, though we still have Advent Calenders in. We also had a delivery of Christmas Colouring books and indeed general Colouring books, large print wordsearch came in at last as well and lots of secondhand books were returned - but then they would be as I was alone and trying to rearrange the shelves again! 
Military history, Historical fiction (of the not boddice romance ripping kind) and Spy books got shifted out the flipside of the wall by science fiction and True Crime got a centre court place where the spy fiction used to be.

Lots more calenders got put out and I just generally tried to fill in and tidy up displays.
I put an order in for lots more books which should arrive early next week, as were getting a tad low on James Patterson, Colin Forbes, Maureen Lee and Meg Hutchinson. So by mid week we should be chocker block full again.
I am hoping to send in an order for some more Revell and Airfix model kits this week, along with Doctor Who stuff, as we have had a made run on both of those this last few weeks, but then they do make good presents! As do the Jigsaws and Jigrolls to store the Jigsaws on!

So anyway life is sniffley but all good fun, just lots of work to be done and do. 

Come by and visit and don't forget to bring the sympathy and I will then think about providing the Tea! Though if you really care about a poor beleagured bookshopboss, make mine a starbucks latte with a shot of almond syrup, or if you are going into Nero's then it's a caramelatte!
See you in the shop tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Some days the dragon wins

There really are some days the dragon wins, and there are some days it just doesn't win but it chews you up, spits you out and then flame roasts you to top it off! and today was one of those days.

First of all everyone is suffering cold symptoms thus making the day feel full of fun from the start, then its Christmas decoration time (Bah humbug - can we say carbon emmission protocols! what's with the lights and electricity overuse!) so lights are going up and thats a lot of work for the minions to do - though they seemed to be enjoying it and after decorating one space wanted to continue on! maybe i should get them some elf ears to go with the red noses from the cold symptoms??
So anyway thats all going on and customers are coming in ( that we like) and we are getting on with the serving when in the middle of trying to do one thing, I am expected to  multitask another job. so not fair and the day goes on.

Anyway suffice to say slightly later on we have a minion meltdown - probably caused by an excess of christmas lights and cold symptoms - but one of the minions has a dosey of a meltdown and goes home. Lets hope it all blows over soon and they are back at work as normal in due course as life without minions is so unfulfilling at times.

Anyway life goes on after minion, and I begin to re-enter the order that the computer ate on Saturday - I kid you not, saturday was a busting day - very christmas shopper busy - lots of Military and Steam Engine DVD's whizzing out the store, along with books,  jigsaws and Paint by Numbers and to top it off I had a spinner and four massive boxes of Velvet Arts delivered - very nice designs of Playboy Bunnies being Exterminated by Daleks whilst Betty Boop stands and screams and Homer Simpson wonders whats going on! hey whizzed out the shop too, well at £1.25 or 5 for £5 they are just too good a bargain to stay still!
So anyway they came in and i had 2 bumper boxes of Fairway Christian Books to get on the system and out, so i duly batch them through like a trojan, all scanned found and entered, and then shelved - I then whizzed on to putting out the 186 secondhand books that were sitting on the counters waiting to be stickered and shelved - did that just to have  a woman bring in 56 Josephine Cox books that then have to be dealt with - and I do, but then someone else comes in with 27 various sci-fi authors, I tell you it was never ending! but by the end of the day it was all done! yahhoo! 
However today i go to do stock re-ordering and find that the fairway books that have been sold are showing as not on the system!!! so i dig deeper as that cannot be right! and sure enough it isn't right, they are on the system - they are there, i did not dream entering 37 lines oh no - I did indeed enter them but in the wrong darn database! it would seem that there are 2 databases on the system and that on saturday the wrong one was opened for some reason and all the days work was entered onto the old dead database and not the nice new live one! and can they be transferred? no they have to be re-input! 
Still at least it explains why the database seems to sometimes eat titles we know we have had in! They are there in the wrong database! so what causes the wrong database to open occasionally - well on that one we do not have a clue, but at least we now know to check the database first thing in the morning so we can rectify any future fiasco's like this.

Talking of dragons! 
Anne and Todd McCaffrey's latest dragons of Pern book is now on the shelves, both American and UK covers are in!
It's called Dragon's Fire (ISBN: 978-0345480293) and is priced at £6.99 and is an absolutely brilliant book for Pern fans, what is so brilliant about it for me though is that one of the main characters in it is disabled, he cannot speak, and this really adds some extra dimension to the story. So anyway this is a really good book and well worth a read - I must admit to liking the collaborative books between ms McCaffrey and her son in the pern-verse and this one is good - pop in and get it ( oh and the US cover is much more colourful than the UK edition!).

So anyway that was the fun today, being a bookshopboss is sometimes a lot like work! see you in the shop tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Christmas Time, Nativity no wine!

Christmas Time is here! how do i know? The Nativity Sets order arrived and there are some fantastic sets and angels and decorations and stuff and if I do say so myself the display is not too bad either! 
I had great fun trying to get it all to fit, especially as yesterday 8 big boxes of Paint By numbers, art supplies and more arrived and needed homing as well.
There are some great canvas designs in - Thomas Kinkaide glow like ones that you too can do!

But back to the angels and nativity sets, there are some really cute ones in and at pocket money prices, but there are also some wonderful faux wood ones that are simply luscious and would look great on the mantlepiece, but won't sting the pocket too much!

So anyway there we go, Christmas is now officially here!

So ok nativity sets in, angels in, christian books in, communion wafers in - but no we can't sell communion wine except for the noon-alcoholic version - the market building has a no selling alcohol policy!  So thats it all set and ready for the season of advent and christmas. Just the cards to write and presents to get for minions and friends!

OOOH do you know what? (perhaps you do) Dave Walker of the CartoonChurch Blog (he rocks, it rocks, I dream of being that amusing and on the ball) linked my blog! thank you sir, I bow to you.

Anyway so in case you missed it - the shop is sort of tidy, the minions are ruling for the next 2 days as I am elsewhere being bookish and busy, and the shelves are stuffed with stock and there is the coolest collection of colourful objet d'arts in stock (ok paint by numbers etc etc and nativity sets and angels) for you to come in and adore and then take home with you after releasing that christmas money you have saved all through the year!

See you in the shop on saturday, have fun with the minions until then.

Ohh and by the way visit our new christmas charity appeal - we are donating to Habitat for Humanity for Christmas,

and our official sponsored charity for the year is Great Ormond Street Hospital Childrens Charity - thats where all the pennies people kindly leave behind are going to, and its also where a percentage of the shops profits go! feel free to donate online as well.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Bookcase Boogie

OHHH! my arms really ache and I have bruises on my biceps!

Today was long, hassled and hectic as me and minion numero uno did the bookshelf boogie today, that is to say that at 8:30 this morning 7 full sized and dismantled bookcases were delivered, and had to be pieced together whilst at the same time the old pine -My Goodness how many screws did the chippie have to use!!!- units, which were designed by satan himself to confound even the best krypton factor contestant, had to be cleared of books and taken apart.
Was it fun - not after the first 20 minutes! but did it get done?? Yes it did and we even served customers in between - now if you were one of those poor bewildered customers, well my apologies but hey it looks neater now!
So anyway at 4:30 we packed away the tools, removed screwdriver bits from yielding flesh and left a mess of disorganzied sci-fi sitting on new shelves.

So anyway just so you know if you come in tomorrow we will be doing the abc song a lot as we try to reorganize the sci-fi shelves, the historic fiction section and the white - true life (cry Cry) - books, both new and secondhand.
Oh and by the way thats the second rejig and shelf shuttle in just over 2 weeks, as we redid crime and thriller, - it really was miss scarlett in the library with the hammer! - childrens corner and made a whole new section for religious/christian books and lots of space for the communion wafers which came in last week.
It is beginning to look like a bookshop!.

Anyway just to let you all know it is safe to come back in and get some books without too much disruption around you for about the next 2 weeks now, as we won't be able to do anymore now until we have thoroughly worked out the dimensions of the secondhand department and exactly how to reshuffle it to fit in at least another 3 bays of books!
We just still need more shelf space - lots more books to get in and display nicely so that you, my beloved and adored legions of customers (yes thats you, you twits!) can come along and buy them!

Oh by the way just so you all knows, the first STL order came in today - yay at last, christian books fully on tap and in in a jif!
and we also had a bumper delivery in of criss-cross and codebreaker puzzle books, so hopefully that should please a few of you ( I am going to keep some hidden so i dont get moaned at when they are all gone!).
We are also expecting a giant delivery of paint by numbers and engraving art/scraperfoils in, there are at least 7 new designs ordered and the bumper packs and the acrylic canvasses are absolutely fantastic and will make the best christmas gifts!!

Right that's it, I am done and need to go relax and uncramp in a bath of radox muscle ease! perhaps with a nice glass of ovaltine or something like that so I am fit and ready for minions, customers and the fray of a friday morning!

Be good all my little frosticles of joy and remember to put the gloves on the radiator as it keeps the fingers warmer! see you in the shop tomorrow.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Busy Life and Bookcase Botox!

Wow! things have been busy in the life of this bookshop boss! Diary and Calender season hit with a rush in early october and is steam rollering ahead! All the holiday makers brought their books back en mass and for a while it looked like we were trying to put in new walls in the shop made solely out of secondhand books! either that or the minions and customer base were just trying to box me in to keep me out the way! luckily we have now got a grip on this and shelved most of it, but now is the time for a bargain as a lot of the books we had in are now being sold on quick through no return at only 99p each or 10 for £5.00 and this includes some top authors like Dan Brown and Martina Cole!
We are now also carrying lots more religious books and have just been granted our remit to sell 'religious items' as well, so we have now have nativity sets, advent calenders, candles and Church Lectionaries in stock and as from next week we will have Communion Wafers in! how cool is that - well ok so I think its cool, however we now need more room!!!
Science Fiction and Paranormals keeps growing and we are carrying some manga and graphic Books now! and it goes on, and what with more religious, more thrillers, more saga's and lots more gen we are packed to the gills!
So be warned my loyal and somewhat lovely customers and my serving minions of staff - new bookcases have been ordered and much shifting of shelves will be occuring in the next few weeks! now as I am way too tight to close for a few days, and anyway what would all you readers do if we did that! this moving will occur whilst you are wandering around - now as it means dis-assembling some units and assembling others this will perhaps be a bit gory for the feint hearted and those with OCD! however we will endeavour ( well ok i will try a little!) to keep the mess and inconvenience down as much as possible, but there will be times when the section you want may well be in a box as its shelves are altered and rebuilt, but as long as you are officianado's of the jumble sale and rummage mentality then you should still be able to get by and grab that bargain of a book that you know is waiting for you!
So there we go, plans revealed, and already I feel tired just thinking about it let alone doing it!
By the way can I recommend John Ringo to you, his tech net fantasy is just really really good, starting with ' Here Be Dragons' which is available at a stunning bargain price of only £3.99 for a limited time instead of £6.99, it then continues on with 'Emerald Sea" which has mermaids and dragons, but also a stunning set of battle scenes that are a joy to read. So there we go, Bookshop Boss seriously recommends you nip in and get some John Ringo books to see you through the trials of the bookcase shuffle for the next few weeks.
Right, tired now, need caffeine or sleep and as there is more I want to do that would be caffeine! the staple of my diet! Going now see you in the shop tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ooh Christian Books, Magazines & More

Ohh, There was another 40 Books added to the Christian section today, including the christian top 20 sellers. That was more work than you might think, some of those resources just would not fit the shelves and the hardbacks wouldnt stand and there was more! but I have to say at least the bay looks good and I had people looking and saying they would be back. We can hope.
There was also a delivery of magazines, back issues of Trail, Country Walking, Hike, Camping, The Spectator & Business News magazine. SO I had to completely rejig the front to get them out on display, now lets hope they sell. Puzzle mag delivery today - can you explain to me how come I can have a fresh delievery in and yet be assured by some that either A) there are no... insert puzzle titles of choice! or B)they ahve had all the magazines on display!
Ohh I tell you it makes my head hurt!
Yesterday in the down pour it rained in the bookshop, emergency plans sped into action and pieces of wood and shelf backing sprang into action as worthy protective forces for the most problematic drops and soon we were dry again - of course this was probably helped by the fact that the rain stopped quickly being just a summer squall.
There is a 3 for £5 promotion on books at the minute. I have been around with my little yellow highlighter colouring in labels, and any yellow labels now deonte they are part of the promotion and instead of 2 for £5 you now get 3 for £5 if the books have a yellow sticker! how cool is that for a summer promotion. Anyway if you are reading this then hurry in as once the books are gone they are gone and there are some pretty good authors in the promo!
So ok thats it the end of the blog for today as the bookshopboss is tired and gets to do it all again tomorrow - who knows maybe my american delivery from Ingrams will appear to cheer me up a little! its just like christmas everytime the american box arrives!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Great News - Christian Books

Great News - Unicorn Tree Books is now stocking Christian Books!
With the sad demise of Advance Books in Lincoln,(So OK not good news for Tim & Advance!) we have started to sell Christian Books, thus we are trying to honour the spirit of Advance Books by returning Christian Books to the Market in which Advance Books started out over 50 years ago.

Before taking on Unicorn Tree Books, me - unicorntreebooksboss spent 10 years working for a large Christian Book Chain - SPCK Bookshops - and was manager of 3 of their stores in that time, London, Brighton & Lincoln, I was also their e-commerce website manager for 5 years.

Now lets clear this up, no I did not suddenly become agnostic, nor was I thrown out for singing Kumbayah off key, nor did my heart for Christian Books dissipate! I do and have in fact continued to be the Religious and Philosophy Previewer for Publishing News, and I'm also be on the Review Board of as their Marketing thingy and pest! however I did feel the need to move on and into the market and the general book trade.

However when Tim of Advance informed told me he was closing down, and just at the same time as I had just rejigged Unicorn Tree and found a space for more books, (I am sure Unicorn Tree is in fact a re-incarnation of a time lords Tardis - something definitely happens to the time continuum, amazing how long a day can be under the glass house when the sun is shining!- as I just keep moving things around and discovering space that was wasting away and dying for books, airfix models, music, jigsaws, crafts etc to fill it!!) so anyway I felt sure this was the reason and answer as to what to fill that space with, and so it is that we are now carrying a range of Christian Books.

As with all our books we have signed up with the major wholesalers both in the UK & US, and also contacted remainder dealers to ensure a range of excellent product at great prices (most books are at slightly less than the RRP wherever possible!) and as ever we offer ordering services for anything we don't have in stock and for Hard to Find items.

So please support us as we bring Christian Books into the heart of the marketplace!

Tanya Huff - Smoke & Ashes

Ohh read the New Smoke book from Ms Huff, and it is excellent!
Published by Daw books on the 5th June, 0756404150 and selling at £6.99, Smoke and Ashes is fantastic. Tony has really come into his own in this one, oh and hey at the end of the book he finally gets his man!
This time we have a human demongate and a sex demon trying to get through! that being said the one thing you don't find in Tanya Huff books is gratuitous and pornographic sex scenes, in fact they are generally alluded to and pretty much left to your own interactive imagination - in many ways much more satisfying and less disruptive to a great story!
Like I said it is a fantastic read.
The newest fantastic read I am reading (whilst waiting for customers between the horrendous torrential downpours, thunder and lightening and other delights the great British weather is throwing at us this July you understand - after all there is only so much dusting I can do and after all you don't buy a bookshop because you don't want to read the stock!!) is Kelley Armstrong's book, Bitten, 9781841493503, £6.99 by Orbit Books. A great Werewolf book, with strong and believable characters and a really strong storyline that goes on. Small writing and lots of pages, something to really get your paws on and sink your teeth into late into the moonlight nights!
The female protagonist in this is not in any way shape or form wishy washy, nor is she unbelievable. She is in fact a very believable character and forms a great backdrop to the story. The action is reasonably fast paced but with a great degree of finesse for something about werewolves. Excellent read - now if only I could just sit and finish it rather than dust the shelves and serve you customers, and no I am not selling it to any of you and I don't care how sad you look, but a new copy from me and stop trying to crib my copy as a cheap secondhand one!! Its worth the cost new!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

OOH how time flies & we have an officially nominated charity to support!

Ohh, who knew bookselling could be such hard work, and so grubby, boks just are filthy filthy things - and no thats not a referecne to those black lace books up on the top shelf at the back of the shop, or those paranormal sex crazed vampire novels such as Laurel K. Hamilton and Sherilyn Kenyon & Christine Feehan write, or even the Blaze range of Mills & Boon books, though it could be an apt description - how rude!! no I mean that books are dust gatherers, I reckon even if the building ws hemetically sealed books would still get grubby!
White shirts are out, cream trousers! never, black is the cool and sensible colour of the bookshop manager!
Anyway enough of that, I have in the last three months been busy rejigging the shop so all the books fit and are in some semblence of order! We are almost there with cataloguing and zapping them into the computer system too! it will be great when its done, well one hopes it will.
Last year we gave £87.00 to various charities through the pennies that people are generous to leave behind, so see that addage about looking after the pennies is apt! as after all when I say the pennies left behind I do mean exactly that, that £87.00 was from 1p pieces left over from lots of £6.99 books etc. Actaully we gave more than that but thats the amount that came solely from Customers pennies.
So this year we are doing the same sort of thing but adding a bit more kick and emphasis where we can!
We have read a book (well more than one! but only the one on this subject!) about being socially and ethically good, so we are attempting to redunce our carbon footprint in the shop - turning off equipment we dont use often and just popping it on when we need it! and we are recycling our cardboard and paper and plastics, we also have a recycling4charity collection box for inkjet cartridges and mobile phones and £1.00 for each cartridge and up to £20 for each phone will go to Habitat for Humanity (GB) to help provide low cost and essential housing both in the UK and abroad! so if you are visiting then drop off your old cartridges!
And we are also supporting a great charity called ClearVision - they take ordinary books and using a clear acetate sheet they braille it and then pop it back into the rebound books, this means that these books can be used by both Blind and Sighted readers! so Children can read to parents and parents to children, young people can read to each other or share their books regardless of whether they can see or not! is that not the best idea!! It costs about £7.00 to turn an ordinary childs book into a braille/sighted book that can be used over and over, so we would like it if you would help us support this great endeavour - to that aim we have set up a justgiving charity fund raising page and would love it if you could find it in you to visit and donate! by the way if you are near the shop you can come in and see one of these great books! its really impressive. So come by and visit and find it to help this great charity if you possibly can by going here:

Anyway so thats what we are doing for this year so far, well that and cleaing books and book shelves over and over again!
oh yes and remember to come visit our nearly proper website at if you have the time.
anyway enough from me - have to go runa bookshop by myself again tomorrow and its already very late! ta ta for now!