Monday, March 13, 2006


Last week we sold a copy of The Firefighter's Workout Book : The 30 Minute a Day Train-for-Life Program for Men and Womenand I wondered what a Bookseller's Workout Book would be like. It's obvious that "endurance, strength, and vigor" are necessary for firefighting but perhaps less obvious that bookselling is also physically demanding. Here is my bookselling workout:

Strength Training - A bag of books weighs 15-20 pounds. A box of books weighs even more. At library bag sales we can easily fill several bags and boxes. These boxes have to be carried to the car. I vary this workout. Sometimes I carry a bag in each arm. Sometimes I carry one bag at a time and make more trips. Booksellers also have the occasional opportunity to acquire an entire library from an estate and can count on carrying 15 or more boxes of books to one's vehicle. And when you factor in a couple of trips to thrift shops each week, we carry some serious book poundage on a regular basis.

Aerobics - Those books we bring home have to get listed on the computer, eventually. After listing them we get to carry them, yet again. Usually by the armful or boxful into their storage area, which in our case means going up and down steps. When you add stair laps to the bookseller's workout it becomes aerobic. Some books aren't salable. I donate these to our library, which requires carrying bags of books up a hill in the parking lot and then into a back room of the library. When a book sells it has to be removed from its shelf, necessitating yet more trips up and down steps.

Stretching - While selecting books at bag sales there are many opportunities to stretch my muscles. Sometimes the sale is crowded and I have to stretch my arms long distances to reach the book that I want. In many cases I don't even have to see the title or author. A publisher's logo or an interesting looking spine is all it takes and I reach for it. Many times there are boxes of books under the tables. Deep knee bends allow me to look at these books, or at books on a lower shelf. I often have the added benefit of doing all these moves while carrying a 30 pound toddler on my hip.

Sitting - You probably think that sitting at the computer entering books is a sedentary activity and for normal people it probably is. But when you have a 30 pound child and a 40 pound child on your lap at the same time - and not just sitting on your lap, but squirming and grabbing your flash drive and throwing it behind the desk - it makes even a firefighter's workout seem relaxing.

I don't suppose that any of that would make for an interesting workout book or video. And, unlike The Firefighter's Workout Book, it'd be impossible to persuade people to spend 30 minutes a day doing these bookselling workouts. But at least you know that the next time you need help moving you should ask a bookseller.
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Blogger Mimi said...

What an odd book to make/sell - "The Firefighter's Workout". But, I got a great giggle out of a "Bookseller's Workout".

1:47 PM  
Blogger jgodsey said...

a booksellers workout would involve single malt and some elbow curls...but one can dream.

6:28 PM  

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