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Books, Bucks, and Shame in SL


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Shakespeare

For a while, I owned a bookstore in Second Life.

It wasn't anything fancy -- not one of those high-priced bookstores like you see down past Immersiva, or in the swankier parts of New Babbage -- but it was ok. Some people seemed to like it, and I was pretty happy with that.

I wasn't proud of it, you understand. Sometimes I felt I had to hide it from my friends. I'm not proud of that part.

But it was, I thought, an honest living. Books were something I liked. I figured, if I can make a virtual living from something I enjoy doing, then why not? There are plenty of dirtier, lower ways to make a go of it on the backstreets of this low, dirty little virtual world.

It started off pretty good. I had a couple of regular clients -- they'd come in, give my stacks and shelving a steely-eyed, appraising kind of look, and then get right down to business. Usually it was pretty standard stuff: they'd want To the Lighthouse, or The Edible Woman, or something else I could give them with my eyes shut and one hand trussed behind my back. Sometimes, you know, it'd be a bit more exotic . . . The Delta of Venus or Sexing the Cherry.

Yeah, you better believe they paid extra for that.

Soon, though, word started getting around about my catalogue. Readers on the street were saying that I had some pretty good volumes, and they were cheap too. All sorts of people started coming through the doors -- not just my regulars anymore, but a classier sort, the kind with some real Lindens to throw around. The kind that wanted something better than a marked-down Penguin or yellowed Oxford Classics.

I decided to expand my repertoire a bit, and that took real well: soon they were lining up for the more exotic stuff. Out-of-print Viragos, sometimes. Sometimes it was a hard-to-get Folio Society. It was fine; whatever they wanted, they soon discovered I could get it for them. For a price.

Those were pretty heady days. The money was beginning to roll in, and I was getting a name for myself, not just on the street, but at the book fairs and markets. I franchised a bit, setting up a couple of girls on Hallelujah Blue. I'd get 40% of what they took in. They were used to grubbing through the delete bins for the stuff, so they thought they'd died and gone to heaven.

I should have probably seen it coming sooner than I did. First, the clients started to change. I was getting dealers in now: hard men with hard hearts and stuffed wallets who wanted morocco or lambskin jackets, even incunabula sometimes. And soon, I heard people were talking about me in a different way. They were saying that my goods were "well-thumbed," or that my bindings were loose from over-handling.

I don't know if you've ever been called "dog-eared." Well, I have, and I can tell you it hurts.

Then the clients started to dry up. Sure, I'd get the occasional tweedy derelict, or pathetically stooped cataloguer, They'd grope at the books roughly, looking around in embarrassment to make sure no one saw them leafing through that old stained copy of Jane Eyre, and then leave, throwing a few Lindens into the tip jar as they hurried out.

That's when I decided it was time to get out. But too many people knew me, by then, and I knew that there was no way to go back to what I'd once been. So I dumped my stock on the SL Marketplace, and dropped out.

I just disappeared. That's the way I wanted it. I think that's the way they wanted it too.

So, yeah. I've been down and out in SL. Some of my friends, the few who'd still talk to me, would say, "But Laskya, why'd you start over with a new account? Why'd you just disappear?" I tell them that you can't wash the stench of mouldy parchment off your hands. Once a bookseller, always a bookseller.

It's tough to repair a broken spine, but I know I'm going to try. All I ask is for another chance.

I just want an opportunity to show that I can turn over a new leaf.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

I still have that McCall's pattern book I got from you. Took an age to find the three yards of latex needed to make the cover ensemble, but it was worth it. Mmm, yes it was.

Maddy, I found my way out. So can you.

Just walk towards the big red light that says "Exit." Right next to the table full of herbal teas, "50 Shades of Grey" coffee mugs, and "Twilight"-themed potpourri. 

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LaskyaClaren wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:

I still have that McCall's pattern book I got from you. Took an age to find the three yards of latex needed to make the cover ensemble, but it was worth it. Mmm, yes it was.

Maddy, I found my way out. So can you.

Just walk towards the big red light that says "Exit." Right next to the table full of herbal teas, "50 Shades of Grey" coffee mugs, and "Twilight"-themed potpourri. 

You didn't mention the fine print on the "Exit" sign.

"to Eden" is a way in, not out.

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Every book has a soul:

The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.” ― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

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Derek Torvalar wrote:

A good rebinding and your're as good as new. As for the well-thumbed, well let's just say it adds to the character of the volume.

The maturer customers always said so.

 


Derek Torvalar wrote:

Now, have you got a nice Colette for me?

And especially those with such evident excellent (if mildly decadent) good taste. :-)

 

 

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Randall Ahren wrote:

Every book has a soul:

The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.” ― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

Well, that's rather beautiful. I wasn't familiar with this. Thank you. :-)

 

Except, of course, it should be "her or his eyes." ;-)

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Randall Ahren wrote:

Every book has a soul

 

I consider every one of my avatars as a book, not as a character or a pen picture, or an aggregation of impressions, but the whole deal, a story - and, like Google Books, you do not see all the pages in the book, just the occasional page giving an insight into what the book might be about.

I know what's in the book, of course, but others may only speculate.

Having said that, even I am unsure what's in the final chapter, as it has not been written yet, for any of them, despite what the LL authorities might think.

Wooja...pleasenotclassifymeasagraphicnovelnorchicklit

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Wooja wrote:


Having said that, even I am unsure what's in the final chapter, as it has not been written yet, for any of them, despite what the LL authorities might think.

Wooja...pleasenotclassifymeasagraphicnovelnorchicklit

"The Man in Black fled across the desert and the Gunslinger followed????????"

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Wooja wrote:


Randall Ahren wrote:

Every book has a soul

 

I consider every one of my avatars as a book, not as a character or a pen picture, or an aggregation of impressions,
but the whole deal, a story
....I know what's in the book, of course, but others may only speculate.

Having said that, even I am unsure what's in the final chapter, as it has not been written yet, for any of them, despite what the LL authorities might think.

Wooja...pleasenotclassifymeasagraphicnovelnorchicklit

Imho, each story is fantastic for its eloquence, imagination, delivery, humor, and timing.   Almost every day for the past four years I find myself looking forward to reading the development of each 'story'. In this regard you are without peer, and I thank you for that --- for the entertainment; for the smiles; for the enjoyment.  

   

 

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


LaskyaClaren wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:

I still have that McCall's pattern book I got from you. Took an age to find the three yards of latex needed to make the cover ensemble, but it was worth it. Mmm, yes it was.

Maddy, I found my way out. So can you.

Just walk towards the big red light that says "Exit." Right next to the table full of herbal teas, "50 Shades of Grey" coffee mugs, and "Twilight"-themed potpourri. 

You didn't mention the fine print on the "Exit" sign.

"to Eden" is a way in, not out.

In our post-lapsarian age?

Every time I try to get in that way, I find my path blocked by an Angel "at whose Front a flaming Sword, / In signal of remove, waves fiercely round."

:-(

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LaskyaClaren wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


LaskyaClaren wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:

I still have that McCall's pattern book I got from you. Took an age to find the three yards of latex needed to make the cover ensemble, but it was worth it. Mmm, yes it was.

Maddy, I found my way out. So can you.

Just walk towards the big red light that says "Exit." Right next to the table full of herbal teas, "50 Shades of Grey" coffee mugs, and "Twilight"-themed potpourri. 

You didn't mention the fine print on the "Exit" sign.

"to Eden" is a way in, not out.

In our post-lapsarian age?

Every time I try to get 
in
that way, I find my path blocked by an Angel "
at whose Front a flaming Sword, / 
In signal of remove, waves fiercely round."

:-(

Angel?

Wrong Eden!

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


LaskyaClaren wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


LaskyaClaren wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:

I still have that McCall's pattern book I got from you. Took an age to find the three yards of latex needed to make the cover ensemble, but it was worth it. Mmm, yes it was.

Maddy, I found my way out. So can you.

Just walk towards the big red light that says "Exit." Right next to the table full of herbal teas, "50 Shades of Grey" coffee mugs, and "Twilight"-themed potpourri. 

You didn't mention the fine print on the "Exit" sign.

"to Eden" is a way in, not out.

In our post-lapsarian age?

Every time I try to get 
in
that way, I find my path blocked by an Angel "
at whose Front a flaming Sword, / 
In signal of remove, waves fiercely round."

:-(

Angel?

Wrong Eden!

Well, maybe books are the way to find a "Paradise within thee, better far." :-)

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LaskyaClaren wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


LaskyaClaren wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


LaskyaClaren wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:

I still have that McCall's pattern book I got from you. Took an age to find the three yards of latex needed to make the cover ensemble, but it was worth it. Mmm, yes it was.

Maddy, I found my way out. So can you.

Just walk towards the big red light that says "Exit." Right next to the table full of herbal teas, "50 Shades of Grey" coffee mugs, and "Twilight"-themed potpourri. 

You didn't mention the fine print on the "Exit" sign.

"to Eden" is a way in, not out.

In our post-lapsarian age?

Every time I try to get 
in
that way, I find my path blocked by an Angel "
at whose Front a flaming Sword, / 
In signal of remove, waves fiercely round."

:-(

Angel?

Wrong Eden!

Well, maybe books are the way to find a "Paradise within thee, better far." :-)

If boosting me up to see over the hood of a Corvette is "paradise" (I'm not yet convinced) then yes, books are the way. Preferably large ones, with soft covers... like a phone book.

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Hmmm yes. 

A somewhat inaccurate retelling of some of my exploits, manufactured for dramatic appeal, even pathos perhaps, by the author. I do hope my reputaiton has withstood his artifice.

Shall I tell you what the young whelp said to me as he gasped his last breath after feeling the full thrust of my blade?

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