A Season of Bookselling: Q&A with Vic Zoschak

With summer right around the corner, and the heat starting to bear down on us, we sat down with Vic for a little Q&A on “seasonal” bookselling!


Q: So Vic, another year of bookselling down, a million more to go. This year your big move to Reno, NV was the main change, we know. How is it going, selling books in Reno?

It’s a bit different here in Reno Ms P, for as you know, as here, I no longer have a store front on a major mercantile street, as was the case in Alameda… which, to be honest, suits my present business M.O. just fine.  During COVID, I transitioned to a primarily mail order business.  That, combined with recently adopting a semi-retired lifestyle, has meant less time in my out-of-the-way shop, so my “Closed to the General Public” persona works just fine!  That said, always happy to entertain visitors from established members of the trade, and other bibliophiles, such as those individuals reading this blog.  

Q: With the beginning of summer right around the corner, we thought it would be interesting to pick your brain about “seasonal” bookselling. Of course the holidays are a sure thing in a general way, for retail businesses. Do you find any other time of year to be a popular book-buying time?

Since Dickens is a sub-specialty of mine, I do see a bump in sales come the Christmas holidays, given his connection to Christmas.  But otherwise, for my business in antiquarian material, I can’t say that I personally have noticed any significant seasonal fluctuations other than late spring, when my institutional customers have often reached the end of their budget cycle, and will need deferred billing, or extended hold periods, for acquisitions.  Occasionally income tax time will impact sales, but other than those instances, I find book buyers indulge their passion pretty much all year round.

Q: Good to hear! The holiday season is a sure thing, of course. Do you suppose other booksellers find the holidays similarly busy?

I would expect this to be mirrored by others in the trade, as the holiday season usually brings in buyers other than collectors… e.g., buyers which wish to given a holiday gift to the bibliophile in their life.

Q: How are you feeling, heading into a summer of bookselling? Have you participated in any bookselling events in the Reno area as of yet? Do you plan to?

Well, I’m starting off summer by participating in Marvin Getman’s upcoming 4th Anniversary Virtual Book Fair.  I must admit, Virtual Fairs [VBFs], which made their debut during COVID, have become a valuable adjunct to my business.  Since I’m getting on in years, and no longer employ an assistant, I find I don’t relish the physical requirements of in-person exhibiting at a weekend book fair.  4-5 days on my feet just doesn’t appeal whatsoever.  So the VBFs are a welcome compromise, I can exhibit in a on-line fair from the comfort of my big chair.

As to local Reno bibliophilic events, I am not aware of any, at least of an antiquarian bent, though I am exploring having a stand at Hot August Nights.  I have a bunch of vintage car material that I think might be of interest to those who own vintage cars, and that seems to be pretty much everyone in Reno!    

Q: Very cool! Finally, are there any other interesting pieces of information you’d like to add for our bibliophile friends?

Just that I wish everyone a lovely summer!!  🙂


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