Richard, the proprietor of the imaginary shop Satori Junk, travels from estate sale to thrift store to garage sale in search of merchandise for his secondhand shop. And he does so lovingly, thinking
Junk has been my friend, my teacher, my mentor. It has taught me what is not required. That buying new leads only to the three D’s: debt, despair, and death. It has taught me that to find new use for an object discarded is an act of glistening purity. I have learned that a camera case makes a damn fine purse or that forty copies of Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass’s Whipped Cream and Other Delights may be used to cover a wall of a bedroom.
Along the road, Richard learns of his own life while cleaning out his parents’ basement, meeting a young woman who has valuable lessons to teach him and who needs to be taught by him. . . and scoring some great finds from Pontiac Michigan to Mexico.
You’ll like Richard. Richard finds new things boring.
They have no history, no resonance. I feel at home with junk. Secondhand. The word says it all— other hands have touched that object. Think of all the things we touch each day. . . the coffee mugs, the tie clasps, the alarm clocks, the sunglasses, the key fobs, the beanbag ashtrays. What if they absorbed some scintilla of you, as if the oil from your fingers carried the essence of your soul? Then think of all the stuff you’ve ever owned, that’s ever passed through your hands, where it all might be right now. Think of the million other lives you’ve touched through those things you’ve owned, that carry the essence of you. Amazing, huh?
A fun read, that will amuse and comfort you, and say out loud all those philosophical things you’ve ever tried to convey to those who say, “Your shop sells what?”
The book was written in 2000, so chances are good you can find it used in a resale or thrift shop. Or buy a used copy off Amazon, if you can’t find it locally.
For more reading suggestions, here’s our Pinterest Board, Books for Consignment & Resale Shopkeepers.