DrD, UBB, Ret.

I’ve decided to claim retirement.

Desiree Ducharme, Used Book Buyer, Retired.

Retired adjective 1. having left ones job and ceased to work. 2. archaic (of a place) quiet and secluded; not seen or frequented by many people.

“Are you buying books still?”

“No, not professionally. I’ve retired.”


For the Horde: Last Days

For the Horde 04: Last Days

I kept the random notes from my desk. And the page from a copy of Medusa and the Snail that Elevator A had caught between its teeth. “This book is about life and death. This is a book of treasures.” Our carts remain as we do, isolated islands of unfinished chaos, hibernating dragons waiting for a spring. It was spring when I was here last. I didn’t know it would be my last day. I have no regrets. By the time you get to a last day, it is already too late. Events are in motion, they will stay in motion.


For the Horde: Law & Order

03: Law&Order

I have watched all 456 episodes of Law&Order several times. Most of them while working out or cooking. From “these are their stories” to arraignment is on average 22 minutes, the perfect amount of time to spend on an elliptical machine. Arraignment to post-trail re-cap is another 22 minutes or three sets of body weight exercises. If you’re motivated, you power through a fourth set as Jack gets on the elevator. (Or is forced to ride alone because the ADA is pissed.) You can prep and rest a full recipe of pita bread from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook by Diana Shaw (New York, Clarkson Potter Publishers, 1997) during a Law&Order episode. If you’re watching it on TV with commercials, you will over-proof the loaves but they cook perfectly between commercial breaks.


For the Horde: End Times

02: End Times

I wish I could remember what I did that caused my Nana to smerk and pronounce, “You’ll be the cause of the End Times, child.” What ever it was, she enjoyed it. Perhaps this is why I have never feared the End Times. Maybe it is why I am determined to laugh through them. Anything to make Nana smile. Nana was not the only person to predict my dark destiny. I was told so often that my actions would bring about the apocalypse it became inevitable. You know when you say a word over and over until it loses all meaning? You wear out the concept of it in your mind. I took the stretched out, shapeless concept and wrapped it around me like a comfortable hug from my Nana.


For the Horde: An End in the Beginning

O1 An End in the Beginning

Mar 12, 1945- France

Hello John:

 I just received two letters from you dated Feb 8 & Jan 10 and am always glad to hear from you. I’m glad that you enjoyed the magazines & Mien Kampf. I thought that you’d get a kick out of them. It isn’t very hard to get hold of a Nazi Bible, most every family was almost forced to purchase a copy. The one I sent was taken from a school house. We set up a C.P. in a small town and took over. There were many books and about ninety percent were recent publications in the true Nazi fashion- each pertaining to the manufacture of some product vital to the war machine.

 The people are like the weather- just as soon as they know the Germans are out they start to defame them to us. What a business!!

 I received several news paper clippings about the Fitzpatrick case but haven’t heard anything since. I was surprised to hear that you had to close the bath. I think that’s the first- at least in my time. Well the winter is over and lets hope the war will finish in the same manner.

 Well John that’s about all there is for today but don’t worry I’ll write again soon.



We found the letter inside the 1938 Volksausgabe (People’s Edition) of Mein Kampf. There are three reasons books end up in a locked case or the Rare Book Room: price point, rarity, and size. The unofficial reason is booksellers cannot find a shelf on which it is appropriate to display a book. Not for personal reasons, but logistical ones. Shelving is not just about the alphabet, it’s about what a reader is searching for. This is why even the Great-and-Mighty Amazon opened brick and mortar stores. It’s about the search and those who are searching. It’s why Amazon is unsatisfying for booklovers. Don’t hate the truth, Bezos. (Bezos doesn’t care. He was never in it for the books, he was in it for the business. He is a successful business man. He’s a shit dragon.) Dragons are in it for the books, for the hoard, for their horde (if they have one). Hoards are organized for seekers. That’s how you know it’s a proper hoard.


For the Horde: Prologue


We prepared for an apocalypse. Some prayed for one, they hoped for it because the aesthetics would be pleasantly homogeneous afterward. They worked at bringing one forth. It was easier than cohabitating with eclectic personalities, the inconvenient poor, the dissenters. They put their faith in God and forgot the words. They forgot how to trust, how to care, how to love. They pointed to the sins of others as justification for their self loathing. They didn’t understand the words even as they screamed them, even as we screamed. With all that screaming, who had the opportunity to listen?