Now Rise Books

What is Now Rise Books?
      Now Rise Books is my new and quality used bookselling business, which I established in 2004, first setting up in one corner of the twenty-two year old BlackPrint Bookstore owned by Bea Dozier-Taylor in New Haven, Connecticut, then as a merchant seller on Last month, I closed my storefront: even the overhead cost of running a virtual book store can be prohibitive. Although I know longer have my own page of books on Amazon, my books are still available on Amazon. Just follow the links on this blog to each individual book. You can still purchase them on 

Contact me: 
 telephone: (203) 650-2268
           Mail: Now Rise Books / PO Box 8103 / New Haven, CT 06530

     You can learn more about how I got started just below. When you scroll down, you can also read about:
--how I acquire books
--customer comments
--some of my published articles about books
--books I've recently acquired and sold, and
--what a quality used book is, in my estimation, informed by an accepted industry rating system.

      But here’s how it all got started…

     About 25 years ago, I began selling books to raise funds occasionally at church expos and at college fairs. I chose the books I sold based on two criteria: one, they were duplicates of books in my own home library (which could stand to be pruned)and, two, they were books that I loved and wanted to promote and share with others. (These two criteria made it a little easier to lug all those boxes back and forth to fairs and festivals.)

     The response was great: it didn’t matter to my customers that the books were previously owned; people bought my books like the proverbial "hotcakes," especially Richard Wright's Black Boy and Native Son; Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and Claude Brown's Manchild in the Promised Land. The dormant bookselling seed began to grow inside me. (Still, bookselling took a second seat to my main interest which is in adding to the number of books in existence by becoming a publisher.)

Lisa Monroe, Bookseller
     I continued to sell books at fairs and business expos. In 2004, however, after purchasing about 12 boxes of books from the personal library of a brilliant sister and booklover residing in a suburb of Boston, I hung out my shingle and established Now Rise Books as a business.
     I began selling my books around Connecticut towns and the Boston area (more lugging boxes), but last year, in 2010, I set up an electronic storefront (on and started this blog, where I have been selling consistently ever since. I’ve sold to customers from California to Florida, from Minnesota to Texas, and in between, and have enjoyed the experience. I love putting good books into the hands of readers. 

How do I acquire our books?
     Great books in great condition can be found in numerous places (or maybe they are found in a few places that are numerous), such as at library sales, in charity stores, antiquarian book dealers and secondhand shops, and even through private sellers. I have bought books from all of these types of sources.
     I love visiting new locales to buy books: I've bought new and quality used books in various cities such as Chicago; Brattleboro, New Hampshire; Baltimore; Cincinnati; Boston; London, England; New York City and their environs. I am always on the lookout for books that deepen my growing inventory in non-fiction African and African American studies and Women’s Studies, as well as those books that expand my stock into literary genres like science fiction from Octavia Butler or collections of African folklore.

     You can see what new books I’ve acquired and what people are buying on the latest “new arrivals-recently sold” posts. 

Comments from buyers
Here are comments from some of my buyers (before I gave up my Now Rise Books storefront page on

"Good seller, book as advertised. Recommend."

Date: February 26, 2011 Rated by Buyer: JOSEPH A.
"Thank you!!!"
Date: September 4, 2010 Rated by Buyer: Sara B.

"The book arrived in good/excellent condition as promised by the dealer. It had no markings, and the condition made the price very reasonable. I would definitely re-order from this dealer. Timliness, condition of the merchandis was as promised, price was on the mark. "
Date: August 28, 2010 Rated by Buyer: mmmbc1887

"Excellent customer service, highly recommended. After an initial issue with my order, the seller responded most immediately, courteously, and generously. "
Date: August 13, 2010 Rated by Buyer: thomasmb

"The book was in good condition and arrived promptly."
Date: August 2, 2010 Rated by Buyer: Regina F.

Some of my articles about books
     My Now Rise Books blog posts share a lot of my views about books. Here are some of my articles about books published in other places:
“Road to Barrister - A winning case by Attorney Yusef Poole,” Thursday, September 30 2010

“Book inspires community activism.” "The Crisis Magazine," January/February 2007.

“Bound: Six bibliophiles reveal what ties them to their books.” Northeast Magazine cover story, "Hartford Courant," 2004.This link is to an excerpt from the six profiles I wrote on bibliophiles in Connecticut. 

New Arrivals… and …Recently Sold
The Presumption of Guilt Charles Ogletree
The Hip-Hop Generation Jabari Kitwana
The Joys of Motherhood Buchi Emecheta
Before the Mayflower Lerone Bennett Jr.
Blue as the Lake Robert Stepto
Look for these titles soon on Now Rise Books storefront.

What is a “quality used book?” 
     A quality used book is one that is readable and intact—binding is tight, pages are generally clean, and the degree of wear that is visible does not prohibit reasonable use and enjoyment of a new owner.

As real estate value is judged by the mantra, “location, location, location,” the value of a book is largely determined by its “condition, condition, condition!” The bulk of the book collecting community conducts its business based on (or at least alongside) a rating system that identifies the condition of a book; that rating system is both scientifically precise and precariously subjective. 
     Rating terms and abbreviations refer first to the book then to the dust jacket, like this example: Fine/Fine (or abbreviated, F/F) This rating says that the book is in “fine,” meaning “new” or “perfect” condition as when it was published / the dust jacket is likewise “fine,” “new” or “perfect.” 

     Assuming that a book and its dust jacket are in the same condition, a bookseller could list a book’s condition as one of the following noted in Bill McBride's Book Collecting for Fun or Profit 2nd ed.), (I bought more than a few books at Bill McBride's Jumping Frog bookstore a decade ago):
As New denotes in the same condition as when published; no defects; dust jacket (if issued) in perfect condition
Fine/Fine (F/F) near new condition
Very good/ Very good (VG/VG) suggests used but shows minimal wear, complete book intact
Good/Good (G/G) suggests readable, intact, but shows rubs, bumps, may have tears
Fair, visibly worn book that may have missing end papers or title page 
Poor, a complete book that may lack plates (pages with images) or maps; reading copy only

     The subjective nature of book ratings are evident in another descriptor, the “plus” (+) or “minus” (-) marks often added to the rating terms (and you thought you left + and – back in your college grades.)
So, you will often see a book rated VG+/vg-, meaning the book is a little better than “very good” (but still not fine), yet its dust jacket is a little less than “very good” (but still not downgraded to “good”).

Of course, its more common that you will find a book in one condition: “fine” or “very good,” but book's dust jacket in another condition: “fair” or “poor.” Ratings therefore more often than not look like any variation of these: 
"VG+/G-" meaning a very good book with good dust jacket 
"G+/-" meaning a particularly good condition of a book with no dust jacket.

    Thanks for reading about Now Rise Books. Please tell your friends and colleagues about Now Rise Books. I'd love to hear from you from time to time about what you are reading or looking to add to your library.  Read deep, grow strong, now rise!