Bizline: Ole’ Man Berkins |

Bizline: Ole’ Man Berkins

Q. What type of business do you operate – what do you sell, or what service do you provide?A. Ole’ Man Berkins mainly sells used and rare books. Though due to the problem of trying to make a living on books alone, I have a vintage clothing section (Clothing for the Modern Day Eccentric), I sell Magical Scraps Fleece wear and Sketchbook Clothing, a plethora of hats (winter and other), art from different local artists, rocks and crystals at amazingly cheap prices due to the great Will Kaiser, and other random items such as cult classic movies (“The Gift” by Perry Farrell, “Rushmore,” “Harold & Maude,” etc.) and purses made out of ties. There are many other items too numerous to list that fit under the general theme of art (perhaps Alf pins fitting under art is debatable, but regardless, I got ’em.)Free coffee is always brewing and there are plenty of comfy places to sit and read or just stare blankly into space.Q. Where are you from, and why did you decide to open your business in Summit County?A. I am from a very, very small town (made up of four igloos) in Antarctica that’s actually called Antarctica. So growing up I always said I was from Antarctica, Antarctica and this would often confuse people, although living in Antarctica there were few people to confuse. I decided to open in Summit County because that’s where I live. Furthermore, I felt I would get much more business than if I opened up in Antarctica.Q. What experience do you have in this field?A. I once read a book. I forget what it was called, but I figured this gave me the go-ahead to call myself an expert in the field of literature. (I also wear clothes and have seen at least half a dozen movies.) Q. What sets your business apart from other similar businesses?A. The discotheque in the rear. No, I guess a couple of things. My prices really can’t be beat and often you’re buying a book at a very cheap price that looks like it’s never even been leafed through. The selection is excellent; let me list a few of the thousands here: Vonnegut, Kerouac, Salinger, Hunter S. Thompson, Twain, Hemingway, Tom Robbins, Sedaris, Bukowski, Kingsolver, S. King, Asimov, Toni Morrison, Oprah’s Picks, and a huge children’s section.The clothing is hip according to the Hipster Adviser whose valuable time I paid so much for. If you’re into rocks and gems and crystals, there is no comparison to quality and price. The artists and artisans are all local (at extremely reasonable prices, one of my criteria to potential art displayers) and my best selling artist (Artist X) is soon to be the next big name in the art industry. Q. What types of customers do you hope to reach in Summit County?A. All. Literally, every person that’s ever been a customer anywhere I hope – no expect – to reach.Q. Why did you choose to open where you did?A. Main Street. Kind and good-looking neighbors. Also, the relative warmth compared to Antarctica.Q. What are your plans for your company’s future?A. Expanse. If someone comes in looking for something, I want to have it – no matter how obscure. I do feel I’ve already reached this goal to a great degree, but of course there’s always room for improvement. Someone came in yesterday looking for two signed, 1st editions of The Catcher in the Rye. Guess what? I only had one. Also I plan on making Ole’ Man Berkins a pop culture icon and from there, taking over the world. Oh yes, and events at Ole’ Man Berkins such as open forums and readings and book signings and writers groups.

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