A woman from Black Creek, along with her sister, fondly remembered from their childhood the story of Flagon the Dragon.
They searched everywhere for a copy — for several years — with no luck. Then they contacted Ruth Dilts of Rainy Day Books here in the Comox Valley and she found it for them.
“She was so thrilled to have it!” Dilts remembers. “And I felt just as thrilled to have had a successful hunt!”
Flagon the Dragon, by Garry and Vesta Smith, is the adventures – and misadventures – of a dragon who tries on several jobs before it finds the one that fits. That is not exactly Ruth Dilts’ own story.
“I loved books before I could read them,” she remembers with obvious relish. “I learned to read before I started kindergarten and I have never stopped.”
Over her lifetime — as a community volunteer and for employment — Dilts has been surrounded by books.
Today, literally, she still is. Her basement is lined with the books she has collected for herself and for her business.
“It was one of the ‘must-haves’ when my husband and I were looking for a new house. It had to have room for the books we brought and the books I will go on collecting as long as I can.”
And that is another important facet of Rainy Day Books. Dilts is always looking for new books to add to her collection in hopes that among them will be just the one a customer is looking for.
“I am happy to come and evaluate anyone’s collection, whether it is three books or 300.”
She speaks particularly of people who are downsizing and no longer have the room they once had for the many books one collects over a lifetime.
“Even an estate sale,” she adds. “I will look them over and give people a fair price for what I find.”
“Did you ever have a special find that stands out for you?” I ask her.
“Yes,” she answers quickly. I once found a first edition of a book in the British Biggles series – with the dust jacket still on it and that makes a world of difference,” she emphasizes.
“I got 450 U.S. dollars for that one — nearly 600 Canadian, with the exchange rate the way it was then,” though, she adds, she is usually dealing with the stuff of everyday reading and the prices — even including shipping — are much more reasonable.
Dilts is well-appreciated in the Comox Valley for her tireless volunteer work, with the Courtenay Little Theatre, for example. Now she also wants to spend more time focusing on her business and developing its sky’s-the-limit potential.
As an Internet business, Rainy Day Books is able to serve anyone anywhere in the world. But Dilts does not want to lose the local connection here in the Valley or the particular satisfaction of dealing personally with a customer.
Jim Walker is one of those customers.
“I was more than satisfied with the service I received from Ruth in regards to finding books, some out of print. It was very reasonable,” he comments. “I will continue using her service in the future.”
Whether there is a book you are looking for, see a book in the inventory listed on the website, or have a book or a library you would like to sell, you can contact Ruth Dilts by phone, 250-338-7550 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Her website is at www.rainydaybooks.ca.