Tag Archives: book shop

Library Materials

No Library Materials in the Restrooms

Really? Really? Is this something we have to tell people? I am mystified by this sign on the library bathroom door. Are people bringing books in there? Why?

Ok, I know why. But this is not the privacy of anybody’s own home, so I’m thinking that no one would seriously bring reading materials into the public restroom.

Obviously, I’m wrong. Otherwise there wouldn’t be a sign. But you have to admit, The Library Materials would be a great name for a band.

 

The Library Materials with their first single, "Dewey to Me One More Time"

Other signage I feel we could do without:

 My state has a concealed carry law, so citizens are out there roaming around armed. Very important in my small, suburban town, where one could easily be attacked even in broad daylight by a gang of rampaging squirrels.

The bank, and the library and the churches and the temple all have these please-don’t-bring-your-gun-inside notices stuck on the doors. It sort of reminds me of that old country song, and makes me feel a bit like I’m living in the old west.

Maybe we should post a please-check-your-gun-at-the-door notice at the bookshop. We could use the old umbrella stand for rifles, and get a hat rack for balaclavas, hockey masks, and Halloween Nixon-faces. Hmm…

Please place smaller weapons in basket.

It’s harder to know what to do with sawed-offs and pistols. They’d just rattle around at the bottom of the umbrella stand and somebody might put their eye out on the barrel of a .22 while reaching in for their glock. I’m thinking a nice Longaberger basket, attractively perched on a slim end table, for the smaller weapons. Cuz you know, that would be tasteful.

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Goodnight Moon

Usually this time of year I’m not at the bookshop. In years past, I’ve been at BookExpo helping out our regional independent booksellers’ association. I’ve always enjoyed the big convention; talking to publishers about new titles, meeting other booksellers, meeting authors, and just generally poking around and seeing what’s new. The educational sessions are great too – they always got me psyched up to try something innovative and different at the shop. I wore flat shoes and worked the floor all day, everyday. Camaraderie, good galleys, free drinks – what’s not to love? Tired feet were a small price to pay.

But this year, due to various kinds of upheaval I’m here at home. The last week in May is beautiful in Ohio. There’s lots to do this time of year too. We have a whole bunch of different authors coming to the shop that I need to get ready for, there are the air conditioners to put in the upstairs windows, flowers to be tended –  we can put out the outdoor furniture and enjoy the breeze. I didn’t know what I’d been missing.

I really didn’t know what I’d been missing.

Today a man came into the store and asked, “Is this Barnes and Noble?”

There was a pause.

We said no.

He said, “But it says here on my iPhone that there’s a Barnes and Noble here.”

“Um, well… there’s not. Can we help you? We’re a locally-owned independent book store.”

“Did there used to be a Barnes and Noble here?”

“No, there’s never been a Barnes and Noble in this town.”

“But it says on my iPhone.”

“I’m afraid your iPhone must be wrong. We have lots of books, though.”

“Will you take my Barnes and Noble Gift Card?”

Sigh… “Yes.”

To appreciate the real weirdness of this scenario, you have to know that the bookstore where I work is located in a 200 year old building on a street entirely devoted to small, independent businesses. It has a large sign on the front with the name on it as well as the sort of clever, hanging sign you see on pubs in England, sporting our logo and name. We’re not shy about this whole who-we-are thing.

“Are you sure there didn’t used to be a Barnes and Noble here?”

“Yes, I’m sure. This shop has been here for 41 years.”

And no, this was not a teen prank dreamt up to mess with people. The fellow was at least 50 and did not seem parted from reality in any significant way that did not concern books. Though we are right next door to a bar, he was not drunk, nor was he discernibly high.

“I want to show you on my iPhone.”

We demurred. He insisted. He then held out the device so that the staff could all see that indeed, it seemed to say there was Another Bookstore at our address. I think he expected us to morph into a Barnes and Noble before his very eyes once we could see the evidence.

We remained stubbornly ourselves.

Shamelessly stolen from someone I don't even know on flickr. See: mosand's photostream

It’s a full moon tonight, variously called the Flower Moon, Milk Moon and Corn Planting Moon, but now I will think of it as The Bookshop Moon.

Goodnight stars. Goodnight air. Goodnight booksellers everywhere…

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Careful what you wish for

Today we had an author event at our local retirement community. All sorts of organizations in town meet & host activities at this venue. It’s a logical choice – a nice place with a good sound system.

It’s very cheery, really. I know lots of the residents, and one in particular is always a top contender in our yearly book shop poetry contest.

As you walk in the front doors, you pass through a greenhouse area with some really impressive staghorn ferns. There’s almost always a fire lit in the gas fireplace next to the lobby. A room nearby holds the snack bar and a big-screen wii set up. Another large-screen TV in the main hallway lists upcoming events:  Thursday is Movie Night!

“Wow,” I think, “can I move in?” It’d be like college, but better: no exams (plenty of classes to take if you want, though – a book club did Russian Round-Up last year: Tolstoy, Turgenev & Dostoyevsky), instead of kegs of Blatz, there’s basically decent wine – and your whole world is a co-ed dorm…

As I go to bring in another carton of books from the car, a well-dressed middle aged woman gives me a friendly wave and asks quite earnestly, “Ready for your tour?”

Have I been mistaken for a potential resident? Suddenly the proliferation of tattoos & piercings among the 40-plus crowd in my town is completely understandable. It may be time to dye my hair magenta, or green… before somebody gives me a blue rinse.

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