Today in My History2000: It's Raining Dogs
2001: Sex and the City
2002: The Walls are Closing In
2003: Can't We All Just Get Along?
2005: Good News and Better News
2006: She Ain't What She Used to Be
2007: Speaking in Tongues
2008: Lunch with Oprah
2009: R.I.P. Dougri
2010: Musing About Music
2011: Don't Ring Dem Bells for Me
Books Read in 2012
"Journey, a Novel"
Video of the Week
Easter 2012 from Bev Sykes on Vimeo.
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My Compassion Kids
The Pen Pal Project
RAINY DAY AT LOGOS
11 April 2012
I've learned in my brief time working at Logos Books that rainy days are usually slow, so I was surprised that it was so busy today.
There were already several customers there when I arrived. Peter was waiting for Susan to pick him up, since it was raining, so I took his chair and he placed himself by the front door. The first thing I noticed was that Tina Fey's "Bossypants" was now on the shelf. I pounced on it. I attended the April luncheon of the Woodland Shakespeare Club on Saturday. I am apparently on the wait list to be admitted as a member, so I picked up the list of the books they are going to read next year (their season goes October to April). "Bossypants" is on the list and so I bought it, though I didn't want to read it today. When am I going to find it cheaper than $5?
Next I started exploring the shelves to see what struck my fancy today. I finally chose this one:
Now, anybody who has read Michener's books would be shocked to think I would consider reading one of them in an afternoon, but it is only 244 and grew out of his research for his book "Alaska" (a more typical Michener length of nearly 900 pages). I didn't really think I could finish 244 pages in an afternoon, and I was right, but it only took me an hour more to finish it when I got home.
You don't want to read Michener quickly. You want to savor his descriptions and roll around in the story. This is actually only 240 pages and is a story of an unlikely crew of four English gentlemen and one Irish tenant who take off to hunt for gold. After reading a report of a ship loaded with "gold bars" heading out of the Yukon Territory, Lord Evelyn Luton decides he wants a piece of the action and assembles a crew of four, plus someone to be their servant and he heads for Canada. The problem is that he refuses to set foot on American soil because he wants to support the British holdings in Canada and doesn't think much of those American upstarts. This decision, which makes the journey much more difficult than it should have been, proves disastrous, but the story of the travel across Canada from Quebec to Dawson City is fascinating and difficult to put down.
I did put it down several times, though, what with all the customers we had through there. And these were people who were choosing philosophy and science and classic literature, or huge stacks of books.
One guy wanted help choosing a novel which would trace the life of someone from childhood through adulthood. I drew a complete blank, though I did eventually recommend "Picture of Dorian Gray" or one of David Sidaris' books. He ended up taking Dorian Gray. Amazing that for someone who wrote an entire journal entry on biographies, I couldn't come up with a single title. But he was looking for fiction, I think.
One guy brought in an armful of philosophy and science books to donate and took away as many philosophy and science books to read. Sadly, he left his credit card behind. I went chasing after him, but couldn't reach him in time.
A woman brought her teenage son and then really made a dent in the shelves with a huge stack of books to take home.
I'm finding that I'm really loving the number of people who are reading and who relish real books, especially the younger people.
There were three university girls who where in the shelves for nearly half an hour, talking about books they had read and reveling in the look and feel of books. They spent a long time comparing Heathcliff to Mr. Darcy, I remember.
The thing I found most interesting about them is their accent. I don't mean they had come from a foreign country, but I'm realizing that college students, particularly girls, have a definite accent. It's sort of a variation on "valley girl" (where every sentence ends with shift upwards, like there are no declarative sentences, but only questions). College girls have this gutteral sound in their throats as they talk, like there is a little buzzer in there, and the cadence of their vocalizations is distinctive. I don't think they talk that way when they are talking to someone who is not a fellow student, but it is definitely distinctive when they travel in packs. But I liked them because of how excited they were to be around so many books.
A guy I'm starting to recognize came rushing in, grabbed a book he had seen on the shelf a week ago, and bought it before rushing out again. He's the only one I recognize (so far) as a repeat customer.
Another guy (who set off my gaydar) bought a stack of books including one on fishing for his father for Father's day.
Susan always sends out a thank you after you work a stint. I managed to sell nearly $200. Since I had filled the sheet of paper on which I record each sale, I knew that it was a chunk of money. It's always nice to know that I've helped bring in that much money.
At the end of the day, I packed up "Bossypants" and "Journey" (which I'm going to give to my friend Ruth next week) and headed home so I could finish reading "Journey" before cooking dinner! Books have assumed a much larger place in my life this year, I'm discovering!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
No. I'm not sleeping; I'm reading my book.