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READING -- ALIVEAND WELL
6 September 2012
It wasn't a high money kinda day at the book store today, but it sure seemed busy. It seemed that there was no 15 minute period when there wasn't somebody in the store. More people than usual seemed to becoming in for a specific book, which is always iffy in a store whose inventory is determined by books that are donated or things found at book sales. But one guy did come in looking for a copy of "The Hobbit," and was able to find it, and left very happy.
Someone else bought every book by Carl Sandburg that we had, plus two books by Robert Frost...presumably a poetry reading is in the works for him!
A guy found a book on the history of the cable car and we had a nice chat of cars that we had ridden in our youth. I grew up 2 blocks from one of the cable car lines in San Francisco and used to take it to school when I was in high school. I don't know how much it costs to ride a cable car today, but I'm sure it's somewhat over 15 cents, which is what I paid back then. You could also get on the cable car in the middle of the route, unlike now when it is loaded with tourists before it ever starts out.
I can't remember where he grew up, but it was riding street cars, not cable cars, and he also remembers his father taking him to England, where he loved the street cars and now, in his dotage (about my age) is sad to see the loss of that method of transportation, which seemed nice and slow and civilized. (He also said he used to pay 9 cents for his rides!)
Chatting with him made remember when Walt and I (and Char and Mike, of course) went to an old street car museum in Rio Vista, when Jeri was about 6 months old. Now it's pretty much an amusement park, but back in 1966 they were just building it and they had one car that you could ride out a mile or so and then back. I got on the train with Jeri and Walt stood outside taking movies. I opened the window to wave at him and it slammed down on Jeri's fingers. Walt stood their laughing at her screams, thinking it was the noise that had frightened her, not realizing that she was in real pain. Fortunately there was no serious damage, though the window had come down on her "sucking fingers" (she sucked the two middle fingers on her right hand) and she had no way to soothe herself. It was a long night, that night!
Two people donated books, one guy brought a full box, the other guy brought four boxes mostly of National Geographic books. Fortunately it was at the end of my stint or I might have chosen some to bring home with me!
A guy came in looking for a simple book to read in German and spent a long time looking through the shelf of German books we had. Ultimately he didn't find anything simple enough for him. I suggested he come back in 2 weeks, when Peter (who is German) was there and might be better able to advise him.
A woman came in asking for a suggestion of a good book for a 10 year old. She said that this is a boy who has read all the Harry Potters and liked something "edgy." I made a couple of recommendations and left her to check the shelves of the children's room. She left without buying anything.
But two different parents came in. The first was a mother with a girl who looked like she was maybe 5 or so. They spent a long time in the chilren's room choosing a few books for her, including Seuss's "The Cat in the Hat." I told them about my experiences trying to read "Fox in Sox" to Bri the other night. They hadn't read that one. I gave them proper warning!
Then, toward the end of my stint, a mother came in with a huge stroller and a baby who looked younger than Lacie. She chose about 10 books for the baby. That always makes me feel so good, seeing little kids started off with a love of books. Laurel is a big reader and so Bri had lots and lots of books already. I'm reluctant to buy her books for fear she will already have whatever I choose.
A man and his wife came in to each buy a book. I loved how they walked around the shop, in different areas, chatting with each other about which was the best to buy (he bought a book about the Civil War, his interest having been piqued by reading Bill O'Reilly's "Killing Lincoln." I decided not to mention all the negative stuff I'd heard about the book and how many of its "facts" were, in fact, not true at all.
I didn't do what I usually do--choose a book from the store to read. I was over halfway through "The Elephant's Secret Sense" and decided to finish it instead. Good idea. I did finish it...and it was fascinating, though bogged down a bit with too many scientific descriptions that didn't add to your understanding of elephants.
Walt was in San Francisco tonight, so I had to take the bus home. By the time we had come to about the halfway point in the 30 minute ride, I looked around and realized I was the only passenger on the vehicle.
Nobody got on the whole rest of the way, and the bus driver looked like she was going to have a very peaceful ride back to where she started!
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