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"Talk Before Sleep"
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TODAY AT LOGOS
June 20, 2014
Today was kind of an unusual day at Logos, mostly because Sandy had a dental appointment (with Cindy, I discovered) and so had to leave the store at 12:45, which meant I needed to be there at 12:45 instead of 2. Susan said nobody should have to work more than 4 hours, so she relieved me at 4:45.
My first customer was a man who bought a Ruth Rendell book and we talked a bit about Rendell, since I have only recently discovered her as an author. He tells me she also writes more psychological thrillers under the name Barbara Something (I later checked the internet and found out it's Barbara Vine).
After I talked with him, I decided to get another Rendell book to read while there, but the two we had left were thicker than the previous ones I'd read and one was a sequel to the other, so I decided to read something not in the mystery/crime vein and chose a book called "Talk Before Sleep," which is a not really maudlin story of the friendship among women, two in particular, one of whom is dying of cancer. Very good and I assume accurate account of how the final weeks go and how the women join together to help the woman who is dying. And as I said, it's not really maudlin and downright irreverent in spots.
Woman came in looking for books by John Green, whose name I didn't recognize right away until she said it was for her daughter and it was something about "fault in our stars" (another book about dying from cancer!) I told her that was one of the most popular young adult (and regular adult!) books right now and with the opening of the new movie, I was 100% convinced we did not have it as a used book, but sent her to the young adult section anyway to check...then, when she was unsuccessful, I suggested she try The Avid Reader to see if they had a new book.
An exotic looking woman (kind of like you would think of a gypsy) came in, looking for poetry books. She had long curly-ish dark hair, a long-ish black skirt with a fringe, and a brightly colored scarf covered her shirt, so I never got a good look at that. She didn't stay long and left without buying anything.
Then this old guy in shorts, short-sleeved shirt and safari hat, leaning heavily on his cane came in and started talking. And talking. And talking. He must have been there nearly half an hour, telling me his whole life story, the story of his father who never graduated from high school, but who at his death had employees all over the world. He obviously worshipped his father. His mother is now 91 and still able to live independently, but he worries about her because she lives in Sparks, Nevada and in the winter if something were to happen to her he would have to fly to help her because even though he lives in the foothills (Grass Valley), he won't drive in snow. The old guy told me he is 70. Sigh. I told him about Atria and gave him contact information to get more information (though he would do better with a place in Sacramento, closer to him). I found out he lived in Grass Valley when I asked if he lived in Davis. Turns out he drives down here twice a week to walk in the arboretum.
Customers were piling up, so I took care of them, while he talked with a woman who had come in with her son. They were talking about credit card scams and she was sharing that she was from Willits and that there is a serious drug problem in that small town now.
It was an interesting half hour, but I have to admit I was glad when he left. There was a woman who came in with her two sons and seemed to be waiting until he stopped talking to ask me something, but her kids started looking at books and she didn't make an attempt to talk with me, but eventually told her kids to put the books back and left with the two books she had in her hand.
Later, when he was finally gone, she returned, with the two books. They were old books and she wanted to know, based on my expertise, if they were worth anything because they had belonged to her grandmother and she was tired of dusting them! I explained that I had no expertise in this area, that I was a 4-hour-a-week volunteer and suggested she come back and talk with Peter.
A woman with an adorable little girl, who looked to be about 3-4 years old. She was wearing a bathing suit with a blouse over it and a pink necklace with lots of bling. They were in the children's room for a very long time and finally the little girl came out and thrust 22 books into my lap. Many of them were beginning reader books and when I asked if she could read, she loudly told me "YES!" She also told me about the fire engine she had seen downtown before coming into the store.
Bruce came in, without his hat this time (it was looking pretty ratty when I last saw him. It will be interesting to see how long it takes him to make a new one). He was carrying two empty paper bags, perhaps in acknowledgement that next month we will have to charge if a customer wants a bag. But he didn't buy anything and left without saying hello (or good bye)
Another mother and her son came in. He went right to the children's room and she headed for the Literature section, but neither stayed long or bought anything.
An older woman was thrilled to find a very nice book of nursery rhymes for only $8.64.
A couple of high school students came in and, I have to admit that my prejudices were surprised when they did not bring me the "Twilight" trilogy, but purchased a book of Ezra Pound poems, Shakespeare's "Coriolanus" and "Wuthering Heights."
Another couple came in, a short rotund guy with horn rimmed glasses, a plaid shirt and Birkenstocks was with a shorter, thinner girl dressed all in electric blue. He looked too old to be her boyfriend, but too young to be her father. He reminded me of Jonah Hill. But they left without buying anything.
The next guy who came in is a regular, like Bruce and "my friend." I decided he needed a name so I'm going to call him the Troubadour in future entries because he looks a little like Pete Seeger, but with a much longer beard, and much taller (and younger -- Pete Seeger is my mother's age!). He wears that ubiquitous cap and always has a sack slung over his shoulder. Today he spent a lot of time looking through the music section. But he didn't buy anything today.
An Indian woman (India Indian) bought a Sci Fi anthology and a guy came in looking for a job. When I told him we are all volunteers, he said he needs a roof over his head, so he's sorry he couldn't volunteer.
Another guy came in, saying he had an official "resale number" which meant that he didn't have to pay tax. It looked official, so I let him get away with the six books he bought. I hope that was right.
A mother and her son came in and looked at the Spanish books, but didn't buy anything.
An old guy wanted Sudoku books and I referred him to the Avid Reader.
I had been perfectly happy leaving the front door open to let the fresh air in and was not aware of the temperature in the store until someone complained of the heat (which nobody ever does, but me!), so I closed the front door and turned on the a/c.
Knowing Susan was going to relieve me early, I wondered if my friend would get there in time, which he did, at 4:35. He bought two books, one from the bargain table (and I forgot to note the name of it), and a book with 3 mysteries by Gore Vidal in it. Susan arrived as he was leaving and I pointed him out to her, but she doesn't know him either, so until I decide whether it's time to ask him his name, he will forever remain "my friend" to me and a stranger to everyone else.
Walt and I were in the car, headed home by 5 p.m., which seemed strange. I had about 20 pages left in the book I was reading today, so brought it home and finished it while waiting for Jeopardy to start.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Finally got my long-needed haircut. Supercuts did a fair job this time.
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