Monday, November 10, 2008

Too many books? (Too many bloody Parenthesis more like) (Is that the plural? Where's that copy of Eats Shoots and Leaves) (Or was it Eat's)

As a bookseller I find it hard to avoid contact with the general public. Hmm, that didn't come out quite right. What I'm trying to say is that I meet a lot of people. And when they spend money in one of our shops I want them to know that I appreciate it, that I realise that if they didn't choose to come to C & P I would not be a bookseller.

But it's hard to make every person you deal with feel a little bit special, a little bit loved. This is something I think people often overlook when faced with a moody face behind the till. To be cheerful again and again and again and mean it is hard. Frankly it's work. Hard work. (Maybe if I were American or a convert to the consumer society I would find it effortless to say "Have a Nice Day" to everyone and mean it. But, despite spending most of my time in shops, I hate shopping and avoid it at all costs.)

Luckily I am full of nuggets of useless yet cheery information or mindless banter about the weather etc. And I am full of love and affection for our customers (especially the cake-bringing kind.)

(Apologies for the lengthy and rambling nature of this post. I could blame it on my brother who just popped in with a cd that is one hour long but only consists of two - highly repetitive - tracks. I feel as though time is standing still. But there is a point approaching, look, here it comes!)

One of the pieces of useless information of a vaguely book-related nature I regurgitate when faced with a customer who says they have "far too many books already" as they pile up a stack before me is a fragment I retained from reading Paul Auster's increasingly relevant book Hand To Mouth. It's all about his experiences as a penniless writer. In it, he talks about making furniture from books and someone just sent me a link to this pic...

(If you spend long enough in a bookshop by yourself - mostly - you may take up blogging. Or even talking to yourself.)

(It's been a very rainy day.)

(God I'm glad that's finally over and bet you are too!)


  1. parentheses

    glad to oblige x

  2. Marie - the spell check was never enough. Part-time job over Christmas?

  3. Is that the garden of your other shop in the background?