Monday, July 12, 2010

Odd Phenomenon

It's confession time.  In one way, I am a sham of a bookseller.  Some who know me outside of the bookstore will already be aware of this.  Others may be shocked and upset.  I hope one and all will realize that I am, truly, the real deal book person in spite of what I'm about to reveal.  Rest assured, I do know and love books and have done so for my whole life.

Okay, here goes.  When someone(and of course, MANY do, given my job), out in public, family or friend or new acquaintance  asks me THE question, I freeze.  My mind goes blank.  I hem and haw and look thoughtful.  I try to picture the shelves of the store and lists posted near the register,  wishing for a photographic memory.   I attempt to summon up all the trade press I read daily and weekly.  Nothing works.

What's THE question, you ask?   WHAT'S SELLING IN THE STORE?  So innocent.  So reasonable.  At a social occasion recently, the answer I gave was, "  Oh, some - um - well, fiction, good fiction.  And - um - also nonfiction - there's alot of good nonfiction right now."  The person asking looked a bit puzzled but smiled encouragingly.  I, too, smiled and said, laughing, " So...that - um - certainly covers it, right?".   We both laughed.  She drifted away.  Who wouldn't? 

This happens over and over again.  I don't know why.  I've tried to change to no avail.  I vow to keep trying.  It's only been 29 years at the bookstore.  There's plenty of time, right?


Shoshana said...

The same thing happens to me when people ask what I've read lately. I think the problem in both our cases might be that there are too many answers!

Kitty said...

Hi Dana,

Here's what I see: what's selling is books.

The store is busy all the time.

You have more patrons than any shop in the area.

You are, in fact, the real deal, and the one who is still left standing. The other guys are long gone.

Tell them what's selling is lots and lots of books.

Kitty Kaufman

Barbara said...

I agree with Kitty, wholeheartedly, on every one of her reminders to you! And I actually have witnessed, first hand, you answering THE question quite thoroughly. Maybe I witnessed a small period of time when you would quickly gaze off...maybe recalling those bookshelves...but you have always come back and focused and given folks recommendations that seem to always make them happy. can not abdicate your crown as a True Book Seller!