Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow business like snow business (...what?)

(sorry guys, I forgot to post this yesterday so I am going to impinge on somebodies posting day, my extreme apologies)

Some young buck waded into the store yesterday, came up to me at the register and told me he was from the Boston University school paper. He told me he was writing a story about bookstores and the snow (which I thought was a little niche, but whatever. Relevant to me, obviously, she types while her soaks quietly soak) and could he ask me a few questions. He asked me, how was business going during the snow?

Not bad, I said. A little slow, but on the weekends definitely bustling, it seemed to me, oh lowly register maven/floor sweeper that I am.

Do you think people are coming in more or less? Why?

The answer I gave made me remember something. I grew up in Brookline, graduated first from Driscoll school (Driscoll class of 2002, where my homies at) and then Brookline High. I can't remember the last time we had this much snow, but I do remember errant storms from over the years, especially ones that led to me not having to go to school (my favourite thing ever). The best part was waking up, finding school was canceled, bundling up and trudging into coolidge corner to find the perfect, untouched expanse of the CVS parking lot stretching before you, hibernating under a thick surface of snow. You are going to jump into that snow. Maybe walk around, anything below the waste obstructed, possibly pretend you are the last person alive and this is the zombie apocalypse. Zombie snowpocalypse. Yeah, I went there. I will always go there.

One particular storm was specifically debiltating. I was proably about 16, so that would make it roughly 2004. My mom and I walked through coolidge corner, taking picures (on film, remember when we did that?! Its so crazy, the dark ages we used to live in in the early 2000's) and looking at the darkened, empty store fronts, signs indecipherable behind the clinging fluff. Most of coolidge corner was shut down or opening late; coolidge corner was a ghost town. Or a ghost corner, but that is not nearly as impressive sounding. That just sounds like you're haunting a right angle for eternity, boring.

Can you guess, dear readers, what establishment remained open, despite the disarming amount of snow covering the town? A storm that had single handedly disabled all of Brookline?

Booksmith. Booksmith always stays open. Ok maybe a few times we've closed early, sure, we're only human. But close entirely? Forcing the books to spend and entire afternoon in darkness, unopened, unfondled? Perish the thought! No seriously, perish it, much as my toesies perished as I walked through the goulash of Brookline on my way here today. My snow boots are waterproof but they were no match for the dirty slush barricading every single crosswalk along the way. Everyone knows I live within walking distance, however, so calling out because of transportation issues is blatanty a lie. I have no excuse. The show must go on.

So are people coming into the bookstore more? I'm not sure. I see people in here all the time, its seldom that we have a truly slow day. I don't know what influence snow has on peoples' impulse to read and buy books, but I think that when the sky and the world are the same opaque, dirty white, and its wet outside and you're wet, all the time, and the salt and sand are in your clothes and mouth, feels like its under your skin, coming into our bookstore is blissful. Here we have heated, well lit and colorful aisles and a staff of people that genuinely want you to be comfortable and happy. Its chaos out there, but in our store its always bright, warm, clean, and soothing. Not to mention endless methods of entertainment, in alphabetical order. Its hard to imagine what more a person could want. Except for that fully stocked self-serve sandwich, sundae and mai tai bar I keep asking Dana for. She is stern on the 'no' for that one, still, I'm sorry to say. I think I'm wearing her down though.

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