Thursday, October 13, 2011

You're Not the Boss of Me.

" 'I believe that within every great reader there are multitudes of people,' [Sarah McNally of Mcnally Jackson Books] said. 'And you have to open yourself to all of them. I love British chick lit and I love Proust. Don’t judge yourself! There are so many kinds of writing that are great but bear no relation to each other. ‘A Book of Memories’ by Peter Nadas is like climbing a mountain. ‘Cutting for Stone’ is like going down a waterslide.'

Book-buying is aspirational.' She added. 'They are deeply hopeful purchases.'

- Sarah McNally, McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince Street, NY NY. 

I read this quote in McNally's recent profile in The New York Times, and it resonated with me in a couple of ways. I don't know what our policy for mentioning other independent book stores on this blog, but I imagine it is inclusive and perhaps, even "psyched". I have included links to both the NY Times article and McNally's website, and if anybody is planning a trip to NYC any time soon, I recommend checking this store out. 

I believe, above all, in being oneself. I, myself, have a big personality that I frankly cannot hide, nor can I pretend I don't enjoy the past times that I enjoy. I've always been a nerd. Mostly about nerd things, like science fiction or zombies or tv shows about vampire slayers, what have you. I used to try and keep it on the down-low, like maybe it wouldn't come up, but it always does, ya'll. Somebody, off to my peripheral, will ask a question like "What, exactly, is Dr. Who?" or "What kind of spaceship are they on in 'Firefly'?" and I will be forced (forced!) to jump in. 

My goal for you guys, when you enter our store, is to not feel like you can't be 100% into whatever it is you're into. When Twilight came out, we got so many 20+ year old women (and some men), shame-facedly coming in and asking where the Stephanie Meyers books were, already planning how they were going to sneakily read it on the T on the way home without giving themselves away. To those ladies and gents, I said nay! You have but one life to live, and if you have a freak flag, by all means, let it fly. Don't be afraid to tell everyone that they're not the boss of you. I don't know when that happens, when we stop saying that, maybe its when we get actual bosses? And everyone just assumes they don't have to proclaim it anymore? I make it a point to say it at least once a day. You're not my mom! You're not the boss of me! DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!

Try it. It's awesome. I mean, don't get fired or anything, maybe just yell it at your roommate/dog/nanny, or what have you. You and your spouse can yell it at each other and then make out. I don't know, I can't make that decision for you. I would never. If someone tries to make you feel embarrassed about reading something silly, or that what you're reading isn't 'smart' enough or 'cool' enough, you can just tell them what's what. You know more than you think you know, and you are better equipped to handle life than society has led you to believe. Reflect this mantra in your every action. Read Twilight unabashedly on public transportation! Ask me where the Karma Sutra page-a-day calendars are!  Ask to exchange a political science tome for the new Jodi Picoult because the second you got it home you realized what your heart of hearts wanted was a satisfying novel. I dig you, customer. We all dig you, come on down. We're book people too, we understand these little heartbreaks of life.

 I couldn't finish The Corrections and I couldn't start Infinite Jest, because my big dumb soul is too full of a beautiful, terrible hope. I read The Room and A Stolen Life as my 'beach reads' this summer. I recommended a vampire novel (Let the Right One In) to co-workers that are almost incomprehensibly smarter than me, and I did it with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. And if you think that I'm naive, that maybe a fourth-year English major should be a little more selective in her literature and spend a little less time on the internet, shut her big mouth and treat this serious business we call life with a little more respect, then,well. That would be something I would definitely take into account.

If you were the boss of me. 

1 comment:

Jenny said...

I love your posts, Zoe. They always make me smile and feel better about myself and my own quirks! Thanks for starting out my Friday with something good! Cheers from Atlanta, GA. :)