Adventures in Reading


I Ain’t Dead & Bookstore Happenings
December 13, 2008, 9:01 am
Filed under: maintenance, thoughtful | Tags: , ,

I’ve been absent over the past few weeks and though I had a rather light course load this semester, the conclusion of the year was pretty demanding. But everything is finished and today is my first day of nearly a month without any classes (though I will still be plugging away at the bookstore).

The bookstore has been interesting. We’ve been frightfully busy and anyone popping in would be surprised to learn of the economic situation of the country. Whether this is true or not, but I had one customer tell me that she believed people were looking to give more meaningful and lasting gifts this year. After all, there are few gifts as meaningful and lasting that you can purchase for the price of a book!

(Also allow me to add that at present I am not too keen on WordPress’ recent interface alterations. Usually tech-like changes don’t bother me in the least, but I don’t find it intuitive at all. Perhaps I just need to play with it a bit more. I just inadvertently deleted about 20 comments. Sorry!)



Humbug!
November 2, 2008, 2:47 pm
Filed under: thoughtful | Tags: , , , , , , ,

It is November already, can you believe it? and it has been many weeks since* I’ve said anything about working conditions at the bookstore. To say the least, the holiday season is upon us and I am not at all looking forward to months and months of Christmas music being piped in that I can’t ignore despite my best efforts.

The holiday season is not a period of jovial festivities in the retail world, but rather more reminiscent of war times where we’re all encouraged to bunker down, ration our resources, and heaven-help-us-all please wash your hands or we’ll all have strep throat by the end of the week! It doesn’t help that I’m not too keen on the holiday season to start with, and that yearly a handful of bad nuts wreck any optimism or hope I have for humankind.

On the good side, within two days the agonizingly painful maintenance count of the Obama versus McCain books will cease.

*Thanks Carson!



Bookends: Uppity Customers & Conclusions
September 2, 2008, 12:42 pm
Filed under: thoughtful | Tags: , , , , , ,

Of all the customers I see on a weekly basis, one of my personal least favorites is the uppity and competitive fiction reader. (This comes in closely with customers requesting the “new S.I.” [1] and expecting me to know immediately what they’re asking for.) I had one the other evening and the gist of the conversation is: “Have you read this? And this? And this? What, no? You suck. Why the hell would they employ you if they could hire me?” While I am a voracious reader and plow through a stack of books that even impresses myself, I sincerely hope that I don’t purposefully make people feel poorly or stupid because they haven’t read the same books or as many. But this customer always comes off as a little rabid and with strange bookstore illusions: that all we do is read fiction and tell customers about it. I wish!

A new feature that has been appearing at the closing of my reviews has been the mention of conclusion. During the year I’ve been Spring Cleaning my book collection by encouraging myself to read books I already own and limiting myself to acquiring books through Bookmooch. At least since the beginning of the summer, as I close the cover of each book I’ve read, I’ve had to make the decision to keep it, give it away/back, or Mooch it. Regardless of my reviewing abilities, my final decision says a great deal on what I thought of a book and I’ve decided to share that decision. Also, I’m going to begin listing the books I’m adding to Bookmooch before I actually add them. So if you see I’m adding something you’re interested in, please comment with your Bookmooch username and I’ll reserve the copy for you. [2]

[1] Apparently Sports Illustrated.

[2] For right now this is limited to other Bookmooch members because (1) I want to encourage the program and (2) I still have a great deal of books I’m interested in Mooching! [3]

[3] Generally, I have no problem Bookmooching between countries/continents.