Working in a bookstore is rather a lot of things.
But working in a bookstore is never, ever boring. (I rest my case. Forever.)
So I figured I would give a new weekly a try! Bookstories Saturday can’t be a bad idea, yeah? Some will be bookstore stories; some stories will be on books themselves.
And last night and today make for, I think, a lovely kickoff. :)
Last night, a man sidled up to me, rumbling out a request for a very specific biography of Abraham Lincoln, as he had perused the shelves and nothing seemed to strike his fancy.
It wasn’t any particular title that he wanted, no; not even one by any specific author or publisher.
No, this man wanted a biography of Abraham Lincoln that was “about his life story.”
Yes. The biography about his life story.
When my attempts to explain the general nature of biographies fell on deaf ears, I resorted to selecting a Lincoln biography at random, showing it to him, and cheerfully announcing, “This one is about his life story!”
And he blinked confusedly, turned around, and wandered away.
I’m still not entirely sure, but I learned long ago not to ask questions.
Tonight, however, a woman came up to me, knowing both what she wanted and what it actually was. She was after a copy of Rebecca Makkai’s The Borrower as a birthday gift for her sister, who is a librarian.
And as soon as I mentioned the second title, her eyes suddenly got wide. “You’re going to think I’m kidding, but…”
And she informed me that the aforementioned sister had called her just the night before, to share a “hysterical story”.
About a little girl finding a bat in her own library, hanging happily off of the bag in which they hold their unsorted dvds. (The girl, I was informed, did an admirable job of remaining calm as she fetched the librarian, but the moment she had it confirmed that her new would-be friend was indeed a bat, she began screaming “BAAAAAAAAAT!” at the top of her lungs and arguably terrifying the other patrons even moreso than herself.)
I don’t know who was more tickled at this coincidental turn of events: the woman, or myself. In either case, I bounced off to get that book for her as well, and she very excitedly informed me that she was getting it to give to her sister, who will undoubtedly turn and give it to the poor traumatised little girl.
I hope that it helps to calm her down, and to help teach her that the little bat just wanted to come appreciate the particular magic of books for itself. ♥