Monday, August 2, 2010
Middle Eastern CD's, Donald Miller, and...Genies?
A man called on the phone. He asked for Don Miller's first book, Born Again Rebel. I told him I wasn't familiar with that title by Don Miller, though it does sounds like it could be one of his. As far as I knew, Blue Like Jazz was his first book. (One never knows, though, sometimes there are lesser known books by authors.) On the computer, I could find Blue Like Jazz, Searching for God Knows What, Father Fiction, Through Painted Deserts, and his newest, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing my Life. We have three ways to search, our in store system, our online store and the internet. I couldn't find any book, anywhere, by Don Miller with the title Born Again Rebel.
"No Born Again Rebel? Are you sure?," the caller asked.
"I'm not finding it, and it's one I haven't heard of," I said.
The phone was quiet for a minute. "Waaaait a minute," the caller said slowly. "I think Born Again Rebel was the name of the article I read about him, not the name of his book. What are the titles of his books again?" I told him. He thanked me. I was glad he figured it out.
A woman called...
"I'm looking for a CD I just heard on NPR by someone who is Lebanese. It's Farar and Obyroot (I had no idea how to spell either one).
"We don't carry CD's in this store, I can look it up and see if we could order it...what's the name of the artist?"
"Oh would you? I really liked it. The name is Farar. She's Lebanese."
I search CD's for Farar. Come up with nothing. "How do you spell that? And what was that other name, was it the title of the CD?"
"F-A-R-A-R," she says. "Obyroot. I think it was the title. I don't know how to spell that. I really liked it. I hope you can find it."
"Okay, I'm not seeing it, let me search another system. I pull up google. I search Farar, Lebanese music. I get Farida, and a few titles, one of which has Iraqi (not Lebanese) in it. "Is it Farida?" I ask?
"Yes, that's it!" she says. "I have two titles, neither of which we have in the store, since we don't carry CD's, but both of them are available to order. Would you like me to order one or both of them for you?"
"No, thank you. I'll find them somewhere else."
Returning to the information desk, a woman was sitting on one of our stools in front of the counter. She had short, graying hair, a pastel peach t-shirt, and a cane.
"I'm looking for a book on genies," she said.
Trying to get more clarification, I asked, "Genies? Do you want a story about them? Or information about them? Is it for a child?"
"It's for me. I want to know the rules for using genies."
"Ah. Well, let's see what we can find." I search on the computer and find one book in the New Age section, The Encyclopedia of Spirits. I tell her about this one book, which has a section on genies, but the whole book isn't about genies. "I'm not seeing a book just on genies," I said.
"Genies are their own thing", she said. "Does that one have the RULES about genies?", she asked. "Like about getting three wishes and can you wish for more wishes? I need to know the rules," she said.
"Um, I'm not sure, we can go take a look. Here's the book." I left her looking at the book.