A man, maybe mid 30's, face stubbly, wearing jeans and a t-shirt came up to the information desk. "Can you help me? I read every night to my daughter, and we just finished A WRINKLE IN TIME and THE PRINCESS BRIDE. Do you have any recommendations with what I might read with her next?"
"How old is she?" I asked.
"She's 8," he said.
Handy that I taught third grade which is made up of mostly 8 year olds. I had a few ideas. "Have you read the CHRONICLES OF NARNIA with her?" I asked. "They are great and kind of along the fantasy vein."
"Well, she's seen the movies," he said. "Are the books good?" He seemed doubtful.
"They are great," I said. "Though if she's seen the movies...well, I think the books are really great. Maybe, though, you want to do something else with her if she's seen the movies."
I walked over to one of the young reader bays. "How about THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH?" I handed him a copy. "I love this book. I loved it as a kid and I love it now. My brother and I read it many many times when we were kids. I read it out loud to my third graders when I was teaching. I would take this book to a desert island, even now," I said.
"Wow," he said. He read the back of the book. "A tollbooth...hmmm..." he mused. "Okay." He kept reading. "This sounds perfect. Really, this looks great! I think we'll really like this! Thank you so much for your help!"
I'm glad he took THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH...I had more ideas if he didn't like that one...MRS. FRISBY AND THE RATS OF NIMH, the REDWALL series...
I have added CONTENTED DEMENTIA as one of my staff recommendations. There are now more than 100 copies in the warehouses, so maybe I will be able to handsell 100 copies of this as well as SCENT OF THE MISSING!
A customer brought CONTENTED DEMENTIA to the register to purchase it.
"This is wonderful," I said.
"Oh, have you read it?" she asked.
"I'm the one who wrote the blurb for it on the Staff Recommends bay," I told her. "It's a really different way of looking at people with dementia, and I really like the approach."
"Yes, it looks interesting." Then she asked, "Have you read STILL ALICE?"
"No, I haven't been able to read it. My mother had dementia before she died. It's just been too hard for me to read that one," I answered.
She looked at me. "It is fiction," she said.
"I know that it's fiction. It still hits too close to home for me because of my mother," I said. "I've been able to read some other novels about people with dementia...TURN OF MIND, EVENING...but I just haven't been able to read STILL ALICE. Every time I've started it, it's brought up memories of my own mother."
The woman pursed her lips and almost shook her head in disapproval. "Well it's really an excellent book."
"I've only heard good things about it," I said.
She still bought the book, I thought for a minute that she was going to change her mind because I hadn't read STILL ALICE. Yet.
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