People have started their holiday shopping...
A woman came up to the information desk. In maybe her late 60's or early 70's, she was wearing black slacks, black shirt, black and gold sweater, and had dark brown hair. She had black rimmed glasses.
"I need some books," she said. "I need books about chickens, roosters, dragons, tap dancing and World War II."
"Okay," I said. "Are you looking for specific titles? Or did you just want to see what we have on those topics?"
"No, not specific titles. I'm buying for certain people and they are interested in these things."
"Well, we have some books right here about chickens, these are mostly how to raise chickens...I do know of at least one picture book we have about chickens."
"No, I don't want to know how to raise them. The picture book would be good."
I retrieve EXTRAORDINARY CHICKENS and hand it to her.
"Oh! This is great! Thank you!"
"I don't think we have any books that are just about roosters," I said.
"But this one should have roosters in it, won't it?"
"I imagine so," I said.
"So dragons," she says.
"If this is a gift...how old is the person who likes dragons?"
"He's 17. He also likes to read about World War II. Dragons and World War II," she said.
"We have some books on dragons that are for younger kids, but I'm pretty sure we have a nice one here in science fiction." We have two books with dragon art, one hardcover and one large sized paperback. She opts for the paperback as it's less expensive.
"I am getting these now because my sister is coming and I can send them back with her for Christmas. That way I won't have to mail them," she said.
"Oh, that sounds like a good idea," I said. "So the 17 year old is interested in World War II also?" I take her over to the history section. There are two large bays just about World War II. "These are arranged by author, which makes it a little harder if you're looking for a specific topic in the war, but it's a fairly extensive section."
"Hmm," she says. "Don't you have anything like the chicken book, something about World War II in pictures?"
"We probably do." I take her over to the bargain section. "This one is about the Nazis..."
"Oh, we don't want to use that word in the title. I don't think his mother would approve of that."
"Um, okay. Well, here's one about the fighter planes of World War II..." I point out a few other titles, some about the weapons of the war, one of color photographs from World War II. I did not point out a copy of MEIN KAMPF. It didn't seem as though that would go over very well.
"Oh, that would just be too much. No," she said.
"Well, there are the books that are written about the war, some historical, some of first hand experiences, which are in the history section over where we were before. And then there are books here, which are mainly pictorial. They may be a little intense because they are photographing the war...he is 17...you'll have to decide what's best for him," I said.
"Well, I'll have to figure out what I want to do. Okay, so what about tap dancing?" she said, shifting gears.
"We probably don't have much about tap dancing specifically. We might have a few books about dance that include tap dancing. How old is the person who likes tap dancing?"
"He's 10. Well, he does take ballet too. And there's the sister who also likes ballet. She's 13. Do you have any books on ballet?"
"We have quite a few books for little kids on ballet, not a lot for a 10 year old or a 13 year old. We do have a dance section, we can see what's there..." I take her over to the dance section. There are a few books about dance...here's one...though I'm not sure it has anything about ballet or tap dancing...
"Oh no, that won't do," she said. "Her mother would not like her looking at that picture, you can bet on that."
"Okay, well, there isn't much here, I'm afraid. I can look up and see what we can order. I'll also check through the bargain section, sometimes there are books about ballet there." I look through the bargain section and don't find anything about ballet. I come back and tell her. "I didn't find anything in the bargain section, would you like me to see what might be available to order?"
"No, that's all right. This will be fine. Thank you so much for your help."
Whew! And it's only October!
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