Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Customers 36

A mom and her grown son approached the counter. She was wearing a pink sweater and jeans, he was wearing a white t-shirt and grey shorts.

The mom put a copy of 50 SHADES OF GREY on the counter next to the register.

"Is everyone and their mother buying this?", asked the son.

"Well, not everyone and their mother," I replied. "It's pretty..." I hesitated.

" and heavy?", the mother said, finishing my sentence.

"Yes." I said.

The son replied, "You're getting my wife hooked on crack, Mom," the son said, blushing.

The mom's face turned as pink as her sweater. "Yes, well," she said, and grabbed the book, handed it to her son, and said, "I just think she should read it." The son, still blushing, shook his head as they walked out.

"Have a good day," I said.


I answered the phone at the bookstore...

"How can I help you?"

"I'm looking for a book? I can give you the author? The author's first name is Leo, the first name is Leo. The last name is, um, here, I'll spell it for you..."

My first thought was Leo Buscaglia, not being an easy name to pronounce.

"So the first name is Leo, and the last's T, as in Tom, O - L - S, as in Sam, - T, as in Tom, O - Y. Tolstoy? And the title of the book is, um, Anna, um..." She trailed off.

"Karenina?", I finished for her.

"Yes! You know it? Oh, that's great!"

"Yes, I do know it. We have several different versions in the store. It's published by many different publishers and has different formats and different translators, translating it from the Russian."

"Different translators? Oh, I didn't know...I don't know which one I need. It's for my book group."

"They all tell the same story, and usually book groups aren't particular about having the same exact version. Classes for school often require a specific version."

"I don't know what they want. Oh dear. I'll have to get more information from the group. Oh, thank you for your help! I'll have to call you back!"

"Sure, good luck!"


A customer called and asked for the book, NIGHT WEASEL. The book he wanted was NIGHT, by Eli Wiesel.

Several of us from the store where I used to work are on a weekly trivia team. Each team has a name. We are the Night Weasels.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore


Recommended by a former co-worker, (highly recommended!), I think I would have been interested in MR. PENUMBRA'S 24 HOUR BOOKSTORE
icon even if I'd come across it on my own.

I see the title, and I'm loving it already. Mr. Penumbra is a mysterious and intriguing name. And there's a bookstore? That's open 24 hours? Excellent.

Clay Jannon is a thirty-ish man who finds himself working in Mr. Penumbra's bookstore. From the outside, and part of the inside, it looks like a normal bookstore. Clay finds that things are not what they seem to be.

First of all, the customers. They are (mostly) older and a little eccentric. They don't come to buy books, they come to check them out, like a library. The books they check out are not from the front of the store where the books are for sale, but from the back, from what Clay calls the "Waybacklist". Clay is instructed not to note only what books are checked out, but also the customers' demeanor when they come in, as well as what they were wearing, down to what kind of buttons were on their coats.

Why? Why this attention to seemingly trivial detail? What kinds of books are these?

I can't tell any more without spoiling it (and I can't tell all anyway, as I'm not finished with it yet. This is a book I am savoring). This book is delectable; funny, yet also touching on things like immortality and evolution; it has mystery, computers, puzzles, great characters, and of course, books.

And a bonus? The cover glows in the dark.

I'm loving this.

Clicking on the books cover will take you to Amazon's web page for the book. Clicking on the underlined title may take you to Barnes and Noble's web page for the book. Purchasing through these links helps support the blog. You can send us email: 2of3Rs(AT)gmail(DOT)com. Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Beauty of Trees, Indeed!

Last night a man came into the store. Short dark hair, wearing a brown shirt, and holding his phone, he waited behind the customer I was helping. The interaction took a while, so the man with the phone left the line and wandered around the front of the store. I finished with the first customer and I didn't see the man with the brown shirt. About half an hour later, he came back up to the register.

"I'm looking for a book," he said. "And I can't seem to find it."

"Sure," I said. "What's the title?"

"It's THE BEAUTY OF TREESicon by Michael Jordan."

I looked it up on the computer, and saw this stunning cover...


"We don't have it in the store, but it is on order. What a beautiful book! It looks as though we will be carrying it. Hmm, it looks like we ordered it in August and we haven't gotten it yet," I said.

"Yes, the publisher didn't release it until August." He paused. "I took the picture on the cover."

"Oh, wow!", I said. "That is an incredible photo! Where was it taken?"

"At Portland's Japanese Garden, almost exactly three years ago, so just about this time of year." He gave a small smile.

"It is a gorgeous photo! Do you have other photos in the book?", I asked.

He almost blushed, and was still smiling, "I do. The publisher said they'd send me a few free copies, but I haven't gotten them. I wanted to see it, so I came here."

"Well, there are plenty of copies in the warehouse, so it looks to me as though they should be arriving any time." I searched further. "And, it is slated to be on display on that big table right over there, so it will be featured for the holidays."

He turned to look at the table and smiled again. "That's great."

"I can order one for you if you'd like, but the store is getting some, And if the publisher is supposed to be sending them to you anyway...maybe you'll get them soon!"

"I think I'll just check back in the store. Thank you so much for looking it up."

"You're very welcome! And congratulations!"

Clicking on the book cover will take you to Amazon's web page for the book. Clicking on the underlined book title may take you to Barnes and Noble's web page. You can "like" us on our facebook page and also send us email: 2of3Rs(AT)gamil(DOT)com. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Handselling At My New Store

I'm working at a new store now, and I am still handselling the book I wrote, 7 STEPS TO FINDING YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFEicon, as my 100 Handsell book.*


Fortunately, I got to carryover the number of books I sold at my previous store location (31!), so I didn't have to start from scratch.

I sold three of my books last week, which is great!

I started with five copies of the book in the store, and the other night there were just two left. When I came in the next afternoon, the one copy that I had placed on a little plexi stand was gone. I wondered if it had sold after I left last night, or this morning before I got there, but no. I checked sales and on hand stock count and we were still supposed to have two copies in the store. One copy was in the section (the section a book is to be placed in is chosen by the publisher and corporate. I'm not sure I agree with the section choice, but that is a topic for another blog post), and the other was supposed to be on the plexi.

Except that it wasn't.

I looked, other booksellers looked, none of us could find the book. One possibility was that it got stolen.

Our store's community relations person saw me later in the shift and told me that she knew that I'd sold three copies of my book this week and how great that was.

"It is great!", I told her, "But I had two copies left and now we can't find one of the copies. I'm wondering if it got stolen."

She looked surprised, and then pleased. "Someone stole your book?? Wow, now you really rate!" And she gave me a high five.

Last night I was working and as I was organizing the books on the hold shelf, I saw that my book was in a group of books there, wrapped in papers, held for a customer. I'm glad the book wasn't stolen, but either way, somebody wants the book!

*You can see my post here: - for details about the handsell challenge.

If you're interested in finding out more about 7 STEPS TO FINDING YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFEicon, you can click on the book cover and go to Amazon's page for the book. Clicking on the underlined book title may take you to Barnes and Noble's page for the book. The Barnes and Noble links have been glitchy. Purchasing through these links helps support the blog. You can send us email: 2of3Rs(AT)gmail(DOT)com. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Customers 35

A young woman, early 20's, long hair piled in a bun, wearing a big scarf around her neck came to the Information desk.

"Can I help you find something?", I asked.

"Yes, I'm looking for A CABIN IN THE WOODS? Do you have it?", she asked.

"CABIN IN THE WOODS? From the movie?", I asked, trying to get clarification. I was not aware of a book from the recent horror/comedy movie, but maybe there was one. "It was a in the theaters fairly recently, is there a book?"

"Um, I don't think so," she said. "Um, there's a guy? And he's in a cabin? In the woods?..." She trailed off.

"Is it...THE SHACK?", I asked.

"That's it!", she said.

"Right over here, I'll show you. That we do have."


A man, late 70's, early 80's, white hair and moustache, came to the counter. I asked him if he had one of our member cards and he said he did, but told me I'd have to look up his membership with the phone number.

"Sure," I said. "What's your phone number?"

He told me his number, which had a nice repetition of numbers for the last four digits.

"That's an easy number to remember," I said.

"I'll have to tell you how I got that number," he paused. "I was calling the phone company and they gave me a number that I didn't like. My wife didn't like this very much, she was sitting right there, and I told the woman from the phone company: 'My wife is feeble-minded. I need a number that's really easy to remember,' and they gave us this one! My wife didn't like that so much." He shook his head and smiled.

"So she didn't need to have an easy number?", I asked.

"Nope. She was madder than anything, hearing me tell that woman that she was feeble minded," he said, still smiling.

"But you got a good number!" I was laughing. He was too.

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