Wednesday, January 28, 2009

behind the counter

So I work two days a week at Aqua Books. And I've joked a bit, in my posts here, about figuring out how to come home with at least some of my paycheque.

But M, Aa and I are a bookish ensemble, to the extent that Anna knows that a meal in EAT! Bistro is always accompanied by a browse through the kids' section.

In addition to the proximity to books, which alone could be fatal to my bottom line, I also get to see books as they come in, arriving at the store in grocery bags and boxes.

... Middle-aged people selling their kids' English philosophy texts or chunks of their late parents' libraries. People who don't share their loved ones' interests or simply don't have the room. People who want to keep books in circulation or need the money. ...

And then there's my staff discount...

And so, in addition to filling out my library of known and beloved authors (and recommending same to browsing customers) I've also taken a chance on new authors as well as authors-new-to-me. On one-of-a-kind books, chock-a-block with illustrations or what I'd call 'sociologically interesting' texts.

But after almost a year working at a bookstore, I've slowed down a bit. I've got three stacks of books next to my bed, three stacks in the living room, and a stack next to the desk in my office.

I can't read everything in my stacks, nevermind everthing piling up the bookstore.

But these books called last week. And I listen, sometimes, to beauty...
Reading Women by Stefan Bollmann (Merrell, London, 2006)

A Passion for Plants: Contemporary Botanical Masterwords by Shirley Sherwood (Cassell & Co, London, 2001)

Aubrey Beardsley Greeting Card Book, Ed. by Theodore Menten (Dover Publications, New York, 1975)
My only regret?

That I spent part of this evening, after dinner was consumed and Aa was packed off to bed, blogging on these books instead of leafing through their pages...

7 comments:

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ah, books! I wouldn't last five minutes in a job like yours. I'd be parked in a corner of the store, lost in something or other. I'd be fired in a blink.

m said...

Completely judging the book by the cover, I now really want Reading Women. Please report back if it is worth reading.

Ariel Gordon said...

Nevermind the books, B, you'd never survive the dessert case...

I will report back, M, but from a cursory glance, I can tell you it's well worth coveting...

(I got a lavishly illustrated Emily Dickinson this week and a 1970s-era description of the Assiniboine Park Zoo.)

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ha! Speaking of which, I'd love to visit that dessert case some time this year. On a non writerly visit where we could tramp through the forest and then pour through shelves of books and then visit the dessert case once more.

Ariel Gordon said...

Oh, that sounds lovely...when?

(To persuade you to visit as well, M: I will give you Reading Women if you and yours make the trip to Winnipeg...)

Shawna Lemay said...

I also have Reading Women - a Xmas gift from R a while back. I can loan it to you M. though it's a nice one to have.

sms said...

sometimes I suspect that if I buy a book, I will read it just by osmosis as it sits neglected on my bedside table... the theory being that the letters, the words, the paras, the chapters, will tiptoe out of the book's leaves as I sleep and cuddle up in the grey folds of my brain...

a fantasy, obviously