Friday, June 8, 2018

Visitors to Bookland


Baby Potato's confidence has grown so much, living with the other Reds, she wanted to come to the bookstore with me today, all by herself! This was her first outing on her own, and she really liked watching all the goings-on, from a nook among the goodies on my desk.
You can see three book covers I salvaged off damaged books.

1. Tucked into a lidless hatbox I recovered from the trash, the cover of War and Peace with what appears to be a photo of toy soldiers

2.  I stuck in a frame the suitably slashy cover for The Price of the Phoenix, a Star Trek novel (1977, Bantam Books), in which Spock has to kiss? or somehow awaken with his touch? a Sleeping Beauty Kirk--I haven't read it, but something like that, according to a review on DeviantArt. 

3. I saved that Washington Whispers Murder cover for ---can you see?--the woman, hand to head in a display of horror, in front of the US Capitol. Ha!
Calls out for a "CAPTION THIS" contest.

Also there's a wee elephant creamer, just because, and a Star Wars C3PO Pez dispenser from the 1990s. I checked it on ebay and it's only worth a couple bucks. 
But this is exactly the sort of thing that gets shoplifted, so I'm going to hang onto it until I can put together a larger grab-bag of Star Wars goodies.
(I'm doing that with a few other things too.)

Besides Baby Potato, I had another visitor at work--Marz.
Like bink, she spent a couple hours helping me rearrange books--and moving bookshelves:

a huge thanks to both of you!

The Book's Not For Buying

I have now spent 28 hours cleaning, sorting, and rearranging books at the thrift store--and adding tie-ins. A CD of the soundtrack to Bridget Jones's Diary, a boxed DVD set of the Lord of the Rings, and X-Files mug (no tie-in, but it's all media), etc.

Sixteen of those hours were paid ($10/hour). After tomorrow, I think it'll be largely in shape, and mostly a matter of maintenance.

It's funny: 
as with ebay, I sometimes feel sad when certain things sell quickly at the store, even though that is, of course, the whole point. But since Isherwood's Berlin Stories sold 2 days after I'd turned it face-forward, I miss it...

Every single fiction book is priced at 99 cents. Some of these books are a real steal. The boss has suggested raising the prices, but unless he insists on it (and he might), I am happy to leave it. 
Nonfiction is priced per book---it might make sense to do that with fiction, but that'd be more work. Effort & will is not a problem, but limited time is.

The Right Sardine

I showed the boss around before I left today and pointed out the changes I've made.  I like the boss a lot and admire his skill with people, but I felt a bit let down:
I knew it wouldn't––couldn't––be forthcoming, anymore than I could offer specific appraisal of a sports performance, but I guess I still secretly did want specific praise (or even criticism) of the "I see what you've done there" kind. I mean, that's what baby-me was programmed to receive.

But my boss has straight out told me, "I don't read" (except the Bible)--he's never been to Barnes & Noble or the downtown library (I was mentioning their color scheme)--so specificity just wasn't on the menu. 

He did say nice things--"colorful, inviting"--but naturally didn't say anything like, 
"I like [or don't like] how you've put those cat stories in the pets section";
or, "Interesting choice to shelve the [black magazine] Essence romances in literature instead of with Barbara Cartland",   
or, "Do you think we should price that Isherwood higher?" (He couldn't say that BECAUSE IT WAS ALREADY SOLD when he got there). 

But I'm in a thrift store---not a library. As far as I can tell, my coworkers generally aren't readers. A guy who is supposed to help me shelve books told me he can't alphabetize. I have to accept and adapt to that and be creative about interacting with my coworkers, and not look to them for booky feedback. 

The customers I meet in the book area do read, of course. 
One guy asked me if we had a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. (Not at the moment, but I bet we will.) Another pointed out the Redwall fantasy books with mouse protagonists, on the shelf, [I didn't know them] and said seeing them took him back to his childhood. 
A woman said she's read all of Jodi Picoult, and another said she liked my Minnesota Authors section. An older guy in all-flat-black clothes told me he's interested in Catholica. I knew what he meant but had never heard the word.
Someone pointed out the "Drama Queen" purple mug I've put with other mugs on the shelf that's too small for even , short paperbacks and said it's good for Pride Weekend. I've lost track of when that is (end of June?), but appreciated the association.

So, there's the feedback I want. I don't want to in any way set up my boss or my coworkers by looking to them for something they don't have. 
They do and say lots of good --or interesting--stuff--definitely NOT out of the Approved Communications List liberal lefties (like me) were issued.
A coworker was talking about a transgender person---he obviously didn't approve, but I burst out laughing when he said that this person "came in through the wrong door".

I know this may seem small, but I was pleased and even a little touched when my neighbor in the donations warehouse, who works on electronics, offered me some mini–Tootsie Rolls yesterday.
I'm with St. Teresa of Avila who said that if you gave her so much as a sardine, she was yours for life.


gz said...

What a place to work..bliss!
Redwall..I bought them all when I was working in a bookshop, read them before the kids did..those menus!! I think they got passed to other families as mine stopped reading them.

"came in through the wrong door" interesting description. I wonder how someone I know who was born with both sets of equipment inside,and one set out, would be seen, in that case?

Frex said...

Hi, GZ!
I had never even heard of Redwall--I must give it a try.

Eeek-- I should have said my coworkers say "interesting" things---not "good" things--I've gone back and changed that.
"Coming in through the wrong door" is interesting, but I don't endorse it! ("wrong" being a negative judgment on a morally neutral situation).
But it was such an unexpected way of putting it, I laughed.

This coworker does not read, he is not well informed, and doesn't seem to deal in complexities, like the medical situation you mention. But he has an interesting back-story & history of oppression himself--funny how that doesn't necessarily make people more empathetic toward others---I might write more about that some time...

Michael Leddy said...

I seem to remember my kids reading Redwall books.

A sardine? I have something in common with a saint!

The Crow said...

I know how St. Avila (sp?) feels about sardines! I want to visit the annual sardine festival in Portugal before it's my time to swim off to join the Great School in the Infinite Sea.

The Crow said...

Oops, that should be St. Teresa of Avila. I hope she forgives my error.

Anonymous said...

Such fascinating co-workers!

Although I do totally understand about wanting some type of positive comments. I think it's a hangover from the cavemen/women and the bringing home of a large animal for food which everyone celebrated.

Now I'm on the hunt for the Isherwood! I did find a Dalton Trumbo today-Johnny Got a Gun. I did not realize he wrote it. One of the most anti-war and depressing movies I have ever seen. Saw it on my campus during the Vietnam war.