Cue the Music.

It is Monday at 8:58.  I am a bookseller.  The store opens in two minutes. I am not at the store. I am sitting by my fire, in my robe (sorry, no picture – too scary). Two intrepid booksellers are at the store, turning on the lights, booting up the computers and already answering the telephone. Stashing their lunches in our little refrigerator and mentally calculating if coffee is more needed now or in the late afternoon, they may add a review to, or face a new book out after hearing an NPR review this weekend.

Cue the music. Nice browsing music. Seven days a week for over 10 years this dance has not stopped. It has officially become a Dance Marathon. Most days it is a rhythmic waltz and some days it is a frenzied Boot Scootin’ Boogie, but the Dance goes on.

They don’t just dance. They read! Reading is vital to the heart and mind of each bookseller. The bonus is that they also genuinely like people and are equally as interested in what customers are reading. They are honest, hardworking, undercompensated, and loyal. My customers trust them to guide them to their next book. One of the most wonderful wisps of melody that floats back to my attention in the office is hearing a bookseller tell a customer at the counter about the last book they stayed up late to finish. Often that will include favorite passages and animated hand gestures Some might call that handselling a book. I call that enthusiastic sharing with another human being about the things that enrich their lives. Music to my ears!

The most meaningful bookselling involves, perhaps requires, interaction and sharing of ideas, recommendations and favorites. That is what makes us tick at Inklings, and I dare say, at all other bookstores – especially independents.

So I, too, am a reading bookseller. Torn between staying here in my cozy chair and waltzing deliciously into Jonathan Evison’s book, West of Here, or getting to the Ball before the stroke of Twelve. Torn, I tell you. But my feet are itching to dance.




Published in: on March 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. And you dance so well–with so must zest, knowledge and love for the dance!

    I loved your last post, too. Thanks for the many ways you are a glimpse of glory for so many of us!

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