It was a slow day at Logos, but there was a young woman who came in toward the end of the day who positively made my day. To that point the most exciting thing that had happened was reading things like this description of "drawing and quartering"...and how it's done.
(the next line continues "drawing and quartering.") So when you hear someone was drawn and quartered, now you know what they really mean! This was in a book about Scottish Highlanders and I had read something about this in the current Diana Gabaldon book I'm reading.
Anyway, earlier in the day, a woman walked in and immediately turned left and disappeared behind the first bookcase. On her heels was a young man who was looking for something "dark." Someone had recommended something for him last week and he read it but it wasn't exactly what he was looking for. He asked if I read anything "dark" that I could recommend.
At that moment I was reading a chick-lit book by Jennifer Weiner (which I decided I didn't like) and tried to hide the title so he wouldn't see it. I didn't want him to think I read books like that.
He said he was looking for something dark with a kind of a moral to it. He told me had read all of Steinbeck and Vonnegut and some Bradbury. I had nothing to offer him, but directed him to the sci fi section to see if he could find a Bradbury he had not read. Fortunately, he did and left happy.
I wondered, briefly, what had happened to the lady who came in ahead of him, but figured she had slipped out while we were chatting. I swear it was two hours later, when she turned up in the book shelves next to my desk. She had a stack of about 8 books in her hand and was browsing through the foreign language books. She had been there the whole time. She looked through some cookbooks, put her stack of chosen books on the floor, and walked to the table we have in front of the door, where she settled in, adjusted her shoes, called somone on the phone and then proceeded to read one of the books she had chosen, as if she were in her own living room.
She finally came to pay for the books. She had an accent which, at first, sounded like it might be Portuguese, based on the cadence, but then there was a bit of a gutteral sound to it that didn't sound like a Romance language, so I didn't ask her where she was from.
I asked her if she had been in the store before and it turns out she was visiting from Texas and she and her husband were staying with friends in Sacramento, but her husband was working at the university today so she was wandering around downtown "until I found this library." Library, hmm? I guess that explains why she made herself so much at home!
But then the young lady came in. She actually hadn't come in to browse, but to bring something for the store. She glanced at a shelf and saw a copy of "Gone with the Wind" on display. She pulled it off and asked if I'd read it. I said I had. "OK, like, do they get back together or what? I mean, she's already figured out she's a bitch and she wants the dude back, but she says she's going to go somewhere--like her old house maybe--and I just want to know if they get back together again." I told her that the ending was ambiguous and I guessed that Margaret Mitchell wanted you to decide for yourself. She told me she didn't like books that ended like that.
She sounded like the young woman who came in last week, looking for her first book. She had never owned a book before but she thought it would be nice to have "East of Eden" all for herself.
But the young woman today then went on to give me examples of other books she's read where she liked the book, but not the ending. She told me she had read "The Trial" by Kafka and she kinda of liked that, but not really and then she tried "the one about the giant bug." "Metamorphosis?" I asked (proud of myself for knowing that! I haven't read Kafka!). "Yeah. Man, I couldn't read that book. It was too creepy!"
She then talked about "Anna Karenina" and how she started reading that and decided 900 pages was too long so she decided to see the movie instead, but she had read part of the book and the movie made the dude seem less cruel than he was in the book and she liked the story in the movie (except why did it have to end sadly), but like the way it was shot was very distracting.
Somewhere along the line she told me she had ADD and the rapid delivery of her speech kind of went along with it, but I found her amazing. From her first few sentences I pegged her as a not very well read type and it turns out she has read extensively, she just uses words like "like" and "dude" when discussing the classics.
Definitely the most fun part of my day!