When I arrived at Logos today, Sandy said it had been a quiet morning. She had only 8 sales and guesstimates that she'd made about $60. There were already people in the store when she left, so I figured I was ahead of the game to begin with.
But it started slowly. I decided not to bring the Van Gogh book this week because I felt like reading something by Bill Bryson. I brought his "Shakespeare, The World as Stage" and had lots of time to read it. Absolutely fascinating book. Not for what it tells you about Shakespeare, but what it doesn't tell you about him. For a playwright so famous, you'll be amazed to find out what we do not know about him!
In time a middle aged woman came in looking for DVDs or books about classic movies. Couldn't help her with the DVDs, but I did direct her to our meager supply of books about movies. She didn't find anything she liked, but as she was leaving she told me she was walking and wanted to know if there was anywhere where she could buy an apple. I couldn't think of any place off the to of my head other than the Co-op, which is a bit of a schlep from Logos, but I told her I had some mandarins with me and offered to give her one. She was thrilled. Then, as she was leaving, I remembered that there is a Whole Foods about 3 blocks away, so gave her directions to there.
A very dirty man came in holding a limp, wrinkled dollar bill and asked if I could give him four quarters, which I did. I don't think he even knew it was as book store!
A young man looked through the cookbooks and chose "The World of Bread Making," which I assured him was a great book that I had been making bread out of for many, many years. I told him that if his mother liked to bake bread, she would love the book.
A very tall man with the bear of someone in the cast of Mad Men came in, looking for detective novels. He browsed for awhile (our supply only takes up one bookcase) and didn't buy anything. I told him to check outside, because many of the mystery/detective books are on the bargain carts, but he didn't buy anything.
Two women in exercise-type clothing came in, drinking soft drinks in paper cups, with straws. I wondered if those were yoga outfits when I noticed that one of the women was wearing a yoga t-shirt. She also had 2 watches on her wrist. Neither of them bought anything.
A very tall woman talking on her cell phone came, looked through the humor section, and then walked out, still talking on her cell phone. She never made eye contact.
It was 3 p.m. now. I had been there an hour and had sold only one book.
I kept hearing the sounds of people in the book store, but everybody that I had seen enter had been accounted for. Suddenly a man appeared from the back shelves. I had never seen him enter. He smiled and left. Another no-sale.
Two girls with a bike and a dog were walking by outside when one of them grabbed a book off the bargain cart and started squealing "oh my god! oh my god!" I was certain she would come in and buy whatever the book was, but whatever made her so excited was returned to the cart and they went on their way.
But a young man came in with a bargain book, saying he was amazed to find something by Jewish philosopher Martin Buber out there. He said he always stops by the store to see if there is anything that interests him, he paid his $1 and left.
A guy with Alfred Einstein hair and a long beard came in checking the foreign language books (Spanish, I think), but he didn't buy anything.
A middle-aged man with droopy jowels came in and bought a book on some political subject.
A guy in shorts with a tank top and a baseball cap with a "P" on it, came in and asked if we had books on dog training. I showed him where they were. He said he was looking for something Cesar Milan, which he found. When I was ringing him up, asked him about his dog. He said he's going to be getting a Rottweiler/Doberman mix next week and told me that right now the dog has heartworms and will have to undergo treatment. He took Cesar Milan with him and left.
There was a lot of noise at this point. It was a nice day and the front door was opened. A car drove by with the sound cranked up to the top and the driver singing so loudly he drowned out the speakers. Fortunately he didn't stay in front of the store very long!
A man with a pony tail so long it almost reached his waist came in looking for a specific children's fantasy book. I directed him to both the fantasy section and the children's section, but he didn't find what he was looking for.
The weird guy from a couple of weeks ago came in with 2 bargain books on gardening. There is no tax on outside books, so his purchase came to only $2 and he handed me two dollar bills that reeked of cigarette smoke.
Sandy came back with four bags of books to donate, but had to leave quickly because she was illegally parked.
A girl came in and bought 1 literature book and two books of poetry. She paid in cash and says she always gets cash before she comes into Logos so she's not tempted to buy too much.
A man who looked like a Native American (but who had a Mexican name) came in. He had long straight black hair that reached to his shoulders and he was wearing black leather kilts. He was looking for books on philosophy or poetry. I thought he left withing buying anything, but he was just hidden. He ended up being the biggest sale of the day -- $33.48 for 4 literature books and 4 philosophy books)
A guy who regularly comes in with donations brought a backpack full of mysteries, then checked out the mystery section, but didn't see anything he liked.
Bruce (the guy in white who staples things to his sweater) came in. No sweater today. He was only here a short time and then left without buying anything.
More interest outside -- three women spent a lot of time in the romance section of the bargain books cart, but didn't my anything, and a guy nicely dressed in a suit walked by with a brace of 3 dogs, which I thought was a nice picture.
It was 5 p.m. and I thought "my friend" was not coming in (he's almost always there before 5), but he came in at 5:08 and bought a book about Japan. I didn't catch the title, but it had "Shogun" in it. I had to make change for him and didn't screw it up this time!
A young woman in a navy blue business suit, looking very professional came in, made the periphery, then checked the bargain books, then left without buying.
A guy in jeans and a sport shirt spent some time in the foreign language books, looking thrugh them while checking things on his cell phone, and sighing. We left without buying anything, heaving a huge audible sign and slapping his thigh in disappointment, while still having the cell phone to his ear.
There was an influx of customers (4-5) near 6, lots of foot traffic outside (people and dogs), a train whistle in the distance from the nearby train station, and backed up traffic behind a bus whose motor was revving.But none of that was my problem. Peter and Susan's son Tom had come to relieve me. I counted my sales and I, too, had made only 8 sales, but my largest sale was $10 bigger than Sandy's, so I may have won today.
Walt showed up to take me to the car, and it was time to go home for another week.