Shortly after Sandy left this morning a group from the high school drama department came in looking to put up a poster for their "Band Geeks" show coming up.
Within the first 5 minutes of my shift I had a woman by herself, a woman with a stroller, a Latino in the Literature section talking on his phone, But all left without buying anything.
After they left, a girl from the California Aggie, the university paper came in to interview me as a store volunteer. Turns out what she really wanted to know about were the extra things Susan runs -- conversation groups for speakers of French, Italian, and Spanish, music nights, and poetry nights -- but I have never been to any of those. I did interview her about her career in Journalism and how long she'd been at the Aggie. I suspect I got more info from her than she got from me. We also talked about the future of journalism and whether or not newspapers are dying. Nice girl.
The interview did make me eager to return from our cruise and get fitted for hearing aids. I could barely hear any of her questions and she was sitting right across the desk from me.
A guy in a rust colored T shirt, with a beard, baseball cap, and dazzling white Nikes, spent some time looking at the "guy stuff" shelf, but ultimately bought nothing.
A young woman bought 3 foreign language books (French) for children.
A very tall older man with snow white hair and a Foxy Fall Century shirt (it's a bike shirt for a ride that was just held last week and has been going since the 1960s). He was looking for a book by John Lescroart ("less-kwah"), our local famous author. The customer hoped we had the book that followed the one he just finished and we did. People have told me that some of Lescroart's books (he writes mysteries) are better than others. I've only read one and got one of the "less good" books. I must give him another try, since Larry King says "John Lescroart is one of the best thriller writers to come down the pike.” and the Huffington Post says, "The writing skills of John Lescroart are a national treasure.”
A girl with a pink horizontal striped dress and spiky hair was looking for "Girl Interrupted" and a self help book, but didn't find either.
A middle aged couple came in. He was carrying a glass from the beer Stella Artois. He said for an additional $1 he got to keep the glass. He was pleased to find a book called "The Only Way to Cross" about the golden days of ship travel. His father-in-law, whose parents immigrated from Russia, were on the sister ship to the Mauritania and gave birth to their baby 3 days before reading New York, and there was a picture of the ship in the book. He said he and his wife were just dropping their daughter off at school and were then moving from New York to Florida.
A guy who looked like Michael Gelman, the producer of "Kelly and Michael" caught me in a big yawn and told me he was ready for a nap too. He was dressed all in skin tight black, with pants that came up to his mid calf. Every visible inch of skin visible from the neck down was tattooed.
Our old neighbor Loren came in and we were discussing our upcoming cruise. He said he really wants to go up the inland passage to Alaska but his wife doesn't like boats.
A guy carrying a bicycle wheel came in and asked me how books become out of print. When I explained, he said "I never understood that." Then he asked me how long I thought it would be before t he Harry Potter books became out of print. I explained to him the difference between "used" and "out of print" books and assured him we often have Harry Potter books, even though they are still in print.
A woman in jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt saw a book in the window and came in to buy it. It's called "Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking," subtitled "A memoir of food and longing." I had to look it up and read, "Born in 1963, in an era of bread shortages, Anya grew up in a communal Moscow apartment where eighteen families shared one kitchen. She sang odes to Lenin, black-marketeered Juicy Fruit gum at school, watched her father brew moonshine, and, like most Soviet citizens, longed for a taste of the mythical West....Anya and her mother decide to eat and cook their way through every decade of the Soviet experience. Through these meals, and through the tales of three generations of her family, Anya tells the intimate yet epic story of life in the USSR." The customer said she had read it before and says it is a fun read.
I ended up buying two books, one by Sarah Waters, whose stuff I like, and a book on Gilbert & Sullivan, which looked very good. I had to borrow a grocery bag to carry them home, since both are rather thick books.
A tall grizzled man who reminded me of Chill Wills came in to buy 4 bargain books (all mysteries) and then browsed the mystery section inside. He was followed by a jaunty fellow who was a "Bob Bowen" type (for those of you in Davis). He wore an aloha shirt in shades of green, hanging loose, and had shorts and the ubiquitous baseball cap. He bought a bargain book called "The New Russians"
Next was a woman and daughters whom I recognized from before. All three women were on their cell phones. Last time the girls had very heavy eye makeup. This time one of them was in one of those threadbare jeans, but it was so threadbare I can't believe she bought it that way. Last time they spent $50 on philosophy, poetry, music and mythology, as well as 4 fiction books. This time they went away empty handed. though the girls did take pictures of the book shelves with their cell phones.
A guy who looked like Santa, but who was slightly physically disabled and probably a little mentally challenged. He asked if we just sold the books in the store or if we ordered from other stores. I suggested he try the Avid Reader.
A woman was looking for a book called "Bless Me Ultima" which we did not have. She told me it was a good book and that we should carry it.
Finally, my friend didn't arrive until 5:20. He bought a mystery called "The Janissary Tree." Susan came in while he was there and they greeted each other familiarly...I'd been trying to explain to her who he was for some time now, but apparently she remembers him quite well.
Ned and Marta, and then Walt, all met at the store and we went out to dinner. We started "the talk" about what Walt's and my druthers are as we get older. It will be an ongoing talk because with my mother and Peach to worry about right now, I don't have the energy to think about that, but at 70+ for each of us, it's time to start thinking about something like that. I'm glad they took the bull by the horns and broached the subject.
I got e-mail from Brianna and from Lacie today. I was very excited!