It was a surprise to drive up to Logos today and see no less than six people standing outside looking at bargain books. As I got out of the car, all six entered the store, where Peter was at the desk, since Sandy was not able to make it in. The six people were an omen. The store was fairly busy all day long, except for about 30 minutes late in the day, which I am calling the "prayer hour," for reasons I will explain later.
The first customer of the day (one of those from outside) bought six books, 2 bargain books, one of Van Gogh paintings, and 3 encyclopedias--one of Dreams, one of Secret Signs and one of the Renaissance.
Peter had left two books on the desk and told me they belonged to "someone" but nobody seemed to be claiming them. Finally a small woman who searched the entire store for about 30 minutes told me that they were hers.
Three college type kids were in the children's room and came out with am armload of books. I rang up .20 for $2.00, so when the total came up, I mentally subtracted .20 (thank goodness the amount entered into the cash register doesn't really count for anything, just a way to open the machine).
A middle aged man bought a book of Modigliani paintings and then about 5 minutes after he left, I realized he had left his wallet behind. He came back about half an hour later for it.
A guy bought 2 contemporary fiction books. I had just reloaded paper into the credit machine, but had put it in backwards so nothing printed when I did the charge. He didn't mind. I reloaded the paper.
The small woman who had left the books on the desk told me she is "very picky" about her books, as she contined searching through every bookcase. At this point she had chosen 2 bargain books, one on biology and one on natural pharmacology, and a book on six Shaw plays. I noticed, as she stood at the humor bookcase, silhouetted against the front window, that she had many chins, but she was not necessarily a very large bodied woman so I wondered if she had recently had a major weight loss. She ultimately put the Shaw book back and substituted "Spanish for Nurses," which she bought along with six bargain books.
Two more college students were in the children's room and seem to intimidate a little red hair boy who stood outside looking in. The students left and the little boy went in.
A guy bought a book on auto mechanics.
The father of the kid in the children's room bought a Graham Green and The Jungle Book, plus another bargain book.
An Asian man with ear buds hanging over his ears (but not in them) wore heavy wool gloves as he looked through books. He ultimately left without buying anything.
A guy came in to ask when the half-price sale was and if he could pre-pay for books and pick them up on the sale day. I told him that the policy was no. He just had to take his chances that the books he wanted would still be there on sale day. He was sad.
Two girls came with 3 bargain books and "The Rosie Effect." I asked if they had read the previous "The Rosie Project" and when they learned there was a prior book, they decided not to take the second book and look for the first one first (which is a better book, I told them).
A woman bought an adventure book about running the Ididarod.
A middle aged couple spent a lot of time at the bargain books outside. Finally the woman came in. She was quite attractive, wearing a nicely tailored black top with black and red embroidery that looked like it might have come from Switzerland. She bought 2 mysteries, one of which was a Sherlock Holmes and the other by an author with whom I was not familiar.
Another woman bought "All Quiet on the Western Front" and a history book.
Next came the prayer hour. A man had found a coffee table type book on mountains in the bargain books and had gone to his nearby office to get his wallet so he could buy it. In the meantime a stocky man in a blue plaid shirt was looking through one of the bookshelves and when the first man came back in, somehow they started talking about the homeless, which morphed into a real Bible study discussion. The first man was head of something called "Christian Hypnotherapy" and had worked with the homeless. They compared beliefs, bibles (the first man says he has given away dozens of copies of the Scofield Study Bible). It was fascinating, though I couldn't hear much of what they were saying. I did hear the second man say he had "lost faith in organized religion." They swapped their personal salvation stories. They must have chatted for half an hour and ultimately the first man gave the second man his card and the two of them went off to his office around the corner, after the first man paid for his bargain book and the second man bought a book about cats.
As they were leaving a mother and her daughter came in. The little girl was 7-1/2 and excitedly told me that the last book she got there had been read to her many times and she loved it. I asked what the book was and she said it was Greek fables. The mom explained that she loved it because her name is Athena. They spent time in the children's room, and at one point, Athena came out and chose a book in Japanese and whispered to me that she was going to "play a trick on my mom" by asking her to read the book to her. She came back giggling and reported to me that "it worked." Ultimately Athena came out of the children's room with three books. There was a long bargaining between her and her mother about what household chores she was willing to do so her mother would pay for the books. They settled on a week of helping with hamster care and changing the litter in the cage. The books she bought were a book on making things with polymer clay, and two Berenstain bears books.
It was a fun way to end the day.