I was disappointed to arrive at Logos and discover that Sandy was not there again. Actually I had spoken to her a couple of hours before and she gave no indication that she would not be there, but when she arrived at the store, the woman who worked last week was working and told Sandy she could go home. At least this time I took charge of my own books and unloaded them myself (last week she refused to let me unload my own books). Harrumph! But she stuck around for an hour because someone was coming to interview her, which interview took place at the front table while customers milled around.
Before she went to wait for her interviewer, though, she finished up with a customer who was there when I entered. I can only describe him as a pompous prick. When she told him that the books on chess he was looking at were donated by a woman, he exploded, "a WOMAN? What in the world was a WOMAN doing with a book on chess?" She said that she probably wanted to learn to play better and he said "Women can't play chess!!" and then disdainfully tossed the books aside and said "these are for babies." I was glad he was HER customer and not mine.
My first customer was a guy with a UCD Medical School t-shirt, who plopped a stack of books he had carried into the store down on the chair next to the desk and went to check the shelves. He came back with a big medical dictionary. I had only been there less than 15 minutes and was batting 1000 -- didn't like him or his attitude either.
A woman from the art gallery next door came in with a flyer about an art fest that is taking place soon, to let store owners know that part of the street is going to be blocked off.
A tall, sun-bleached blonde guy in a pink shirt and baby blue shorts came in. He didn't tickle my gaydar and when he bought a coffee table book on convertibles (the automobile kind), I could see I was right. He gave off more of a "Hamptons" vibe. He also bought another coffee table book on John Muir's Longest Walk.
A woman with a black backpack accented by hot pink straps, wearing trainers with bright pink socks bought a book that cost $4.88, She gave me $4.05 and left. That was all she had, she said. I wasn't going to quibble over 83 cents, but I thought it the height of chutzpah. We have what started out as a penny bowl on the desk where people put their unwanted pennies and we use when things are something like $4.01, so I don't have to give them .99 cents in change. Lately people have been putting in other change too, nickels and dimes. I got almost 83 cents out of the bowl, so I figure we were OK on the price, but I didn't tell her that. I just told her that the next time she came in, she could make it up. I wonder if she will.
Two zaftig women who were in a week ago were back. I think they are mother and daughter. Anyway, the daughter bought "Fanny Farmer Baking."
An older gentlemen (I always say that cautiously, because he was probably younger than I am) bought 3 bargain books, 3 books on agriculture and farming and a book on politics by Ronn Owens, well known San Francisco talk show host
In my spare time, I was finishing up a book about scientists in Africa that I have been reading for about a month (putting it back on the shelf at the end of my work day--it has not sold in that time) and thinking about Char and the pain she is going through at the death of one of her best friends, which always leads my thinking to loss in general. I came to this quote which I had to copy: "We need more than strangers around us. Matt and I had studied the significance of social systems of other species for decades, but in doing so, we had left our own families. And what we learned is that it is not so much that the troop is incomplete without some of its baboons or human beings, but that the individual baboons or human beings are incomplete without their troop." Profound. (Kind of reminds you about what Dorothy learned about her heart's desire in Oz, doesn't it?)
A man in shorts and very bright orange trainers came in looking for non-fiction. While he was there it became old home week for him, his wife, and another couple who showed up. They took their visiting outside and then the second couple left and the orange man (not Donald Trump) came back with 2 bargain books 2 contemporary fiction and one of the books I had brought in a week ago, a biography of Anna Leonowens, about whom The King and I was written This was the true story behind the fairy tale (and not nearly as glamorous!)
A guy handed me two books and said that this was probably the oddest combination I'd ever seen and I had to tell him it didn't even come close He bought a geology book and a book of short stories.
The woman I relieved finally left at 3 p.m., complaining (with just cause) about how hot it was and that she had to ride her bike home. I wish I knew why I don't like her. She really seems like a nice enough person.
"Pete Seeger" was back hunkering down by the music books again, then wandering around for a long time before he left, Nothing for him in the store today either.
A guy in skin tight tights and colorful shoes with no socks was in the store for a long time. He would find a spot with books he was interested in then hunker down surrounded by books with his cell phone on...I don't know if he was checking information or taking pictures. At one point, he left and told me he was leaving his pile of books aside and would be back. I actually can't remember now what he bought, but he bought several books, including 3 classic literature books.
A boy of about 10-12 came in with a huge bag. I asked him if it was a musical instrument and he told me it was his trumpet and he was just looking around until time for his trumpet lesson. I thought that was cool that a young kid would want to spend his spare time looking around a used book store.
My friend came in shortly after 5 and yes, he did want the book he set aside last week. I asked if he knew our friend Steve, who is kind of a big deal in theater and music around here, and he said he knew his name, so I told him that it was Steve who had donated the book. I thought he might like to know that.
My last customer was quite a character. Actually he didn't buy anything but talked for a long time. He struggled in the door with his walker and then stood there, looking lost and saying that he knew what he wanted before he came in, but now that he was inside he couldn't think of it. He said he knew he has dementia and we discussed dementia, then we discussed how he has lost his ability to taste most foods, though he could still taste steak, but not other cuts of beef (he can also taste cheesecake...I asked him -- steak and cheesecake, what more did he want?). then we discussed his former life as a fisherman in Alaska and how terrible locally farmed fish tastes and why it tastes so bad. He must have discussed a dozen other topics (he's a Bernie supporter) before he finally left with a friend who had come in while we were talking.
It was a nice way to end the Logos day, compared with how it started
And I had such wonderful news today. Author Harlan Coben, who has written ten books about one of my favorite sleuths, Myron Bolitar, but pretty much ended the series in a way that it was unlikely to be continued, much to my dismay. I have read and enjoyed other books by Coben, which don't feature Myron, but I really miss Myron and his world. Coben announced on Facebook that he has brought back all the Myron Bolitar characters in a book to be released in September. I am a happy camper!