It was good to see Sandy again. We commiserated on last night's debate, which she decided she just couldn't watch, but had heard reports about, and about our fears for the coming election. I wonder what the people in the store at that time were thinking. Nobody joined in the conversation, and none of the ones there at the time bought books.
A nice lady from El Cerrito, near San Francisco, came in with a bag of books to donate, unhappy to hear we are no longer accepting donations. We directed her to the SPCA thrift store.
A couple came in and the woman went directly to the literature section, and grabbed a book, holding it victoriously in her hands (I found out later it was "Death of a Salesman" which she has been looking for). She looked around some more and found three more contemporary fiction books she liked. She asked a good question--if we are no longer accepting donations, does that mean that the book selection won't change within the last two months. I told her Susan and Peter are still going to book sales, so there would be some sort of turnover.
Several men came in and looked around and left, Finally Santa walked in. Or his twin brother. He had snow white hair and a show white beard and was wearing jeans and a plaid shirt. He had a broad face and a round little belly. He was also chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf. He bought a book about Frida Khalo so if any of you have that on your Christmas list, congratulations. Santa is coming through for you!
A man with very red hands -- almost as if they were frostbitten, though unlikely in today's warm weather, bought 2 John LeCarre books and two contemporary fictions. He returned a bit later with his wife. I recognized him by his jaunty hat. The wife bought 4 books on architecture and told me she was remodeling their house, which she had never done before, and wanted ideas to confer with the guy who was doing the work. She also bought a book of Japanese verbs and a book called "Two Years on the Yangtze," which I may or may not have read around the time we were going to China. The title sounds familiar and I know the author's name is familiar.
A tall woman with white hair piled on top of her head in a bun came in, reminding me of Dorothy in The Golden Girls until she walked toward me when I could see she was much too young and had botoxed lips. She didn't buy anything
The next woman didn't buy anything either, but I was wearing my "Litograph" shirt, with text from Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" written teeny teeny teeny to fit around the outline of the standing stones in Scotland where the book starts. She said she liked the shirt and had been thinking of getting one of those shirts for herself.
A woman stopped by the store and looked in the window and then quickly came in and picked up the book "Homegoing" which she said is a new book that is on everybody's "to read" list and she was thrilled to find it for only $6. It was only published in June of this year and was a New York Times best seller.
I had been reading the two chapters I never got to finish of "The Cat Who Went to Paris" which I almost finished last week and went looking for a new book. I found "The Girl in the Spider's Web," which is #4 in Steig Larsson's "Millennium" series. I had read the first three, but sadly Larsson died in 2004, at age 50 after climbing 7 flights of stairs to his office because the elevator was not working. His fans mourned that we had seen the last of Lisbeth Salander, but a brave man, David Lagercranz has written the fourth book in the series and so far it's quite good. I brought it home to finish.
About now, the cash register tape was running out and I had to put in a new roll. I'm generally pretty good at doing that, but for some reason, this particular role was quite stubborn and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get it to pick up after all and my friend would be by soon and always needs a receipt. But finally I did get it to work. Close call. He arrived about 15 minutes later.
This time he bought out our collection of Mary Poppins books (3 books) and we talked about the book I was reading. He asked if it lived up to the original three but by that time I had barely started it and couldn't say.
An older man with white hair and stooped posture came n, hands clasped behind his back, and asked where the mystery books where. I showed him an he looked through the section and left without buying thing...or unclasping his hands!
A girl brought in a flyer for the Davis Treat Trail, companies that will be giving out candy on Halloween. We talked a bit about it, she left the flyer for Susan and Peter to put I their window and left some little flyers on the front table, explaining what it was all about. I think they have participated in the event every year.
A guy sat at the front table for a long time looking through a book, which he finally bought -- "Christian Mythology."
Another guy bought a book called "Random Walks in Biology" which reminded me of my years working in the Physics Department at Berkeley when my boss, Fred Reif, wrote "Fundamental of Statistical and Thermal Physics," which I have mentioned before. The only thing I remember from that book (other than how long it was and how many times I typed the 650 page book (which now sells on Amazon for $100) was the random walk problem. One of the examples Fred used was a drunk leaning against a lamppost and the fact that there was no way you could predict which way each step would go because he was too drunk and would take steps left and right randomly. When the book was finished, I found a little statue of a drink leaning against a lamppost and gave it to him.
Walt was off in San Francisco at a "geezer dinner," a gathering of several "old" Lamplighter guys--actors and tech guys--who get together periodically for pizza and beer. It was nice that they had it at the home of one guy who has been pretty much house bound because of pain for several years now. He used to come to our annual Gilbert dinners, but can't make it any more. Walt said it was good to see him again.
I rode the bus home, which gave me an hour to read my book before confronting the hungry dogs who were ecstatic that someone had finally come home to feed them.