At Logos last week, I had a whopping total of 3 sales, with a few other customers in the store. Normally I write notes on a quarter sheet of paper, an 8-12 x 11 piece of paper torn into 4ths. In a normal week, I fill four sheets of paper. Yesterday, when Walt arrived to pick me up I had just started my EIGHTH sheet of paper. It was last minute gift buying day! Susan tells me that we sold $399 worth of books!
I needed to go to the bank, which is across the street from Logos. I'm so frustrated. I have used my pin on ATM machines for over 10 years and suddenly it's just..gone. I know the four numbers, but I cannot for the life of me get them in the right order, so I have to deposit a check at the bank and get my pin switched. I had hoped to do that before working, but we left the house a little too late so I was going to ask Sandy if she could stay just a bit longer, but her wife was there with their granddaughter, so I didn't.
Thinking the store was empty we were talking quite openly about our latest favorite subject: the upcoming Trump presidency. Today we were talking about his decision to up our nuclear capabilities and what a danger that was after decades, ever since the Sainted Ronald Reagan, of working to reduce nuclear arms around the world. It's probably not the conversation we would have had with customers in the store, but suddenly this very tall guy with a French accent appeared, making a statement about France's nuclear capabilities. That was a surprise!
The next guy to come in was kind of a blend of Anderson Cooper and Mister Rogers. He didn't buy anything either, but I had to mention him because I loved the visual I had of him!
3 women came in, looking like mom, daughter, and grandma. Grandma had kind of a sour look and said loudly 'What are we DOING here?" I couldn't tell if she was being funny...or if maybe she was like my mother, who would probably wonder the same thing. The mom bought a book of ancient civilizations of somewhere I can't remember and the daughter bought a history of Greece.
A portly red-headed bearded guy searing a Bob Marley shirt under his dark corduroy jacket had worn-looking shoes with toes that turned up almost like those of elves. His rumpled jeans dragged on the floor over his shoes. He wore his sun glasses on top of his head and he spent a long time looking through the literature and the history sections, but ultimately didn't buy anything.
A woman who looks like my blog pal Mary Wise looked at cookbooks briefly and then bought a book on pizza.
A woman asked questions about the future of the store and of the French discussion sessions, which I told her I assumed would not continue with the transfer of ownership to Friends of the Public Library. She bought a bargain book.
A man arrived with an armload of wrapped Christmas packages. I said "Oh you shouldn't have" and he gave a small smile at my pathetic joke. He bought a big coffee table book on the Bayeux tapestry from the window display.
A woman came in with a bargain book and asked for directions to a news store. I told her how to get to Newsbeat, just a couple of blocks away. She asked if she could leave the book there and get it later, which I said she could do. I had told her to turn right out of the store; she turned left and I never saw her again.
A woman bought The Physics of Golf and The Story of English. She put them both in her book bag, with a bag of coffee beans and the whole store smelled of coffee.
5 people entered at the same time, groups of two and three. The two, kind of swarthy looking men with head bands, left quickly, while the 3 women stayed longer and laughed a lot.
A man bought a contemporary fiction book. His right arm, I noticed, was heavily tattooed (I suspect they were henna tattoos) with the letters spelling YOKE on his fingers and ornate flowers covering all the skin I could see.
An older man with white hair and mustache, who walked with an unsteady gait was looking for art books, but didn't find what he wanted. He was so unsteady when he left I worried about him (the man needs a cane!)
A very tall woman bought a book on witchcraft and a man I had not noticed entering bought a book on the Celts.
A woman named Carol J brought in an armload of 10 bargain books, paid for them, and left them behind to pick up later She met a friend outside as she was leaving and the friend was picking her own stack of bargain books (7 of them). She returned an hour or so later for her books and bought a book on Van Gogh for $7, which was teeny compared to the bargain books she had purchased. She also bought a kids' Christmas book.
Two women were sitting on the floor in front of me looking at cookbooks. One of them had the biggest, fattest stuffed cat I had ever seen, which she had just purchased at the toy store across the street.
A woman chose a book that costs $7 but didn't have that much and said she would return, but she did not.
A woman bought three kids books, including "The Phantom Tollbooth." The total came to about $7 but I kept screwing up the cash register and at first had her owing >$20. I finally got it right on the third try.
A man talked with me about the takeover of Friends of the Pubic Library and when I mentioned Logos' donations to charity over the years. He was unaware of it and was impressed.
A woman asked if we sold gift certificates, and since I didn't find any blanks in the drawer, I guessed that we no longer did. Another Logos tradition leaving. The woman bought three personal growth books, including one by Edgar Cayce, the "sleeping prophet," the "father of holistic medicine," and the most documented psychic of the 20th century.
A striking tall woman in a long white coat with a long scarf around her neck and a regal bearing entered, looking for "coffee table books." She looked like what I would imagine Kay Scarpetta looking like, if Scarpetta were taller. The woman was pleased to find three books, one on Scorsese, one on Humphrey Bogart and one on movies of the 20th century (I think this last book was one I donated).
Next there was a zaftig woman in blue overalls and a blue gingham shirt with a red knit cap. She reminded me of Laffing Sal's nicer sister. She bought a book on Pancho Villa and had lots of interesting things to tell me about Villa's son, who apparently grew up in Hayward, CA and didn't know he was related to Villa until he was an adult ("Villa had kids all over the place," she said). While she was talking to me another customer (Carol J from earlier in the day) stood right next to her having a conversation on her cell phone, making no effort to lower her voice or move out of the way.
Two Asian women came in, one bought a book of poetry and the other a cook book for the wok.
Another man came in wanting to know about the future of Logos.
The last customer bought anther coffee table book and also talked about the future of the store. Amazing how many people have come to love the store and are very concerned about what will happen when Susan and Peter retire.