Poor Sandy had driven in from Reno, where she and her wife had been spending a few days to celebrate the wife's birthday, so she was feeling sleepy, but fortunately it was busy enough. For one thing a guy brought in about 23 boxes -- BIG boxes (Bankers box type) of books that had to be put somewhere in the small back room. Then a shelf of cookbooks collapsed when a customer was looking at the books on the shelf, so all the books had to be moved to the back room and a sign put on the shelf. And then there were lots of customers too.
My afternoon wasn't quite that busy! The first customer bought a bargain book and then the next was a older middle aged couple. She was short and thin and her grey hair hung in about 5 thin braids all over her head. He was dark skinned and had white Harpo Marx hair, and he walked with a shuffle. She bought 5 bargain books and a book called "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain." They left and then she came back in with another $1 for another bargain book.
An older couple came in, not to browse books, but to look at the photos on display from this month's artist. They complained that the overhead lights reflected off the glass of the framed photos and made it difficult to see.
I walked to the front of the store and my eye was caught by the author of a mystery book.
The name of our Italy/France tour guide was Ian Smith and though I didn't think he would be writing cheesy murder mysteries, I picked it up just to check. Weirder things have happened. But when I saw the author's photo on the back, I realized it was not our Ian.
Still, it had a glowing review by Harlan Coben, an author I really like, so I decided not to read the book I'd brought, but to read this book...and it's good. I didn't finish it, but brought it home so I could find out who dunnit.
A guy came in wearing skinny jeans, a blue paisley shirt and a camera bag slung over his shoulder. The bag was dotted with rain. He seemed to be leisurely browsing when he abruptly turned and rushed out of the store...and he didn't even have a cell phone in sight.
A singing lady with a dog on a leash passed by the front of the store, looking at bargain books, then turned, waved at me, and disappeared.
A couple came in and wandered around for awhile. I looked behind me and saw that they had spread out a lot of books all over the floor in the back aisle. The woman giggled periodically and at first, before I realized it was her giggle, it sounded like Polly and I wondered if someone had brought a dog in. Finally they came to check out. The guy bought 5 science-type books, a Gary Larson and a dictionary. She bought 3 books, including a Dictionary of Word Origins. We talked about the fun of finding word origins, and when I asked if she had read Bill Bryson's "The Mother Tongue," she found it on the shelves and bought that one too.
A woman bought 3 art books, two of California art, one kind of an Impressionistic view and one quite modern California artists.
A striking tall middle aged man dressed all in cream colors, with a SF Giants logo on his shirt and chartreuse shoes. He didn't buy anything, but cut quite a figure.
An older woman brought in 4 thick books to donate, two were by T.E. Lawrence. She then bought a book on the earth's atmosphere.
Another tall middle-aged man was looking for a book to teach himself Italian. He stayed quite a while, much of the time reading at the front table, but he finally bought "Italian for Beginners." When he left, I said "ciao" and he never noticed.
A woman came in and introduced herself -- I'm so-and-so's daughter. I didn't hear who so-and-so was, but the woman seemed to know me. It was after she left that I realized she was the daughter of a good friend, but I'd only seen her once or twice before, which was why I didn't recognize her.
A guy with a very thick beard came in and mumbled something. I told him I couldn't under stand him, so he mumbled it again, softer. When I asked him to speak a little more loudly, he repeated it a third time -- again, softer. He finally asked for a piece of paper and wrote down his question--he wanted to know if there was a district attorney's office in town.
A father came in with his daughter (you don't see that combination often). She looked like she could have been Brianna in 2 or 3 years, with a lovely blue sundress. They spent some time in the kids' room but eventually left without buying anything.
A guy wearing a sleeveless UCD shirt with ear buds in his ears looked like he'd been out jogging. He was quite wiry, but with muscular arms. He bought a book on Aristotle and when he handed me his credit card, it was clammy
Two Spider guys came in. Big guys wearing matching red shirts with a big spider in a web across their chest. They left so quickly I just had time to grab my camera and shoot tem as they went out the door. Sorry I missed the spider itself because it was really quite impressive (especially in twos)
The last customer was a woman (maybe a babysitter?) with two girls. They have been in before. I remembered Athena, the older girl who is about Bri's age, and who is now missing her 2 front teeth. Both girls had dolls. The younger girl's doll was named Lucy and Athena's doll was named Tulip. They bought a bunch of books mostly with kids' songs in them, and then the women told them they had to go do something for their mother's Mother's Day present. Really cute girls.
Peter arrived about 10 minutes to 5 and started to see what had to be done to fix the broken shelf.