New books thanks to Goodwill. The little red one is a Barnes & Noble Classics version of The Aeneid by Virgil. Each were $.99.
I have to tell you, I think about books a lot. Working in a bookstore is a surprisingly tough task because the reader is not a cookie cutter mold.
There is the Bestseller, the Rare Reader, the Romantic, the Psychological Thrill-seeker, the True Crime Detective, the 40-something (but still a Teen), the Going-to-be-a-Parent, the Too-Embarrassed-to-Ask, the I-Just-Lost-My-Mother, the I-Only-Read-This-Author, the You-Don’t-Know-This-Book-I’m-Talking-About?!, the Summer Reading List, the Fantasy-Adventure-But-Only-With-Dragons-Not-Aliens, the Looking for a Recommendation, the Where’s-The-Religious-Fiction?, and the reader that asks where the non-fiction books are.
Just the other day, a grandmother brought her grandson in to find a book. She approached me by saying, “He’s not a good reader. He doesn’t like to read. Can you give him something he’ll read?” The poor guy couldn’t have been any older than 16 and was horrified. It was all over his face that he didn’t want to be there. So I took them over to the teen books and started pulling fiction that is currently popular with kids his age. The Maze Runner (James Dasher), The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins), The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (Michael Scott) etc… I started with these books because, well, they’re not terrible and kids seem to like them. I also chose these because they are in a series and if he liked them he could continue on for awhile before having to come back into a bookstore and start all over again. As you may guess, he wasn’t interested and the grandmother wasn’t happy with the selections either - probably because she wasn’t familiar with their titles as she may have been with the classics.
I suggested the following as a final hurrah: le novel graphique! I made that up. The graphic novel. (There are some real gems on that shelf. Truly!)
His eyes lit up. Grandma’s did not. Isn’t that something?
I guess what I’m trying to say with all this is that we do whatever we can to help and we never judge. I don’t care if you’re reading Fifty Shades of Grey or manga or Wuthering Heights or a book called Fuck You Bookseller, For Looking So Gosh Darn Cute Today! (Uh, I made that up too.)
Listen Grandma, because this is important. I almost had him. And you ruined it. And I guess I’m still a little bitter.
(Taken with Instagram)