Chapter 14 - Footnotes From the World's Greatest Bookstores...
Many people who come into our store will remark how nice it would be to own or work in a bookstore and just be able to read all day. As Norma and I can attest - it is not that easy! Most days we have no down time to read whatsoever. We are always working with customers, doing mundane things like paying bills, processing payroll, shelving books, reshelving books, dusting, cleaning, and ordering books and products we think our customers might enjoy. So if we are reading a book (instead of Publishers Weekly or Bookmarks) it is usually at lunch when we grab a quick bite at our desk. Even then we tend to read the periodicals mentioned above to keep up with our industry.
On weekends or the days when we are not in the store, there is even more work to be done. We are hunting for books, writing blogs, researching books we think our customers might want as well as dealing with the huge amount of paperwork required to keep a small business running. Sometimes I am surprised that we read as much as we do considering that the store always keeps us hopping!
Not that we are complaining, mind you. Working with customers and finding high quality used books really is the best work a book lover could have. We love to talk about books with customers and are always interested in books customers tell us about. We find out some of the best books from our customers who also enjoy books and can't wait to tell us about things they have read.
Here are some suggestions we have received from our customers that we can say are worth reading!
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn - This new book was recommended by our customer, Susan, a woman who reads as much or more than we do. The book centers around a woman who has agoraphobia and views her world from her windows. One day she sees something horrible happen in a neighbor's house and the story goes from there. The book definitely holds your interest from page one on.
The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais - The first of the Elvis Cole/Joe Pitt book series and recommended by Linda, a communications professor at a nearby university. Elvis Cole is a hardboiled private detective and finds out things the police simply can't. Joe Pitt is his sidekick. While the first of the series is a little dated (telephone booths and other lack of technology), the books are still a recommended fun read.
The Hotel at Place Vendome by Tilar Mazzeo - Subtitled "Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris" this nonfiction book tells the story of the Ritz from its start in La Belle Epoque to present time centering on the time period of German occupation 1942-44. The characters are vibrantly portrayed along with either their collaboration or resistance to their German occupiers. Our customer, Marty, told us about this very engaging historical account.
Still Me by JoJo Moyes - Third in the Louisa Clark series (Me Before You, After You) I was reluctant to read the book at first wondering if Moyes had exhausted the novelty of Louisa Clark. Scott Richards of WEZV told me that the book was definitely good and I should read it. As Scott is an admitted book nerd and I chat with him at least once a month, I decided to give it a try. I am very glad I did as Moyes makes Louisa as fresh and unusual as she did in her first Louisa Clark novel. It was a delightful book to read!
The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollock - Another book recommended by Susan, who goes for books with interesting characters. In the story three sharecroppers decide to leave their home in Alabama in 1917 and follow the path of their favorite dime store novel hero. Unfortunately that path is one of a bank robber/gunslinger so the men start a crime spree which takes them to Ohio where they run into a farmer and his wife who are having troubles of their own. This was an interesting and satisfying book to read.
Always looking for recommendations, do you have any?