If This Book Junkie Won the Lottery

Some days when I’m at work, days when our computer network is down and I can’t do a durn thing but sit around and twiddle my thumbs (who am I kidding? I always bring my Kindle with me I.C.O.E. ((in case of emergency)), or when I have struck out, underlined, deleted, added, highlighted, and format pasted administrative rule text until my eyes cross, or when a consumer asks a question like, “Can you tell me where I might find a property in North Carolina from which I can see both the mountains AND the ocean” (The state is, like, 400 miles wide. You can see the ocean from Jockey’s Ridge, a really big sand dune, or you can see the shore of Lake Lure from Chimney Rock in the mountains, but that’s as close as you’re going to get without using a really big telescope), I think, if only I could win the lottery…

Everyone dreams that. But not everyone is a humongous book junkie. So when I dream, I don’t first (but maybe second) think of white sand and bronzed cabana boys serving me alcoholic drinks in hollowed out coconuts. No, I think of a new and used bookstore with old couches, a fire place, and a coffee bar. I think of buying and selling books I like rather than just what might keep me in business. I think of hiring my best book junkie friends to come and work for me so that I can have someone to sit around with and discuss books, make another pot of coffee, and generally keep me company. And customers can come in and sit and read and never buy a book or buy ten books or whatever; I wouldn’t care because I won the lottery!

The more I think of it, the more I see it as something like High Fidelity, where we can chase off customers with tastes that disagree with our superior literary preferences.

“Um excuse me, do you have any used copies of 50 Shades of Grey?” the hapless customer might ask; whereupon the entire contingent of store employees will turn around, point to the exit door, and yell, “Get OUT!”

I pick on 50 Shades of Grey entirely too much. You might also get kicked out for requesting titles by Nicolas Sparks, the Unauthorized Biographies of the Cast of Jersey Shore, or anything akin to The Secret. CD Squee will be there working with me, and she will remind you that while our store is unaccommodating, the internet is always available for making these kinds of purchases.

But maybe We’ll take pity on you, and instead of kicking you out of our store, we’ll invite you to sit on the couch and offer you some advice.

Like John Cusack’s character in High Fidelity, CDSquee is also quite the list maker. She has referenced her massive spreadsheet “Books Read” before on this blog. Ms. Customer will come in asking for a book written by a celebrity, you know, Madonna’s English Rose, or Elixir by Hilary Duff, or Wild, by Fabio. Yes. Fabio. Here’s the proof if you don’t believe me:

And CDsquee will say, “Oh, honey, come sit down and let me get my list. We’ll fix you up in a jiffy.” Actually, I doubt CDsquee would ever say, “jiffy”, but you get the point. The book she recommends might come from 1992, but she’ll have detailed notes on the characters, setting, a summary, and her distinct opinion on it. It’ll be a service that no other bookstore offers and we’ll do it for free. Why? Because I won the lottery!

We won’t sell Cute Cat of the Month calendars, either, because I like dogs and this is my store and I can do what I want. In fact, I’ll probably bring my dog, Bonnie, to work every day. I mean, wouldn’t you want to hang out in a bookstore with a dog as cute as this one? CDsquee might get to bring her sheltie, too, but not her corgi because he barks too much. Half her time would be spent yelling, “Shut up, Calvin!” and she already does that at home.

We will sell Hot Hunky Firemen of the month calendars, though.

We’ll make other lists, too, but they’ll take the shape of book displays. And you might not immediately know the theme, but if you guessed you’d win a free cup of coffee or a Book Junkie t-shirt or something. Here’s an example:

If you guessed “Books Whose Movies Failed Them,” then you’d win something. It would be something good, too, because I won the lottery! By the way, I liked the Will Smith, I Am Legend movie, but it had little or nothing to do with the original story.

Here’s another display. It’s theme might be more obvious.

The Theme, of course, is “Steampunk”. If you’re a fan and you’ve never read Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, you should it’s the book that made me fall in love with the genre.

And we’d do promotional days. One day would be for discounts on mysteries. Come in and convince us that you’re Ms. Marple, Agatha Raisin, or Rosemary and Thyme and CD Squee will pour you free coffee because she’s a cozy lover. Come in quoting Harry Dresden, Remy Chandler, or Lady Julia Gray and I’ll pass out a free muffin (homemade of course, because now that I’m rich, I have time to bake and enjoy it).

So, when I win the lottery, I’ll let you know. The store will be cozy, sometimes opinionated, but never erudite or overly sophisticated (hence the hot fireman calendars). The coffee will be good, the cookies never stale or hard, and Bonnie will greet you at the door expecting a pet. But I promise she’ll leave you alone so you can pick out a book, kick up your feet, and read to your heart’s content.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elizabeth
    Oct 04, 2012 @ 14:14:54

    Please win the lottery? I want to come sit in your comfy chairs and read all day. I hope Bonnie won’t mind if I bring my chihuahua… she likes to cuddle up and read with me.

    Reply

    • squee1313
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 16:14:56

      You would be so very welcome, and so would your chihuahua. Bonnie has a temprary roommate named Monday who is a small rat terrier and she lays down on the floor to play with him. She’s very good with small dogs.

      Reply

  2. Diana
    Oct 04, 2012 @ 15:56:20

    Love the bookstore idea! When you win the lottery, save me a place on the comfy couch!

    I do think that used bookstores should avoid used copies of Fifty Shades just on general principles…. yeah, I had to go there.

    Reply

    • squee1313
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 16:16:21

      They would have to be sprayed with disinfectant…or maybe just burned. Anyway, you’ll probably be hired at my used bookstore to run my “IT department”

      Reply

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