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18 June 2006 @ 11:53 pm
 
I was going to update about today's wacky misadventures, but found out the accident on the NYS Thruway that caused us to sit in traffic for over an hour was so terribly sad.

So I bring you instead this week's Bookstore Highlights*

*disclaimer: they're rather lame. Hush, y'all.


Tuesday. The weather was fair. Not too hot, not too cold. Also, not so near to the end of the week as to yet have that aura of last minute Father's Day shopping panic settled over the store. And still, in those prime shopping conditions, we had This Guy.


This Guy first spoke to the Store Manager, who happened to be at the info desk. I heard what he was asking peripherally; something about 'Attica.' My manager responded that he was able to pull up some titles and was going to print them out for This Guy (T.G., henceforth). Anyway, I went off to help someone else. When I came back to the info desk some ten minutes later, T.G. was still there. Off the Store Manager there was no sign. I can only assume he went off to tend some other task. Or he might have (very sensibly) fled. And left T.G. to then next available bookseller. That is, ME.

I asked how I might help him. T.G. replied, "I'm looking for books on the Attica prison uprising." So the search began. Now, we only have access to the B&N database at work. Not the website and certainly not any other areas of the internet. But I'm pretty good at finding random and unusal things... so long as they exist in our database.

I tried 'attica prison.' 'attica jail.' 'attica uprising.' 'attica new york.'

I came up with a novel titled 'Derailed.'

I told T.G. the results. T.G. stared at me.

On I ventured. 'new york prison.' 'prison uprising.' 'attica' alone (several titles on classical Greece).

Again, that T.G. stare.

I tried more variables in the search. As I typed, I told T.G., "I"m not finding any specific books on this topic. If there are any, they might be put out by small press. Or there's a chance there might be something that's out of print."

The stare.

"I'm trying every possible combination I can think of," I said cheerily...

The stare.

..."and so I continue!" I chirped. Yes. I chirped. Seriously. 'attica correctional facility.' 'attica justice system.' 'attica unrest.' 'attica shawshank redemption count of monte cristo prison break lucky breakjamesnesbittoliviawilliamaspeterpanjasonisaacsluciusmalfoyharrypotterprisoner(!)ofazkaban'

At last I ran out of steam. I repeated the small press/out of print suggestions. T.G. was having none of it. "So," he said, and I was a bit surprised his voice wasn't hoarse from such a long period of disuse, "Barnes & Noble is saying the Attica prison uprising never happened."

ummmm... "No. The publishers of any books on that subject are saying there isn't a great demand for wide distribution."

He scoffed. He sneered. And, at long last, he left.



The other moment of the week came on Thursday. A mother approached me to tell me about a title her younger daughter needed to read for school. "It's called 'Snow of the Wedges.'" Really? The mother nodded. "With my older daughter I'd wonder, by my young one is good about these things." And so I went to the computer and searched everywhich way to no avail. Finally, I turned to Mom and said, "Look. I'm having no luck. What I can tell you is there are two titles that are commonly on summer reading lists with 'snow' in the title: Hamill's 'Snow in August' and Guterson's 'Snow Falling on Cedars.'"

We trekked around the store and located the younger daughter only to find, on my repeating this information, that it was, indeed, 'Snow Falling on Cedars.'


And I sort of rule.
 
 
 
Kerry: face palmscreamingdolai on June 19th, 2006 05:42 am (UTC)
You'd have a ball with my mother-in-law. She can't remember titles or names for shit. One day she wanted to see the movie "Ma-nudge-nudge." It took an hour for Peter to figure out she wanted to see "Jumanji".
Bird on a Wing: Here's a Sawyer!caragana_leaves on June 19th, 2006 05:50 am (UTC)
I am familliar with the stare. I often get it from people who don't like our rates. And I remember it very well from my bookstore days.

...sigh. May I never be That Customer.
mistress_kathmistress_kath on June 19th, 2006 12:39 pm (UTC)
I think That Guy's sister was in my store Friday.

"Hi, I'm looking for a book!" (Gee, I'm glad you're not looking for rutabagas)

"It's about Christianity." (Oooooooooookkkkkkkaaayyyyy)

"It's got the name of a street in the title. You know, that famous winding street in San Fransisco. Do you have it?"
Jared: Billcrimsontom on June 19th, 2006 01:41 pm (UTC)
Ah B&N stories. I have a bunch from when I was a bookseller, supervisor in College. T.G. lives everywhere it would seem.
I particularly like people who call, ask a question that you answer with an answer they don't want to hear and then they actually come to the store only to get you in person and ask the same question. "Hi, remember what I told you on the phone 20 minutes ago? Well nothing was miraculously published and shipped out to us in that timeframe....sorry!" :)
Ilena Ayalanetsearcher on June 20th, 2006 02:23 am (UTC)
Ilena Ayalanetsearcher on June 20th, 2006 02:27 am (UTC)
It returns these off the B&N web site search for books:

Four titles found.

(I only know to use "riots" because a friend worked in a prison during a riot, and refers to it occaisionally.)
Kelladyjoust on June 21st, 2006 03:43 am (UTC)
Yes, but it yielded nothing in the BN store database.
Mairearanturas on June 23rd, 2006 02:05 am (UTC)
I was gonna say that I miss that, but .... I don't. And even though you won't be able to order them -- Bookmaster 8.5 lets you search bn.com so you'll be able to find books for TG and his many evil twins.