Tag Archives: bookstore

Being A Book Person


There are so many words to describe us: bookworm, scholar, intellectual, and my favorite, bibliophile. (I promise it is not my favorite because it so closely resembles the word “pedophile”.)

It is a person who finds warmth and solidarity between the covers of a book; someone who writes, on paper, or in their mind, or on a blog for the whole world to see. Someone who, after a harsh and annoying day at work just dreams of coming home, sitting down, and losing himself or herself for just a few moments in a world where they don’t have to buy a plane ticket to experience a vacation from their everyday life.

What does it mean, to be one of these “Book People”?

It means going into a library, and wandering the aisles of every section, noticing titles that you hope to read eventually, and realizing that there isn’t enough time in twelve lifetimes to read all the books you want.

It means entering a bookstore, and touching every book you’ve read, whispering the title to yourself as if saying a prayer, and generally looking like a schizophrenic lunatic.

It means running up town to buy a dish sponge, and then deciding to check out the newly-opened antique store, and, when the owner begins asking how your day goes, and how you like your antiques, you somehow get on the subject of books, and how just the smell of them amazes you, and before long you understand you’re talking to another Book Person, not a stranger at all. Three hours later, you realize the dishes have been sitting at home in no-longer hot dish water, and that the sponge you went up to town to get has brought two Book People together.

Non-Book People just don’t get it.

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Validation


You may recall that once upon a time I worked in a bookstore, and was fired for voicing my unedited opinion of my manager on my blog. While I do not regret the reason for my firing, (because my manager WAS a dipshit and now everyone knows it) I do regret the fact that I no longer spend my days amongst beloved (and sometimes donated) books.

I think back to my days in the bookstore fondly (unless I think of the dipshit), and I miss some of the people I was aquainted with because of my place of employment.

One of these individuals was the man in charge of the finances of the bookstore, The Money Guy. He was the original owner of the bookstore, and had started it to have something to do after he retired. The fact that he was setting upon a new venture after retirement always endeared him to me. He was also a baker, and taught baking classes, and a beekeeper. He had passed down the ownership of the bookstore to his son, but was involved in the counting of monies.

He and I had always had long and interesting conversations about bees, and honey, and his teaching days long past. Once I was fired, I never did get to tell him that I admired his Old Man gumption, and I wished him every happiness.

This morning, I set out to finish my Christmas shopping, (and to buy new shoes). I entered the mall and nearly bumped into the Money Guy. He greeted me warmly and held out his hand to shake mine, and I enveloped him in a bear hug. We chatted about the goings on in our lives, and he was not surprised in the least that I have taken over my Pizza Store. I asked him about the bookstore, and how things were fairing, and he shook his head sadly.

“Things have rapidly gone downhill in sales for the past year. If they don’t improve by March we’re going to have to shut down.” Then he looked me straight in the eye, and said, “Sparkle, you sold a TON of books for us. It hasn’t been the same since you left.”

I am saddened that my bookstore may no longer be in existance in the very near future, and I am bewildered that if I were still there, little old me may have been able to do something to prevent that, but in my mind, when he told me this revelation, I couldn’t help thinking, “Damn straight! There are repurcussions when you fire Sparkle!”

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Reflections on a Former Life


So the other day, I walked by the Bookstore-Formerly-Known-As-My-Place-of-Employment. I have done this on several occassions, simply because I am curious as to who they’ve deemed worthy of replacing me with. I am sad to say that they have found no one of my calibur . No, I’m not being cocky here, (he, I said cock) I am just being honest. The manager whom customers complained about to me is still employed there- even though I AND my co-fired co-worker mentioned his sexually explicits remarks to the owner. My superiorly-designed window displays no longer decorate the windows, and all the beauteous books I tried so hard to organize are complete chaos.

It happened to be sidewalk-sale weekend, and I peeked in the window to find an unknown clerk working, so I sauntered in to check things out.

The chic working seemed to not know where anything was, there was a line of customers waiting to ask questions, and I found a book on the sidewalk sale tables that we ALWAYS had priced at least $10 marked down to $2. So fuck you, my old bookstore. I bought that book and lost you $8. That’s what you get for firing me!

Anyhoo, later on, I got to thinking about my former life as a Bookstore Bitch, and there were a few things I need to say:

I miss you, my middle-aged blonde lady who read Religious Fiction Mysteries. I appreciate the fact that you would come in every Tuesday to see what shoes I was wearing, and the fact that you were kind enough to comment on the adorableness of my carefully-chosen outfits. I adore you for laying down the law to your sick husband the last week I saw you, saying to him, “I HAVE to go to the bookstore and see what Sparkle is wearing today! You have no idea how cute she is!” Thank you, too, for agreeing with me that my manager was a douche, and for refusing to buy books when he was working.

I miss you, Dino, because you always called me Sweetie, and told me what kind of bird you were painting each week. You were nice enough to hang out for a bit when my scary stalker man wouldn’t leave, and made sure to interrupt him any time he tried to make conversation until he finally left. I am sad that I can no longer keep an eye out for bird books for you, and saddened that I shall no longer get to hear stories of how your Mama-san loves sparkly jewelry from JCPenneys.

I miss you, nice mother, and your 4 beautiful daughters, who would bring in loads of perfect books every month to sell. I believe you are the intelligent equivilant of the Kardashian family, and if you were famous, you and your daughters could run the world. Especially the daughter who read all the sociology books.

I miss you, cute old man suffering from Alzheimer’s. I am sorry that I can no longer be there to talk you out of buying The Politics of James Bond for the 14th time.

To the retired woman with the amazing life- thank you for sharing stories of meeting the king of whatever African country it was you used to live in, and thank you for sharing an excessive love of books with me.

To the mass of lard on a scooter- Fuck you, lady. I know it was you who got me fired, and yes, I will most certainly glare at you in an evil manner every time I see you at Barnes and Noble, because guess what? There ain’t a goddamn thing you can do about it because I don’t work there.

I despise you, my former manager, for your holier-than thou-attitude.. You did not fool me with your “Christian” views, because I saw your true pervertedness every time we got in a book mentioning sex or nakedness. Your paging through said books is not what offended me-no. It was the fact that you made a point to tell me how sinful and evil I was because I live unmarried with my Rockstar. To you I say, Na-na-na-na boo boo. I’m having sex with my Rockstar while your wife is out having a life and NOT having sex with you. So suck on them balls.

I miss you, Money Guy, because we always had great and intelligent conversations daily. I found you to be completely fascinating, since you were  retired, yet kept bees, and baked, and counted money, and collected cars. I am sorry you’re stuck with my douche of a former manager as a Son-in-Law, because I know you can never be rid of his annoying self. Thank you also for your recipe for caramel rolls. I still cannot get them to rise.

To the $600+ worth of books I had stashed away in the back room- I am sorry the payraise we were awaiting never came. I regret to inform you that you shall not get to be a part of the Sparklebump’s Library Experience. I hope you all go to good homes where your owners will love you and take care of you properly, without dog-earing your pages.

I guess that’s all I have to say. If any of you are new to my blog, and do not understand where my angsty attitude comes from, be sure to check out my Price of Fame post. XOXO

 

 

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Thought #11


Apparently getting fired is very entertaining. I got 320 views yesterday. At least my blog isn’t dead, even though my bookstore career is. XOXO

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Customer of the Day: The Schizo


I have decided to begin a new portion of my blog dedicated to the customers that come into my store who A. Annoy the piss out of me; B. Make me smile; or C. in any other way stand out to me.  Please refer to a former post entitled

The Irritating, The Obnoxious, and the Grotesque

if you wish to read my first ranting of my lovely clientele.

Today’s rant shall be about The Schizo, since he was just here, and my shitty mood made him irritating to me today.

The Schizo is a man in his mid-to-late-30’s who walks my mall every day with a 100 lb headphone set on his skull. My first face-to-face experience with him occurred on a day when he hadn’t taken his meds, and came in to buy a book on Egyptian history, which ended with him ranting about how ” America is stupid and he can’t get a job here because he has a felony”; how “Russia has the right idea and everybody should get paid the same,” and how “he was trying to figure out a way to move TO Russia.” While The Schizo is quite an intelligent fellow,  when he gives his opinions, his voice raises about 9 decibals, so that he sounds like a raving lunatic. I got him to change the subject, and he calmed down enough to re-engage his headset and continue his walk.

The next time he didn’t take his meds, he came in and immediately began ranting about the fact that his son doesn’t listen to him, and that HE is the boss, and his son needs to heed him. I agree with this wholly, however, when your dad is an unstable nut who forgets to take his pills, I understand where at times this might not be the thing you would want to do.

FYI, I do not in any way condone forcing anyone with schizophrenia to take medication, but in some cases I believe it would be beneficial, to those taking it and those coming in contact with them.

There are plenty of times when The Schizo has come in and we have had highly intelligent conversations on a variety of subjects, but more often than not, I sit behind my counter and listen to him rave on.

Tuesday he came in and was talking about I don’t know what. His thoughts were so scattered, I don’t even think HE knew what he was talking about. And during these times, he stands in front of the cash register and raves on, many times when a line of people is waiting to pay. It takes much nodding and mm-hmm-ing to get him to leave.

My brother is diagnosed as a schizo, so I realize a person sometimes needs extreme patience to deal with someone with this disease, but seriously, Schizo, if I have to hear another rant about Napoleon, or the Celts, I may just end up ranting to mall security.

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