What's up in bookselling today...am not sure if we'll have customers as a movie is being filmed a few blocks away and several blocks are closed to traffic & have been all week. I noticed a cop preventing someone from riding his bike to work in the vicinity of the set when I was walking in. Also, it's HOT.
First customer asks: "Have you heard of John Dickson Carr or Rex Stout?" It's hard not to ask if there are booksellers who haven't heard of Carr or Stout, but nevertheless I point him in the right direction, and manage to interest him in Christopher Fowler too. Lucky man!
Ask the woman who owns the pilates studio in the back of our building if we can borrow the studio for a Kent Krueger event in September. There will be too many people to jam into the store (if past experience is any guide); together we figure out a way to get 50 chairs from the alley to the studio in 10 minutes or less. Hope it will work - last time Kent helped with the chairs!
Next couple brings in two bulging grocery bags of used books they want me to pay them cash for. I disabuse them of that idea - we only offer store credit - and as I sort them he says "we got some of them here." That appears to be patently untrue but I find they actually have some harder to find titles by Josephine Tey, Elizabeth Daly and Michael Innes. I'm slightly annoyed with them as the day has been slow but then I see the siren song of Donna Leon has been too much for them and they go way over their budget. Thank you, Donna!
Another lady comes in looking for Susan Holtzer books, a series set in Ann Arbor that we sold a gazillion copies of before Susuan stopped writing them. It turns out this woman has actually read them all, but then she offers that she also likes Dan Brown, Jonathan Kellerman and humor. This is certainly an odd combination, so I go with humor and offer her Donna Andrews, Dorothy Cannell, Sharyn McCrumb and Rhys Bowen. She leaves happy, takes a newsletter and promises to try and join the book club.
A nice guy with tattoos and a nose ring scoops up a lesser known John D. MacDonald title. We have a nice exchange about mass markets and their agreeable size.
Step outside to see how hot it is (do I really need the air conditioning - yes) and run into my mail lady, one of my favorite people. I tell her she's in this month's newsletter. She had delivered a package from Kristi Montee, one half of PJ Parrish, and when she saw the title of the ARC - South of Hell - she shrieked, "South of Hell! Nothing is south of Hell but Ann Arbor!" (Yes, there is a Hell, Michigan). Indeed the new & very excellent Parrish book IS set in Ann Arbor, which is way cool, and even better, someone in the book gets arrested in front of Aunt Agatha's.
A young girl comes in who surprisingly asks for Miss Silver books. She's reading them in order and needs our store copy of Detecting Women. I guess I shouldn't be surprised; my own 17 year old daughter, who has disdained Christie, Marsh & Tey, is a huge Wentworth fan (as am I). I think she finds them easy to read between classes (is this why she got a C in chemistry??)
In between I'm paying bills, recycling cardboard and trying to finish the new Michael Koryta book, Envy the Night, as Michael will be visiting in two weeks. I'm looking forward to asking him if he personally can take a loaded gun out of comeone's hand. I think maybe he might be able to. The book is terrifically suspenseful & I'm sort of glad it's not super busy because I can read more.
And how was your week?