Thoughts About Books
(and their adaptations)
Harry and Hermione made their way to the back of the room, where there was a small, vacant table between the window and a handsome Christmas tree, which stood next to the fireplace. Ron came back five minutes later, carrying three foaming tankards of hot butterbeer.
"Merry Christmas!" he said happily, raising his tankard.
Harry drank deeply. It was the most delicious thing he’d ever tasted and seemed to heat every bit of him from the inside.
—Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10
This was one of the most vivid and touching moments for me while reading this book. It’s simple and heartwarming, just the way I love it.
25 Things I Learned From Opening a Bookstore
1. People are getting rid of bookshelves. Treat the money you budgeted for shelving as found money. Go to garage sales and cruise the curbs.
2. While you’re drafting that business plan, cut your projected profits in half. People are getting rid of bookshelves.
3. If someone comes in and asks where to find the historical fiction, they’re not looking for classics, they want the romance section.
4. If someone comes in and says they read a little of everything, they also want the romance section.
5. If someone comes in and asks for a recommendation and you ask for the name of a book that they liked and they can’t think of one, the person is not really a reader. Recommend Nicholas Sparks.
6. Kids will stop by your store on their way home from school if you have a free bucket of kids books. If you also give out free gum, they’ll come every day and start bringing their friends.
7. If you put free books outside, cookbooks will be gone in the first hour and other non-fiction books will sit there for weeks. Except in warm weather when people are having garage sales. Then someone will back their car up and take everything, including your baskets.
8. If you put free books outside, someone will walk in every week and ask if they’re really free, no matter how many signs you put out . Someone else will walk in and ask if everything in the store is free.
9. No one buys self help books in a store where there’s a high likelihood of personal interaction when paying. Don’t waste the shelf space, put them in the free baskets.
10. This is also true of sex manuals. The only ones who show an interest in these in a small store are the gum chewing kids, who will find them no matter how well you hide them.
11. Under no circumstances should you put the sex manuals in the free baskets. Parents will show up.
12. People buying books don’t write bad checks. No need for ID’s. They do regularly show up having raided the change jar.
13. If you have a bookstore that shares a parking lot with a beauty shop that caters to an older clientele, the cars parked in your lot will always be pulled in at an angle even though it’s not angle parking.
14. More people want to sell books rather than buy them, which means your initial concerns were wrong. You will have no trouble getting books, the problem is selling them. Plus a shortage of storage space for all the Readers Digest books and encyclopedias that people donate to you.
15. If you open a store in a college town, and maybe even if you don’t, you will find yourself as the main human contact for some strange and very socially awkward men who were science and math majors way back when. Be nice and talk to them, and ignore that their fly is open.
16. Most people think every old book is worth a lot of money. The same is true of signed copies and 1st editions. There’s no need to tell them they’re probably not ensuring financial security for their grandkids with that signed Patricia Cornwell they have at home.
17. There’s also no need to perpetuate the myth by pricing your signed Patricia Cornwell higher than the non-signed one.
18. People use whatever is close at hand for bookmarks—toothpicks, photographs, kleenex, and the very occasional fifty dollar bill, which will keep you leafing through books way beyond the point where it’s productive.
19. If you’re thinking of giving someone a religious book for their graduation, rethink. It will end up unread and in pristine condition at a used book store, sometimes with the fifty dollar bill still tucked inside. (And you’re off and leafing once again).
20. If you don’t have an AARP card, you’re apparently too young to read westerns.
21. A surprising number of people will think you’ve read every book in the store and will keep pulling out volumes and asking you what this one is about. These are the people who leave without buying a book, so it’s time to have some fun. Make up plots.
22. Even if you’re a used bookstore, people will get huffy when you don’t have the new release by James Patterson. They are the same people who will ask for a discount because a book looks like it’s been read.
23. Everyone has a little Nancy Drew in them. Stock up on the mysteries.
24. It is both true and sad that some people do in fact buy books based on the color of the binding.
25. No matter how many books you’ve read in the past, you will feel woefully un-well read within a week of opening the store. You will also feel wise at having found such a good way to spend your days.
things I want to see:
- tattooed young Hera who redefines what it means to be feminine (ex: x )
- Apollo enjoying counterculture modern music that isn’t what your grandaddy listens to because the god of music loves all music
- Hermes dropping the internet connection of late-night bloggers when he thinks they need to get more sleep
- Aphrodite at the forefront of modern fashion, not just for mainstream fashion but all types of beauty
- Apollo keeping tabs on the mental health of all his followers because mental illness is illness too
- Hera rejecting political campaigns and bringing together queer couples because the goddess of marriage knows better than some old congressman what marriage is
- Zeus traveling the world enjoying the various diversity of his world under culturally-appropriate disguises in each country, stopping to perform quiet blessings to people who deserve it and yet who never know who that strange older man was who helped them or gave them exactly the sort of wise guidance they needed
- Ares annoying Apollo by constantly demanding updates on the wellbeing of his injured veterans and wanting to know what Apollo plans to do about their combat-related injuries and mental illnesses
- Ares whispering in the ears of anti-war protesters to keep world governments from using nuclear weapons
- Ares deflecting bullets in a firefight to protect police officers chasing a gunman and casually pushing criminals’ vehicles off the road in car chases before they can hurt any innocents
- Athena on the ground in the Middle East, following around military scouts and diverting attacks before they even notice them
- Hermes disguised as a male nurse, quietly walking between beds in terminal care facilities, easing pain in everyone he passes by
- Haides patiently explaining the whole “yes, I’m that Haides” “yes, this is that underworld” “no, no one’s going to torture you with fire” thing to every single person who enters his realm and never getting frustrated no matter how many times the Christians ask him about hell
- Poseidon getting a drink in the local bars in small coastal towns because he likes to listen to the tall tales the fishermen tell as they come in from their crab boats
- Hephaestus gleefully inventing new creations because smithing is so much more interesting with modern technology
- Demeter convincing Zeus to sabotage the political lobbying of big agricultural corporations to protect her beloved small-time farmers
- Hestia strolling through the suburbs calming down family arguments in the neighborhoods she visits
- Artemis taking her responsibility for the wellbeing of young ladies seriously and invisibly sitting next to every heartbroken teenage girl crying her eyes out over some lost highschool love
- Dionysus impersonating bartenders and demanding patrons’ car keys when they’ve had too much
- Gods that aren’t stuck in the ancient past
"I will love you as a thief loves a gallery and as a crow loves a murder, as a cloud loves bats and as a range loves braes. I will love you as misfortune loves orphans, as fire loves innocence, and as justice loves to sit and watch while everything goes wrong."
Lemony Snicket, The Beatrice Letters (via carson-phillips)