One thing leads to another…
Isn’t it funny how a mind works? As mentioned previously when we opened the bookstore we decided to forego the usual “Opening Store Inventory” service where they basically ask how many square feet of bookshelf space you have and then ship you what is essentially a bookstore in a box. Such a thing seemed easy and probably just perfect for Genericville, USA but just not right for St. Francisville’s new bookstore. We opted instead to “curate” every book on our shelves. To personally select each and every book based on feedback from our customers and of course my own terrific taste in books! And so far I think it has gone pretty well, but every once in a while something comes across my radar either in the course of a conversation, while watching PBS or reading the newest best seller. Isn’t it funny how life - and books – are so interconnected? For today’s blog I decided to share a few stories of some of the latest books added to our inventory and how they came to be part of our lovely little store.
It all started when a couple from Sweden came into the store one day. (Bet you didn’t know we had such international clientele). The girl was purchasing a copy of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (we have a lovely cloth bound edition that also includes Through the Looking Glass). As they are standing at the counter I hear the guy say “I wonder if this book was originally written for children or for adults”. Now since they were standing at the counter I did not feel it was eavesdropping to join the conversation, so I said “Actually, I can answer that question”. You see I am a lover of lexicography and of words in general and several years ago my husband gave me a copy of what was then a new book called “The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary” by Simon Winchester. In this book the true story of the writing of the dictionary is told and not to give away too much but it was written by committee and one of the committee members was Lewis Carroll. The meetings were held at the home of another Committee Member who had a young daughter. Lewis Carroll starting writing stories for the young daughter to keep her occupied while they compiled the dictionary, the stories eventually grew into Alice in Wonderland so definitively written for a child. But while telling them about the book I realized that it was not a book we had on our shelves, well we fixed that!
Next up I am having a conversation about rain, rivers rising and flooding (I wonder how that came up) and realized we did not have Rising Tide by John M. Barry. What? I used to work for The National Flood Insurance Program for goodness sake, well we fixed that too.
I am currently reading the best selling novel The Swans of New York by Melanie Benjamin. It is a novel re-imagining the relationships between author Truman Capote and the New York society women with whom he surrounded himself and is set at and around the time Breakfast at Tiffany’s was released. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! We had other books of Truman Capote’s stories but we did not have Breakfast at Tiffany’s on our shelves! Now you may not know this but I adore this movie, and Tiffany’s jewelry of course, ooh and those little blue boxes …but I digress. This was an oversight that simply has to be remedied immediately! And now a delightful “Tiffany Blue” hardcover copy of Breakfast at Tiffany’s graces our shelves as well.
Then the other night I was watching Mr. Selfridge on PBS when whom should one of Selfridge’s daughter’s invite for a reading at the famed department store? None other than A.A.Milne and his son Christopher (Robin) of Winnie the Pooh fame ! Now what you probably don’t know is that I have given many, many babies in my world (nieces, god children etc) a copy of The Complete Winnie the Pooh as the first book I give them as gifts, usually at birth…. And we did not have this wonderful book on our shelves either! Well we must fix that , and so as soon as the order, which has been placed, is processed and delivered it will be fixed. That USUALLY only takes a couple of days….unless the delivery service delivers your package to some unknown loading dock in some far away land and the books are never to be found again…but that is a story for a different day.
Quote of the Day...
"Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was",,,Richard L. Evans