Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Gift Recs (one) Brought About By Relaxation

Just the other day I was perched on a pile of broken-down card board boxes, hanging onto the edge of a shelf, with my calves screaming as I went up on point, and I thought to myself: I need a day off.

Usually when I have a day off I just drop. The idea of accomplishing anything beyond catching up on sleep and laundry is beyond me (and laundry only factors in because clean clothing is essential for work), so to have a day off where I get something done: priceless.

The last two days I had free I spent the whole time making eight dozen cookies (for an ornament war/cookie exchange), and going to two holiday parties (fun, but exhausting). Today there was no cookie exchange to prepare for, no holiday party to be the fill-in date at, it was all me. I swept my floors, bought some Christmas gifts, and put up my tree. Unlike those two days I had before, I felt like I had time with no one looking over my shoulder telling me what I needed to get done.

Now I’m sitting here on my couch with the soft glow of my Christmas tree lighting my screen, and I feel relaxed, de-stressed: good. I know tomorrow it will go back to the madness and I’ll be running here and there trying to find the book the customers think they want. Until then it’s just me, a glass of wine and the drone of my television…oh, and y’all. I’m feeling all slippery, noodle-y, and opinionated, so here are some Christmas gift ideas for the masses.

Douglas Hoffman’s medical blogs always make me think of the Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases. Not that he is eccentric or discredited, but the medical sense of humor (read: morbid) is the same. Great for the medical professional in your life.

My customers claim that it was John Hodgman’s interview on the Daily Show that got them interested in his book, Areas of My Expertise. I know it’s because the promise of those Hobo names. It’s all about the Hobo names. For the absurdist in your life.

Meanwhile for those more art (and less ridiculous) orientated friends, there are a couple of great options. Victoria Finlay’s, Color: A Natural History of the Palette, doubles as both a great art book and a great history book as it gives the geological and historical context for some of our most beloved colors. If you want to go for a higher price point, The Collins Big Book of Art: From Cave Art to Pop Art, offers a fabulous selection of art through the ages along with brief descriptions of their historical significance. While it won’t offer any surprises for an Art History professional, it’s perfect for those who dabble or do more.

The other day I had a woman come in and spot one of our hand-sells, How to Survive a Robot Uprising: Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion. We’d planned to sell it packaged with the Tom Cruise helmed, War of the Worlds, but this woman wanted to buy it to threaten her computer. Apparently it had been giving her problems. With its red-gilt pages and shiny cover, you’re looking at the perfect stocking-stuffer for the techno-phobe or computer programmer in your life. (No, A, you are not getting this one for Christmas.)

Being one of those techno-phobes, (but hey! I figured out how to do new links on the blog. Yay, me! Now if I could only figure out how to go a “Currently Reading” section) I understand where the customer was coming from. I preferred the more laid back pursuits. For those like me, I suggest pairing the Sur la Table Pallino glasses with the Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine. Drink a little, learn a little: the best of both worlds.

If your giftee likes their presents a little less alcoholic, try pairing Tea: Addiction, Exploitation, and Empire, with one of the lovely gift sets from Harney & Sons. Some lovely tea, and some provocative reading for the contemplative person in your life.

More gift ideas, including some that fall in the fiction realm, to come when I get more time off. It’s time for me to get to bed and take advantage of this whole sleep thing while I still have a chance. Here’s to tomorrow and another work day that goes until 10:30 pm. Hope these were helpful, or at least make some food for thought.


Anonymous said...

I'm happy to be a beneficiary of your day off. Thanks for the link to The Clarity of Night!

Those customers better be treating you well. Or else....

Bookseller Chick said...

Treating me well...oh, how you make me laugh. Glad to be of service.

Douglas Hoffman said...

Thanks for the shout! You must be one of my lurkers ;o) You're always welcome around my place.

Bookseller Chick said...

Aw, thanks Douglas! And yeah, I'm quite the lurker, but I love your content and maybe someday I'll actually contribute something.