For this holiday Smart Bitches Day, I have a confession: I’m one of those people. One of those evil booksellers who will point out that the book you’re dithering over whether or not to buy might not be here next time.
Or (*gasp) worse, you might not remember the title the next time you come in, only the lovely blue of the cover, and I, bookseller extraordinaire (*bullshit*), might not be able to help you.
Or, even worse than that, two years from now you might walk into my store and demand this unknown book because it is exactly what you need in that moment in time, and I will be unable to help you because we don’t keep records of what we put on our table. (True story.)
Or multiple times worse than the first scenarios, when you want to finally read it, it might be out of print, and it might be so wonderful and fantastic that you can only find copies on Amazon for fifty bucks or more.
If I’m feeling nice, I might point out that impulse control when it comes to books is highly overrated as you’re guaranteed to probably learn something (new vocabulary, interesting character traits, strange historical facts!) and learning something is better than watching an actor in a TV lab pipette straight from a frickin’ chemical source (and thus contaminating it) instead of pouring out the necessary amount into a beaker or Erlenmeyer flask. Damn you, CSI!
(I love you, CSI. I do, but could you follow proper lab procedure once and a while? It’s amazing all of your cases haven’t been thrown out due to contamination.)
(P.S. that love does not extend to you, CSI: Miami, home of he of the acting crutches and the glasses obsession. You are only good for drinking games based on how often Horatio Caine puts his hands on his hips.)
Where was I? Oh, yeah. I’m a high pressure bookseller. The evil used car saleswoman of booksellers who waits until you are having a weak moment at the counter to point out all the awful scenarios that might take place if you don’t buy that book now.
But this really has nothing to do with making a sale. I do this out of love, really I do. I firmly believe that my customers will thank me later when they are forced to dig into that huge stack of books next to their bedside or favorite chair because the snow storm/tornado warnings/tropical storm/hurricane/flooding/or some time of personal injury will not allow them to head over to the mall to browse the newest titles and authors we have available. And even if they don’t read the book right away, there is always a chance a friend or family member might be browsing the TBR shelf and stumble across something that calls to them. Something that would not have been there had that person’s friend or family member not broken down in my store, lured by the siren’s call of three books for the price of two or a colorful cover, and purchased said book despite the realization that this might mean the difference between Kraft Mac and Cheese and Annie’s Mac and Cheese.
Rest assured that I, too, suffer from this poor impulse control and the result is that my home shelves are clogged with books that are just waiting for some natural disaster to strike and give me enough time to sit down and enjoy the words on their pages without interruption (or enticement by the next new thing).
How good is your impulse control?