Can I just say? the bookstore is bloody insane
this time of year.
I mean, I love it, since it means that we're still hanging in there, and also I can handle it loads better now (in my 12th year of bookselling) since I've hit on the very sensible remedy of a) taking pre-emptive Tylenol before work and b) coming home and immediately applying copious amounts of alcohol.
Still, Christmas is when everyone decides that they need that kids' book they loved in the mid-80s whose name they don't recall, and then they're Put Out when I explain that our last set of orders has already been sent, and there shall be No More until after inventory, sometime in January.
are the hot sellers this year, to which I say W T F. They are both great! But really, an obscure graphic novel the size of a house, and a huge doorstop about disabled children born to abled parents are the must-haves?
The Toronto book scene is wacky, though. There's always something that the general bookbuying public hits on as a fun Christmas read that blows my mind re: cognitive dissonance between my ideas of popular publishing and stuff people actually buy. Last year it was Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall - which, true, won the Booker, but I don't generally think that the average joe reader really feels like curling up with a big stack of Cromwell.
Also, the second runner up for big seller this year is this
, which, again, awesome, but why.
Oh, also someone ordered (as, I think, a Christmas present) "Solitary Fitness" which was written by a serial killer about the fitness routine he worked out to keep him pumped while in prison, in - you guessed it - solitary confinement. It now runs a tied first place for weirdest thing I have ordered on request, along with a book on how to drink your own urine, of which the buyer requested 6 copies ... also at Christmas.