merrily: Mac (Default)
I've worked at the bookstore for the last 12 days straight. Unlike last year, this year's bestsellers aren't quite as odd. They are diverse, though!

Our top sales slots go to:

1. Stoner by John Williams, first published in 1965, but mentioned in a Globe & Mail article a month ago, which means we can't keep it in stock. I sold 12 copies in 20 minutes on Friday!

2. Every Alice Munro book available, with a slight edge given to My Best Stories, a collection she picked for Penguin in 2009.

3. All three Ottolenghi books, and I am keeping the information that My Best Stories and Jerusalem: A Cookbook are actually the same book to myself, since no one else (including the North American publisher) seems to notice or care.

4. Joseph Boyden's The Orenda which, frustratingly, is out of stock until Random House can rush through another print run

5. The Luminaries

6. Hyperbole and a Half, which thrills me. Yay for Allie!

Two more days, you guys. Two more days and then I can collapse and cuddle babies and not worry about the bookstore for an entire blessed week.
merrily: Karl Urban (Bones)
Toronto Christmas bookbuying public update!

Today I had one lady buy all our copies of "The Multiorgasmic Man" for Christmas presents, and another buy all our copies of "A Grief Observed", presumably for the same reason.

I amuse myself by thinking that they are going to the same recipients.
merrily: Mac (Default)
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.

Also, this and this 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.
merrily: Mac (Default)
I 'phoned a customer last week to tell her that her book was in, and her name was... Myfanwy!

I was hoping that I'd be there when she came in to pick it up, so I could see if she looked slightly pterodactyl-ish... but alas, I missed her.
merrily: Mac (Default)
I was working through catalogues today, and had to enter a listing for a movie tie-in: "Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning" by Kevin Sullivan. I may have accidentally not ordered it. BECAUSE (cut for bookish rantings )
merrily: Mac (Thewlis)
I missed the part where y'all discussed, in shocked and titillated voices, how Daniel Radcliffe is going to be starring in Equus next month.

So I discussed it, with shock and titillation, at work (well away from the kids section, since I don't want to, y'know, emotionally scar any wee ones).

"It's a wise career move," said co-worker S-. "His people probably told him he needed a drastic change."

"Man, I wish bookselling allowed drastic changes like that," I said, ruefully, having spent the day removing "Display Only!" stickers with various dangerous, fire-starting, eye-watering solvents.

S- narrowed his eyes. "So you're saying... we should try being naked."

(beat of horrified silence on everyone's parts)

S-: "Have you seen us?"

Perhaps I should have spent more time protesting, ("No! Only clothed! And hey! I look good naked, thank you very much!") but I was busy peeing myself with laughter.

Also, this conversation came directly after a conversation about what tactics we could use to stop people from going down the street to the new, extremely shifty second-hand/remainder bookstore. I think "naked clerks!" wins as worst added-value idea ever.
merrily: Mac (Thewlis)
I'm compiling a playlist about books for my future bookstore. (Massive FutureBookshop/ Mag sounds!)

So far I have two:

"My Baby Loves A Bunch of Authors" by Moxy Fruvous
"Bookshop" by Monty Python

This is a pathetic playlist. Suggestions, Plz!
merrily: Mac (Default)
I have Been Away, flist, and am now back, and oh, I missed you all.

I have to sort out my current internet access problem. Dial-up is stupid. Buying dial-up in tokens of 20 hours in embarrassingly dumb. And working at a job where the boss has made you sign an agreement that you will be fired if you check your email at work is also dumb.

Anyway, the confluence of dumbness has kept me offline for two weeks. It is now Saturday evening and I finally gave in and bought more tokens and am now sitting with a bottle of wine reading back the hundreds of posts on my flist that I missed.

And am going to go make brownies in a minute. Mmm. Brownies. In short, this is a fairly perfect day. Also? There's a knitting store a five minute walk from my house which I did not know about. Five minutes.

---

Things I have done these past two weeks instead of read fanfic, since I was cut-off from fandom goodness:

1. Ziplisted a lot of David Thewlis and David Hewlett movies. (I was also looking for Two Girls and a Guy, out of curiousity, but it seems that zip.ca does na' have it. I have a feeling that I am probably better off. And I'm still waffling about whether to watch Slither.)

Mike Leigh's Naked was difficult. I gave up, actually, 3/4 of the way through. Criterion pick and critical praise notwithstanding, I made a decision a while ago that I was going to stop watching films where women got sexually assaulted or killed in order to further the storyline of a male protagonist. Thewlis was very convincing, and certainly earned the Cannes accolades that the film received, but I still don't want to see it again.

(I did, however, find the werewolf comments early in the film pretty hilarious.)

By contrast, Treed Murray, which I watched yesterday, was fantastic. It's unsettling but eventually redemptive and the storytelling is awesome and I absolutely adore ensemble pieces where no-one is good or bad or eclipsed. And the pacing was great and the cuts were great and Hewlett was great and that Ashmore kid was surprisingly awesome. Also, it ended at precisely the right time. Y'all should go rent it. It's a very satisfying film.

2. Re-read Anthony Robbins' "Awaken The Giant Within". It's been remaindered at my store, which I find sad, but it meant that I could buy a copy for $3.19. I find Tony inspiring. Also, the last time I tried to read a "design your best life!" book, I found myself covering my eyes and reading between my fingers, totally involuntarily, so the fact that I managed this one--in a normal, sane, fashion--is promising.

3. Obtained seemingly hundreds of root vegetables, which I have no idea what to do with.

4. Neglected to honour my mother's self-imposed state of denial about the fact that my sister and her boyfriend are living together and yes, sleeping in the same bed. I feel kind of bad about this one. Jess and I have agreed to let her be happy and deluded, but then I had to go and say "no no, I don't need that extra bedframe you've got, but Jess and Matt would probably like to get the mattress they're sleeping on off of the floor."

5. Have bizarre "terrorists are buying books at our store!" problems. $2500 email orders for bio-chemistry textbooks and rocket engineering tomes to be delivered to tenements in Montreal, to be paid for by obviously stolen credit cards. Totally uninterested RCMP officers. When a plague descends on Quebec, I won't be surprised. I tried to stop the apocalypse, flist, I really did.
---

Okay. Brownies now.
merrily: Mac (Default)
I graduated yesterday.

Since I took 8 bloody years to finish my Honours BA, I knew only 2 of the 450 other hooded&gowned people at Con Hall. It felt as if I was finishing something that I had already done. And now there's a framed diploma with my name on it leaning against the wall in the living room, and my parents, I suspect, feel relieved and also old, and suddenly I feel the need to Make Decisions and Contribute.

I want to own a bookstore. I also want to go to med school. And I really want to finish all the bloody fic that I've started and then let languish.

The last, at least, I can work on today.

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merrily: Mac (Default)
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