Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This week in book news, or Things that I liked in spite of themselves.

1) Dear customers. Stop coming into my bookstore - that JUST OPENED and is doing well - and lamenting the death of Borders and preaching that the death of bookstores, books, and western civilization is nigh.

Well, they must have got my memo because a customer MADE MY DAY yesterday.

Me: Sorry, we don't have a copy of that.
Customer: Can you tell me where the nearest Borders is?
Me: (Wonders if she has been living under a rock, or whether she uses Borders as the Coke of bookstores?) Welll, all the Borders have closed, but there's a Barnes and Noble at the Hacienda Crossing.
Customer: What do you mean all the Borders are closed? Since when????????
Me: (Ooook. Rock it is.) Well, it was gradual but they closed the last stores a few months ago. Sorry! I'm surprised you didn't hear about it, it was a pretty big story.
Customer: No, I've been living in Australia for the last year! Oh my god! I can't believe there's no more Borders!! I'm so shocked!

This went on for awhile and we laughed about it. Ha ha ha. Oh man. So good. It shouldn't be so satisfying to break bad news to someone.

2) Hey, I actually did something worthwhile in library school! I might have... learned something? About libraries? We had a group project to pick a problem facing our field in the next few years and compile a resource list to address it. My group actually chose my question, which was: As we anticipate the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, how can libraries best serve returning veterans?
So, that was awesome and I got to read about all the positive things libraries and veteran service groups are doing. Am I the last one to hear about googleforveterans?

3) I don't have any fixation on the 1960s and am somewhat tired of the fuss over that decade. But somehow the last two books I read were both about assassinations in the 1960s. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable and 11/22/63 by Stephen King. The second bears special mention today, for obvious reasons.

11/22/63 This was my first Stephen King! I know! Just, horror isn't for me. But I was super into this story. You know, stay up too late, almost miss my BART stop into it. Despite the JFK marketing angle, he doesn't play a big role, instead he's more this elusive figure that history happens to turn on. It's more about Lee Harvey Oswald and an exploration of the darkness in us and our relationships. And, you know, time travel! Highly recommended.

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