There was a delightful article in the Globe and mail that brought a distinct smile to my face, The writer was expounding about the trials and joys of working in a book shop and I'd swear she has the same customers that we have!! The article reminded me of customers we have served over the years and how I have seen many of them grow as well as realise how much I have grown with them.
Being a used book store we encounter a huge variety of customers and of course requests are not just for the books off the top ten lists but for many out of print books with definitive covers or translators. The one thing that all the customers have in common is the conclusion that all our staff have read every book in the shop and that we also know every title and author of every book ever published since Caxton invented the press!
Let me put the record straight, we are all avid readers, we couldn't work in a bookstore if we weren't, but come on, seriously, no way can we have read every book in the store! So why do people keep asking us " What's this book about'? or "Is this a good book"? or even " Have I read this book"? Don't get me wrong, as the books come in we do our best to be familiar with the title, the author and the content but the look of incredulity we get when we answer with 'I don't know, I haven't read it' and then have to explain yet again that we cannot possibly have read every book in the shop, makes us want to rush for our crystal ball!
In all truth, the customers are the researchers, we rely on them to tell us about the book when they bring it in, from their comments we are able to make recommendations or select books comparable to an author they like and the majority of the time we get it right! So be patient with us when we don't know and author or a title or even the content of a book because as we research it for you we grow in our knowledge base just as you do! Other than that you'll have to wait for us to get the crystal ball warmed up!