Staff Musings

November 20, 2007

BookPusher

Filed under: Fiction & Literature — carricee @ 12:20 am

Sometimes it seems like my reading tastes are a little wonky. Most of our customers come in to the store with all kinds of anecdotes about sharing their books with friends, of switching books back and forth – in fact, we have several groups of customers who always come in together with books, they share the trade credit, buy stacks, and don’t bring them back until they’ve both read all the books.

That’s so fun! I always tell them. How nice to have friends or family members with whom you can share books! Because, to be honest, none of my friends want to read what I do, despite all my efforts. I try to cram books I like down people’s throats every chance I get. Sometimes they read them, but a lot of times, they don’t. It’s really an addiction. Sharing what I love about books gives me purpose, adds value to my character, makes me feel squishy inside. I think I’ve said before, helping people find books they’ll enjoy is my favorite thing about working here.

Of course, if I paid more attention to my friend’s tastes in books, I might find more pleasing selections for them. Lately my reading has been rather heavily focused on light science fiction and fantasy, which few of my friends read to any great extent. Those who do favor the formulaic epic fantasy, which I also enjoy, but not nearly as much as I used to. Battles between good and evil are undoubtedly necessary, and certainly interesting at first, however they tend to get tiresome after you’ve read fifty or one hundred of them. Nor do most of them want to read the social psychology type of non-fiction that I find interesting. I could probably get some to read mystery cozies, but, though I do enjoy those books, my heart’s just not in it.
So, what do my friends like to read? Funny, we’ve been talking about that a lot lately. I thought I’d share what they are currently reading (or have recently finished) with you, in the hopes that it will inspire me to keep on searching for them.

Best Girlfriend: The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman – This one is one I gave to her , and she loves it. Success!

Husband: The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan – This is also one I gave to my husband, but he’s pretty much stopped in the middle. Not that it’s not a good book; he’s really enjoyed it and loves to tell everyone about all the corn that’s in the food they are eating at parties; he’s just gotten out of the habit of reading after finishing two whole books this summer. It’s very sad, but at least we had a run!

Dinner Party Friend 1: The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant – I don’t think I had anything to do with this one, though it is a book I enjoyed a great deal. It’s a historical fiction about some of the women in the Bible.

Dinner Party Friend 2: The House of God, by Samuel Shem – Apparently a frighteningly true-to-life portrait of the life of medical interns, this is a book I had never heard of until last week. According to DPF2, it created a huge uproar when it was released, as patients learned just exactly how tired and crazy the people who are trying to keep them alive can get.

Role-Playing Friend 1: The Orc King, by R.A. Salvatore – Though I loaned him the copy he is reading, I really can’t take credit for this read as my friend knows much more about the Forgotten Realms universe and Drizzt and his friends than I do. I don’t know how much he’s enjoying it, but I’ll likely find out this week.

Role-Playing Friend 2: The Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling – After the untimely death of Robert Jordan, I’m sure many people will follow my friend’s example and not begin a series until the author has finished it. I’m not sure how much he’ll like this series. He’s distressingly picky when it comes to books, and though I’ve tried to narrow down exactly what he needs in a novel to keep his attention, so far I’ve failed utterly. He didn’t like Robin Hobb. ROBIN HOBB!

See how few of these books I had anything to do with? That is why you must come into the store and help allay my book-pushing addiction. Come in and tell me that you like to read historical fiction about Irish potato farmers! Tell me you like books with anthropomorphized animals as the main characters! Books with a social conscience, books without one, and books that seem to have been written by drunken monkeys I’ll happily help you find. Despite trying to make my friends read what I like, it’s as much fun if not more for me to help customers find books to suit their own tastes. So come into the store and save my friends from my need to be a book pusher! It’s almost a social obligation.

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1 Comment »

  1. Hello,
    “Spirit of the Place” is definitely a great read.
    It’s considered Mr. Shem’s most ambitious work.
    Anyone interested should visit http://www.samuelshem.com for more information.

    Comment by Dutch Smith — July 25, 2008 @ 6:54 pm | Reply


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