Friday, February 18, 2011

It's Been an Exciting Day--Five Things You Don't Expect to Do When You're a Bookseller

1. Fix the CD player.
We play music that we sell in the store, but I have to say that the preferred music that my booksellers seem to want is no music. We're experiencing that right now as our very old CD player got stuck on the change mode. I try to get it going again.
Success or failure? Failure

2. Fix the shredder.
It's suddenly making a buzzing noise and the paper isn't working.
Success or failure? Failure, but the replacement cost is pretty low

3. Pricing out fire extinguisher certification.
The fire inspector came in and we're due to recertify our fire extinguishers. We used a national service at Schwartz and I'd like to go local on this. I found the names of several local suppliers, and then wrote to retailers I know, asking for recs. I also walked up and down the block and asked around. One of our neighbors was very enthusiastic because he gets a postcard in the mail to set up his annual inspection. Another neighbor (who used the same national service, which will remain unnamed) was surprised to find that one of his extinguishers had been recertified and the other had not.
Success of failure? Qualified success. I don't get to chalk it off until everything is up to code.

4. Driving around author.
Let me just say this was not a chore, but more like a dream. What a wonderful event we had last night for Paul Harding, author of Tinkers! And I don't know why this is my big takeaway, but I had no idea he was the drummer in a band called Cold Water Flat in the mid 1990's. Wonderful reading, interesting questions...I'd highly recommend attending a Harding event. I think his next stop is Milan, for the release of the Italian translation. We've got signed copies, including hardcovers, which went over very well at the signing. It's so cute! I bought one for my sister Merrill's birthday present (which already happened)
Success or failure? Enormous success. Hurray!

5. Picking up cigarette butts off the sidewalk.
The snow is melting. The garbage is appearing. It's disgusting, but it has to be done.
Success or failure? It depends how you judge this. I suppose I was successful at picking a bunch up.

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