It's Friday evening, the shift when I generally work the front desk. I just had a spirited discussion of A Visit from the Goon Squad with a customer who had bogged down in the telling, and had switched to The Human Stain. I noted that there was something in common with the two authors--they both had dark senses of humor. But I did note that the structure of Egan's novel is not for everyone. As I like to say, every book has various hoops you have to be willing to jump through, and if you don't want to jump, there's little likelihood that you will be satisfied in the end.
I decided to receive some gift stuff at the front desk. First up was a box of stuffed bears. I think our teddy assortment is a bit larger than the last two years. I'm not exactly sure why I thought it should be ramped up, but let's just say, at least one of my booksellers did a little bear hugging.
We just got our last boxed Christmas cards; the story of why they showed up in November is long and boring. Let's just say that we had a difference of opinion as to whether our account was up to date; it turned out that the publisher had credited the wrong invoice with one of our checks. So in effect, we were both right and wrong. We cut the order and half but still took it. It's just about time to bring the cards to the front of the store anyway.
We're still putting out ornaments and Christmasy stuff. Anne decided she wanted a separate tree to showcase the items from a new line we brought in with an upmarket Etsy feel to it. That said, we're getting a good reaction from the other new line I brought in, that has a more mainstream feel to it, though I did tend towards the more whimsical items. It was interesting speaking to the rep about the line--we were the only vendor in the 53202 and 53211 zip codes, but there were at least three shops in 53217 carrying it. I don't always get to see data like this, and I got a rush from it.
Greg likes the new mushroom ornaments.
Oh, back to the tree. After the Woman's Club luncheon, an annual soiree where we dined on shrimp salad and coveted cinnamon rolls, Anne and I went to Stein's #1 on South 27th Street for our tree, a 4.5 foot slimline model. I like that not only is Stein's based locally, but this store is actually in the city limits, albeit 50 or so feet from the edge. As you may also know, there is a very good Asian supermarket across the street. The bad news? It's really easy to get there, but due to the 894-43 mess, it's really hard to get back. It's the road equivalent of stores that have up escalators but not down ones. DSW anyone?
Paramount Pictures called and I let them talk to Sharon, being that they probably weren't interested in buying the rights to my life story. It turns out they wanted to send us swag for Hugo, or as we know it, the film version of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. It's not just posters and bookmarks and screening passes (Mayfair Mall on Monday, November 21 if you are interested, but journals and scarves too. Bev wore one today because she was cold. Apparently we somehow agreed to do all this marketing for the movie. Consider this stage one of our blitz. Here's a quote from Amie: "I want to see that movie."
The boxed cards are received, I got them all set on the table, and when I got back to the desk it was 8:45. Almost time to go home!
I'll add photos later. And probably more gift stuff tomorrow.