Friday, May 29, 2009
Every two weeks, a very special thing happens at the Incidental Bookshop.
Princess Bookaholic, Sir Laurence the Indispensable and The Incidental Bookseller arise at the crack of dawn and hurry on down to the Incidental Bookshop where a parade of strange men deliver, with varying degrees of competence, a couple of pallets of new stock.
Oh, the stories I could tell of Stock Day!
But I'm tired and my back hurts and it's time I was in bed so I will just tell you today's saga very quickly.
Our stock is all warehouse overflow and so we never really know what's going to turn up with each new delivery. The sad truth is, we get whatever hasn't sold elsewhere or whatever someone somewhere ordered too much of. Today they sent us about one million and seventy five novels and about forty five thousand craft books. In amongst the novels are a set of classics - The Great Gatsby, Jane Eyre, The Picture of Dorian Grey, Lady Chatterly's Lover... You get the picture.
Princess Bookaholic began to salivate the moment she saw this fantastic new intoxicant. Classics. In a set. Cheap but not too nasty. This is really beginning to look like her drug of choice for the day.
She loves those books. She spent two hours taking them off the pallets where they had been packed messily in no particular order and arranging them into the above pictured display. The Jane Austins are all together. The Victor Hugos are all together too. The horror stories form a single vertical line down the right side. Apparently there are other examples of the new order that Princess Bookaholic imposed upon this crazy mess of books but I don't know what they are because, even though she explained them all to me in detail, I wasn't actually listening.
On Stock Day, you can't get caught up in anyone else's literary triumphs and tragedies. Head down and bum up. If someone's little house of books topples, you have to detach - you have your own Pooh Bear, Dr Seuss and How to Win Friends and Influence People to juggle.
Anyway, once the worst was over, after the cardboard boxes were all opened and the ugly empty pallets hidden away out back of the shop, Princess Bookaholic served a customer. Her Majesty's head was still obsessing over the beauty of those affordable unabridged paperbacks she'd been sorting all morning.
"Do you like the classics?" she said to the customer by way of making conversation.
The customer looked at her like there was something a bit wrong with her and said, "No, mate - my family all like country and western."