So far so rubbish. I started the day pretty well - breakfast and Screenwipe, yet again - but it's kinda gone downhill from there. My dodgy hip's playing up, making me walk like I'm trying to negotiate some kind of primitive wooden leg. Long John Silver had more grace than this! And I'm still not feeling well. I mean, I slept better last night, and I didn't wake up with a throbbing face, but still feel a bit WRONG. Ugh. Docs for me if this keeps up, I reckon...
Not only that, but my least favourite customer came through the door five minutes after we opened. OH MY GOD. One of those people where you're friendly once and then you can never get rid of them. She talks for aaaaaages about Dr Seuss and Curious George, flinging out every scrap of information she's learned on the internet since you last saw her (and a fair bit you've already heard), and no matter what happens - the phone rings, I'm needed in the office, a customer comes to the desk - she just won't get the hint and leave! On and on it goes. I was swaying on my feet a bit before Mum finally appeared to rescue me and I managed to get away on the pretense that I had to 'just nip upstairs'. Jeeee-zus.
This morning has been marginally made up for, not by the crappy sandwich I've just munched, but by an AWESOME couple buying AWESOME things which means I could totally help them out and chat about books. MY FAVOURITE THING. I had a copy of Breakfast at Tiffany's in the lady's hands about ten seconds after she mentioned it, and then we got talking about everything from different Penguin Classics to the demise of a local bookshop we'd both liked to guilty buying on Amazon. She started to tell me about her reading group and how difficult it could be to find the titles she needed from Waterstones, and she mentioned that she'd have to go on Amazon tonight to look for the next one, "something about the World in D Minor." "You mean The Earth Hums in B Flat?" sayeth I, leaping from behind the desk like a woman possessed. Two seconds later I was brandishing a copy in her direction, much to her delight.
"Oooh, no Amazon for me tonight!" she said, visibly relieved. "Bloody hell, she knows where everything is!" said her husband admiringly. Inside I was squealing OMG THAT'S BECAUSE YOU'RE TALKING MY LANGUAGE, but I think I just smiled and maybe blushed a bit. SO NICE to have these customers when you're used to someone being horrified because you don't have a specific volume from 1698 about a tiny pocket of land in Dorset, or know every title published by some obscure local railway specialist. THIS is why I became a bookseller, for actual readers and book enthusiasts. THIS is what I'm going to miss when I'm not doing this any more. :)
And another one! A chatty mother and daughter, one blue book light (complete with demonstration and explanation of how Mum and I use ours), two wallet magnifiers (complete with demonstration and explanation of how we made my stepdad get one so we can read our OWN bloody menus when we go to dinner), a canvas tote bag (complete with extensive discussion about over-packaging and the crapness of plastic bags) AND four books. For a 'quiet winter weekday', this has been a pretty lucrative one in comparison to pretty much every day in January! I might even treat myself and put the fan heater on for an hour to celebrate. ;)
I spoke too soon. Our lumbering giant of an ex-mayor drifted in, fell asleep in our chair, told me that fiction was a waste of time because it wasn't even a tiny bit educational and that people should be charged to take it out of the library, informed me that snow days were "only for people who don't want to work", asked if I "thought Oscar Wilde should be reinstated now that parliament's talking about all that stuff" which I assume was an entirely roundabout way of saying MY KNOWLEDGE OF GAY CULTURE ENDS WITH "OSCAR WILDE WAS ONE" and then rounded off his delightful visit with his current favourite 'joke':
"You know, Costa Coffee comes from Birmingham, and Birmingham's full of coloured people, so if you don't like Costa you must be a racist!" *self-satisfied chuckling*Oh, the irony. Every time he tells this hi-larious story a kitten dies, a fairy loses its wings, and a comedian groans and decides to hibernate until 2015. And he's already told me twice, so heaven only knows how many other people in town have had to smile painfully through it.
Ohhhh, and they just keep on comin'. Do any of my Twitter buddies remember The Matchmaker? The guy who came in a couple of weeks ago and took such a shine to me that he emailed the shop multiple times with photos of his son and even his mobile number, trying to persuade me to go on a blind date because he thought we'd get on so well? Yeah, he came back. There was an awkward greeting, then about ten minutes where I stayed studiously focussed on my laptop screen while he browsed. He bought two books, looking a bit shifty, and I wondered if he was going to say anything. Just as I stuffed his receipts in with his books he started fumbling in a little carrier bag before dropping a bag of Thorntons chocolates on the counter. He looked like a little boy who'd done something naughty and said "These are for you... er... you know, for all the hassle before... er... you can share them with your mum if you like!" Oh dear god. It was such a sweet gesture, but if my life had been a quirky American comedy that's the moment the screen would have frozen and "AWKWARD!" would have appeared in bubble letters with a big flashing arrow pointing at my head.
Seriously now though, I think I've seen most of my more difficult regulars today - SURELY I can rest easy for the weekend without any more of 'em showing up?!
Two days in a row where I haven't read a page. I've been reading a particularly long story on FanFiction though, with 37 chapters, which might as well be a book - does that count? *sighs* I've basically spent the last two days idly watching stuff on YouTube, catching up on My Mad Fat Diary (BEST SHOW EVER, in case you didn't get the message every other week when I've fangirled over it), sleeping, or waiting to go to sleep. And combing through hundreds of unread emails deciding what to read later and what to delete, as I did this afternoon. MY LIFE COULD BE A SOAP OPERA, IT IS SO DAMN EXCITING.
So, no books today. But hey, tomorrow's another day, right? And with about five on the go right now, it's not like I don't have plenty of choice when my reading mojo returns... :)
In the meantime, what have YOU been reading this week?