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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How to Have Fun in a Bookstore...


[From the archives; adapted from a piece about offices, so office dwellers should feel free to feel free to adapt it to their needs]


HOW TO KEEP A HEALTHY LEVEL OF INSANITY IN YOUR BOOKSTORE

Pretend to page yourself over the intercom when the store is full of customers. (Don't disguise your voice.) This is even more effective if your store is small and does not have a real intercom and you use one of those home karioke machines.

Find out where the owner shops and buy exactly the same outfits. Always wear them one day after the owner does. (This is especially effective if the owner is a different gender than you are.)

Make up nicknames on the spur of the moment for all your customers and refer to them only by these names (but never the same one twice). "The Nautical books are over there, Sparky." "No I'm sorry we don't have any new Gardening books, Chachi."

Send email to your entire customer mailing list telling them what you're doing. For example "If anyone needs me on Wednesday, I'll be in the bathroom."

"Hi-lite" your shoes. Tell people that you haven't lost your shoes since you did this.

At lunchtime sit in the big overstuffed chair in the middle of the shop and soak your fingers in "Palmolive."

Put mosquito netting up all around the counter.

Arrive for work late, say you're sorry, but you didn't have time for breakfast, and you're going to be nibbling while you stock shelves. Over the next hour consume 5 entire raw potatoes.

Insist that your co-workers refer to you as Zena, Goddess of Fire. This is especially effective if you are a man.

Every time someone asks you for a book, ask them if they want fries with it.

Send email to yourself engaging yourself in an intelligent debate about a hot book-related controversy. Forward the mail to a book email list and ask other listers to settle the disagreement.

Replace the "free coffee" pot with a full beer cooler.

Encourage your customers to join you in a little synchronized chair dancing.

Put your garbage can on the front counter. Label it "New York Times Best Sellers".

Determine how many cups of coffee is "too many."

Develop an unnatural fear of bookends.

Decorate the front counter with pictures of Cindy Brady and Danny Partridge. Tell everyone that they're your children (works especially well for anyone under 40).

For a relaxing break, get away from it all with a mask and snorkel in the store's tropical fish tank. If no one notices, take out your snorkel and see how many fish you can catch in your mouth.

Announce that there is free pizza, free donuts etc... at the front counter and when people come over, see an empty plate and complain, lean back, pat your stomach, and say, "Oh you've got to be faster than that."

Put decaf in the store coffeemaker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.

5 comments:

Mike said...

Ummm...doesn't everyone have an unnatural fear of bookends?

These are some great ideas. Since I am in my last few days here in Ohio, I think I will try out a few of these.

Colonel Colonel said...

we will be waiting for a full report...

catalyst said...

Love the last two.

catalyst said...

BTW, if I saw someone like that lady at the top of your posting in a bookstore, I'd probably just stay there all day! Who is she?

Colonel Colonel said...

That's Lena Olin from my favorite bookseller movie, or perhaps I should say the movie featuring the bookseller I most hope to emulate- The Ninth Gate.