Monday, May 14, 2018

Monday Musings on Books, Customers, the Difference Between YA and Adult, and Other Stuff

 I love my job. I mean I seriously adore it. I get to play with books for part of my living and work with colleagues who are creative and clever and talk to customers who value independent bookstores and are willing to pay full retail to keep them going, keep them a center of literary life in the community. Customers who will call us first and consciously not press that seductive buy button on the A--- site because they want us to exist and thrive. So as my manager says, Bully for that. (Actually what he frequently says is, Bully for you, Joy when I announce something that I'm excited about.)

But still. People are...people, you know?
And sometimes they say stuff. Goofy stuff.
An example for your Monday morning pleasure:

At least three times a week I field a phone call that goes something like this:
Customer: "Hi! I am looking for an obscure book on Glockenspiels of Iowa from 1897 - 1895, a topic only I care about but hey, you're a bookstore."
Me: "Well, let me see what I can find."
Me: Does some spiffy quick research on our distributors sites and elsewhere and holy moly, it exists! Ingram has one in stock.
Me: "Great news! I've found one. It can be here in 4 business days."
Customer: "No thanks. I needed it this afternoon."

In other news, I am reading the WICKED KING arc, the sequel to Holly Black's fabulous CRUEL PRINCE. It is as absolutely wonderful as I want it to be. In fact, it's better!

Other books on my nightstand:

NIGHT FILM by Marisha Pessl. This one came out in 2013, but we're hosting Pessl for her new YA next month and I wanted to read some of her back list and holy cow this  one makes your heart pound!

MARLENE by Julie Buntin, which is about female friendship and a tragic event in the past that's defined everything that's come since then. It reminds me a bit of THE GIRLS by Emma Cline (which honestly was a depressing read for me) but I'm liking it so far although there are spots where I wish the writing was sparer. That said it is always interesting to read about teen characters told from an adult vantage point and always interesting to note how different that feels in terms of character development and narration than actual YA. You'd think it wouldn't be that different, but it is. Because the adult narrator knows how an event has shaped and formed and destroyed. The teen in the moment does not. Both have value in story telling. But you really can tell the difference.

On that same note, I'm interested to read the new Michael Ondaatje book WARLIGHT which looks back at two teen characters in 1945 in post war London and then moves them forward into adulthood, carrying their scars and secrets.

But for now I need to finish my own manuscript. And so it goes.
Happy Monday!

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