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Monday, June 3, 2013

In Which the Bookseller’s Mind Hops Around Like a Flea

Every time I look at it, Facebook asks what’s on my mind (or, more intrusively, how I’m feeling, but I figure that’s none of Fb’s business), and I imply the question myself in the heading material of this blog, but seldom can the answer be phrased in a pithy, cocktail-party one-liner. Even at the bookstore, focused on business, I find my thoughts going in several different directions, seemingly at once.

Clearly, the bookstore needs a new sign.

Old sign announced bookstore presence
Currently, it's hard to see we're here
See what I mean? That OPEN flag is mine, but does it say bookstore? No. Despite the letters spelling out BOOKS on our door (thanks again to Bill Coohon), the big word LAW right above the door dwarfs our presence. LAW, of course, goes with the word OFFICE, the latter word being above the law office door just next to ours – sigh! -- because ours, you see, is a new door that wasn’t there when the LAW OFFICE sign went up. What can I say? We’re working on it, we’re working on it! Meanwhile, please search us out, because WE ARE HERE!!! WITH BOOKS!!! 

We need more room for gardening, farming, plant, and food books.

Small section of new book offerings
The first new books that Dog Ears ever carried were nature field guides. I’ve always loved them and never had enough used ones to satisfy me or my customers, who often wanted something specific and/or new. I’ve always loved old books on gardening and farming, too, and have been happy to have customers for them. Now with the recent resurgence of interest in homesteading (reminding me of the 1970s), there are also some great new agrarian and urban-agriculture books. So along with reprints of classics, such as William Cobbett’s The American Gardener; Masanobu Fukuoka’s The One-Straw Revolution; and Louis Bromfield’s Malabar Farm, I’m stocking recent titles by Gene Logsdon and Sharon Astyk; books on raising chickens and keeping bees; Attracting Native PollinatorsThe Encyclopedia of Country Living, by Carla Emery; The New Organic Grower, by Eliot Coleman; Ron Parker’s The Sheep Book; Florian Werner’s Cow: A Bovine Biography; and more -- and it isn’t enough to fulfill what I see as one of the missions of Dog Ears Books.

Sometimes I give in to an odd temptation.

There is one new book on the shelf that no one besides me will probably want to read, and though I don’t have time to read it, I may be its purchaser come Labor Day. No, I’m not going to say which one it is.

Ordering the latest Khaled Hosseini book, on the other hand, And the Mountains Echoed, was probably a better move. It’s already a bestseller, nationally and regionally. And I have Mardi Link's new memoir back-ordered, so that will be in soon. 

Why does the queen have two birthdays?

A friend gave me a lovely 2013 calendar, and on the June page I see “Queen’s Birthday (New Zealand)” on June 3 and “Queen’s Birthday (Australia)” on June 10. Isn’t it the same queen? If so (and I can’t imagine otherwise), why is her birthday celebrated one day in New Zealand and a full week later in Australia? Every time I look at the June calendar, the queen’s birthdays fill me with confusion.

And by the way, happy birthday, Big Steve! You and the Queen – in New Zealand, at least – share this special day, so I wish you the very best and suggest you consider wearing a crown.

Also on the calendar –

Poet Mary Ann Samyn will be here June 14, Poet-novelist Mark Yakich on June 28 (time TBA), and St. John’s Eve, June 23, I notice, is on a Sunday this year and is a full moon night. Considering having the Yakich event early in the afternoon rather than right at dinner hour (before Music in the Park). Any thoughts from Out There???

The best book, dog, nature, philosophy, etc. blog in the whole, ever-lovin’ world!!!

Just kidding. Couldn't resist. Thought of using the underlined for a boastful post heading and then having the text say nothing but “Just kidding.” Probably not the best idea I’ve ever had. That, please note, I did resist.

As for the rest –

That (see above) isn’t all that’s on my mind, by a long shot, and you probably wouldn’t want to hear it all, anyway, but if you miss my cranky side, hop on over to one of my other blogs -- or just wait for the next post on Books in Northport, because you never know what direction my thoughts will take -- because I don’t know ahead of time, either. It's spring, after all, on the cusp of summer. Whose mind isn't a little all over the place these days?

Robin stays focused. Me, not so much.


Dawn said...

Focused? Not me. Not by a long shot. SQUIRREL! (joke at work...guess you had to be there...)

P. J. Grath said...

Actually, I think I get it, Dawn. In the car, if Sarah's curled up and napping rather than taking in the passing scene, I can get her to sit up and look out the window by saying "TURKEY!"

Grahame D. said...

The Queen's actual birthday is 21st April..there was some proclamation back in the eighteenth century in England about nominating a date each year to celebrate royal births and each country thus picks its own date. NZ chooses the 1st Monday in June each year and Australia the 2nd Monday of June.(always a Monday so we can have a nice long weekend) except Western Australia who have theirs in Septtember or October as the 2nd Monday of June conflicts with their Foundation Day or something like that.....All quite silly really.

P. J. Grath said...

Wow, Grahame, Australia's celebration of the royal birthday sounds as complicated as time zones in Indiana. My friends in Indiana or those who have driven through the state will know what I mean. But hey, thanks for the explanation!