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Monday, November 26, 2007

This Time of Year

It’s beginning—the time of decorations and shopping and parties and cookies, of wrapping gifts and trying new recipes and never having enough time and the time one does have going by much too fast. It’s the time of year for a bookseller when new book orders are coming in one right after another, and the question comes up sometimes, “Who was it who ordered this, anyway?” And if I don’t remember, will the customer call or stop in to see if his or her book is here (I hope)?

As thoughts turn to food, it’s a good time of year for cookbooks (not that there’s ever a bad time, other than—for me—September, when all I want to do is go on vacation to recuperate from summer), but it’s just the best time of all for children’s books! As someone who started in used titles and added new later, I’ve hit on what I consider a pretty good strategy for ordering children’s classics: I look for an “anniversary edition” whenever one is available through my distributor. THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT… THE LITTLE PRINCE… THE WIZARD OF OZ, etc. Who doesn’t want the original illustrations? When it comes to something like THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, published in countless editions and the dream of countless illustrators, I look for tried-and-true artists, such as Tasha Tudor.

And this is neither a cookbook nor a children’s book, but I can’t help being happy that Anna Quindlen’s GOOD DOG. STAY is out in time for Christmas and that it’s in hardcover with a paperback price. That is the perfect combination!

This morning, digging through a closet in search of a certain set of tree ornaments, I found our little Nikki’s Christmas scarf from last year. David had the same idea I did, which was to tie the scarf around her framed portrait here at Dog Ears Books. The words to a contemporary seasonal song drift through my mind: “This is how I see you / in the snow on Christmas morning.” Good dog! Christmas won’t be the same without you!


Z said...

Great idea for a warm memory every time you glance that way. Our dog, Louie, has a jingle bell collar that comes out seasonally. He acquires the name "Jingle Dog" for about a month every year. As we notice the signs of aging, and consequently face the inevitability of his last days, it becomes a thought that I will keep in mind for the future.

P. J. Grath said...

The thought of Jingle Dog will stay in your heart and mind without any effort on your part. That I can promise!