Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day

Day 358 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project, and, just as I had humorously predicted in the morning, a woman came into the bookstore around 2:00 p.m. yesterday to stock up on books for the blizzard!  I was headed out at that moment to pick up my daughter at school and stock on up bread and milk on the way home, but the wind and mini-drifting and crazy driving of the high school parking lot convinced me just to drop her off home and head back to work.

Fortunately, the dear, sweet husband had picked up some milk, bread, and orange juice.  "So, we're set," he said.

Since then, my neighbor has posted photos of empty grocery store shelves on her Facebook page, so I'm glad he thought of it, and I checked on my folks yesterday, who are well-stocked and have drawn some water in case the electricity goes off and the pump stops...or freezes.  They have lots of blankets in case of the power loss, too.  But once the snow comes, they'll be stuck up that long driveway until the neighboring farmer plows them out.  And he will.

The snow hasn't come yet, not much anyway.  Some ice balls came, so I don't look forward to driving out there, but I do plan to go to work, as the boss and the manager are headed out to a big book buy at 11, so I'm it.  For all the people coming in to stock up on books for the blizzard!

Since I left, I can't tell you what the woman stocked up on, but, once I got back, a man came in looking for Jeff Shaara, The Last Full Measure.  "What kind of book is it?" I asked.

"A paperback."

"Fiction, mystery?" I said, nodding toward the mass market paperbacks and beyond, to the general fiction aisle.

"Civil War," he said.

"Oh, history?  Not fiction?"

Then there was a little more conversational stumbling, in which he used the words "might not be true," but he insisted on being taken to the Civil War section, which was fine by me, while I was assuring him this was the history aisle, about actual history.  And I headed off to look up the book on Amazon.

Fiction.  Part of a trilogy of books set in the Civil War.  Meanwhile, a regular customer came in, looking as usual for any new arrivals in the African American section.  "We have some!" I said, delighted, having just handled some.  "But they might not be on the shelves yet."

Meanwhile, my other customer was coming down the general fiction aisle, where I'd located Gods and Generals, the first book in the Civil War trilogy of novels.

"I've already read that," he said.

"Sorry," I said, "but at least we know we're in the right place."

Then he stood around disappointed for a while, and I went off to try to find the unshelved new-to-us books I'd handled at the end of last week which 1) were lost in the chaos of the back room or 2) sold online already and were found in the chaos of the back room by someone else.  Sigh...before our regular customer got a chance to find them on the shelf.  Happy Black History Month.

So, it might be one of those kinds of days again.  If anyone comes it at all.

Bundle up.  Safe travels.  Read.


Kristin Berkey-Abbott said...

Stay warm--looks like quite a whopper of a storm. At least you'll have books and food! Yay for partners who think ahead. Hurrah for neighbors who help our parents!

Anonymous said...

After spending 8 1/2 hours driving 10 miles to a powerless home, and then enjoying a friend's fireplace and couch for several days (before the power was restored), I heartily endorse stocking up on the necessities of life: already ground coffee, milk, TP, and books. (Not necessarily in that order.)

When I ventured out into our snowy world again, the first order of business was picking up Nicholas Johnson's "Boardwalk Empire" (the non-fiction basis for the HBO series), Daniel Okrent's "Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition," and Terry Pratchett's "I Shall Wear Midnight."

That last was a present for my daughter, though she won't read it until she's finished reading Michael Shaara's "The Killer Angels." She has a genre project for school - a research project about the historicity of historical fiction. (Which, in a way, brings us back to "Boardwalk Empire" and "Last Call," the latter of which addresses some of the myths that have grown up about Prohibition.)

But, having finished those books, it's now time to re-open a classic (Vintage) book from 1974: Fred Halliday's "Arabia Without Sultans: A Survey of Political Instability in the Arab World."

May everybody in the Midwest enjoy a warming trend (and, may everybody in the Middle East enjoy a cooling off period).


Kathleen said...

Love the coincidence of Shaara. Hubby liked Last Call, and Collagemama has been reading it, too.

Thanks for your sentiments on the Midwest and the Middle East, Bob. Did you read Vicki Barker's good BBC note over at Facebook?