Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I know I've been talking about GK's new bookstore a lot recently, but I ran across this article when I was looking for a Common Good Books web site so I could provide a helpful link in my previous entry about the sandwich. I thought this was too funny to pass up.

From Bookselling This Week:

“Common Good Books, Garrison Keillor's new independent bookstore in St. Paul, Minnesota, opened on Wednesday, November 1, to a welcoming crowd of about 400 people. "We felt ravished," said manager Sue Zumberge after a very busy weekend. “ (The emphasis is mine.)

This conversation may have occurred the following week:

“Hi Tim. It's Mike. How you doing? How was your weekend?”

“My weekend was pretty quiet, thanks for asking. I took Rex to the dog park, watched the Vikings lose, and went to Keillor's new bookstore and bought Pale Immortal, Anne Frasier's new book. Oh yeah, almost forgot: while I was at the bookstore I ravished the manager and a couple of the clerks.”


“Yeah. I'm not sure what came over me. It wasn't just me either – I'm fairly certain the manager was pre-ravished when I got to her. Plus I had a feeling the long line of guys at the cash register weren't there to buy poetry books. Glad I got there when I did. Nice place, though.”

I must admit, however, that Sue didn't say they were ravished, she just said they felt ravished. I guess things have changed since my bookselling days. When I worked in a bookstore, even on the busiest days I didn't walk out of the store and think, “Gee, I feel like I had sex all day!” Nope, it was more like, “Good thing I left when I did. If one more plump Iowa hausfrau had asked me where the Danielle Steele books were I would have punched her.”

You might be interested to know that before I wrote this I went downstairs and asked Sue if she really said that. She said yes. However, I didn't ask her any of the thousand follow up questions that you probably wish I had asked. My imagination works quite nicely without facts, thank you very much.

And by the way, Common Good Books really does stock Pale Immortal. Now.

-- Hulles


kat said...

I used to work for the imprint that published GK's books. We were always slapping our foreheads over his insistence that we include his photo on the front cover... if you've seen the man, you'll know that it wasn't exactly a good sales move.

Hulles said...

Actually I have seen him, and not only is he a handsome man but he's a powerful, intelligent and kindly man as well.

(I want him to publish some of my stuff later. I do have to admit though that boot leather tastes awful.)

Hulles said...

By the way, Anne, if you read this, will you call off the zombie clowns you sicced on me now? They keep leaking on the carpet and honking their noses in a most annoying manner.

Balderdash said...

sounds like a fun bookstore. maybe i'll send in my resume.

Hulles said...

I recommend it. Although they currently seem to have more clerks than books.

anne frasier said...

that's some AMAZING pimping, hulles. i'm too shy to go in a bookstore and even introduce myself. they don't give a shit, that's the truth. but when the pimping comes from somebody who didn't write the book -- sometimes they listen.


Hulles said...

Anne, you're welcome of course. Call me Huggy Bear. When I used to work for a book store chain I used to hear stories from the NYC folks that Thomas Pynchon, noted author and recluse, had a mom that would come in every day and check on her son's book sales and bitch if they weren't displayed prominently.

I think this is really what they mean when they say think globally but act locally. I figure if we all do our bit your sales will soar and then I can borrow money from you.

Besides, I'm allergic to zombie clown leakage.