In my many years in various aspects of BookWorld I have sometimes imagined what it would look like if I owned a bookstore. I could make all the rules, control the stock, and perhaps make the filter between my brain and my mouth out of a slightly wider mesh. It could be the literary equivalent of the restaurants that play on the schtick of having rude waitresses. At some point in this blog I will give you the full imaginary tour, but for right now, the two most important points. First, the name, Bibliophiles. Right away, you get rid of a lot of the rif-raf because they won't know what that big scary word means. And second, and most importantly: The List. What is The List, you ask? Behind the main employee desk, next to the emergency flask of whiskey, will live the gilt framed list of five questions/actions that will activate the secret trap door that releases the perpetrator into the bowels of the store where my army of miniature attack ponies lie in wait to trample them with very tiny, adorable, but deadly, hooves.
And here it is – The List:
- “Do you have the Cliff Notes/ Spark Notes for (fill in the blank)?” (If the title is Shakespeare, we skip the ponies and I pummel you myself)
- Talking on your cell phone while a sales clerk is trying to answer your question.
- “I don't know the title or author or what it's about, but I kind of know what it looks like.”
- “Can you recommend a book for a gift for my friend? I know absolutely nothing about their reading habits, hobbies, or interests.”
- “Do you have a copy machine? I don't want to buy the book, I just want some of the information.”
So if you should wander into a bookstore called Bibliophiles, watch out for trap doors and tiny ponies. You've been warned.
Have any suggestions for The List - leave them in the comments.