It's been a while since we took a visit to my imaginary bookstore, Bibliophiles, so I thought we'd stop by. Today we'll be looking at a couple of things that aren't there. (That's right, we're being very deep and philosophical today.)
There are some things in BookWorld that I don't enjoy being forced to sell. Now, I'm not saying they should be banned or censored or burned, because I totally, passionately believe in every one's personal freedom of speech. However, I personally don't like some of the things that I cross paths with, and since it's my imaginary bookstore, and I am queen, I don't have to sell them. You're more than welcome to buy them at your local Barnes & Borders.
First on that list – CliffsNotes (Or Spark Notes. Or Monarch Notes.) I realize that they were originally intended to be a study aide to help people understand the scholarly interpretations, complex plots, or historical context of great works of literature, and I somewhat condone their use in those situations, but you still have to buy it elsewhere. Now, of course, CliffsNotes are a way to half-ass your way through great works of literature without having to do too much scary reading. Not in my bookstore. Read the actual book or face the wrath of my attack ponies.
Second – No magazine section. I may stock a few copies or Bookmarks, Publisher's Weekly, and Mental Floss, but you cannot buy Cosmo at Bibliophiles. In every bookstore I've worked at magazines require the most work for the least amount of monetary (or literary) gain. I honestly don't know why most places still stock them. No one ever puts them back, they read them and spill coffee on them, they tear pages, and then they never buy any. Most of the clean up after Borders closed at night took place in the magazine section.
Third- Nothing that makes noise. I've already made my opinion known about noisy toys, but my bookstore will also not stock noisy books. Sorry kids, I will happily sell you any Winnie-the-Pooh book that doesn't come with a very loud noise making element. Someone else will have to teach you what sound the cow makes.
Fourth – Any non-book item that I cannot in some way relate to books. Bookmarks, pens, notebooks, highlighters- all fine. I use all of those things when I'm reading. In fact the Post-It Flag display in Bibliophiles will be front and center, and probably constantly depleted by me. But no one has been able to explain the necessity for a pink flocked reindeer. Which I have been forced to sell in a bookstore. (No, really)
Finally (for today's tour at least) – No food or drinks sold or offered for free. I have had to throw away too many things after someone spilled coffee on them. One of those things was an original pressing of The Beatles White Album on vinyl that a gentleman managed to ruin by spilling a large coffee into one of our locked cases where we had it stored. I may have teared up as I tossed that into the garbage. I know it's great to kick back and enjoy a great book with a hot beverage, but in my world you do that after you've purchased the book. And again, Bibliophiles is for book lovers, most of whom respect the idea of keeping liquids far away from books.
There are many more things that won't be allowed in my hallowed book grounds, but I feel like that's a good start. Come back soon – leave your coffee outside.