Hi Gothic Shoppers.
The throngs of you who flocked to our doors this past Saturday probably noticed that our doors were locked. At least, I hope you all noticed that; otherwise, our security procedures need some adjusting.
It wasn’t that we’d grown tired of servicing your book needs. No, we were engaged in that great retail ritual to which we all must submit: we were doing inventory. Now, those of you who have not worked in a bookshop before do not know the pure joy of a physical inventory. It involves pulling out every single book, magazine, card, and tchotchke, and scanning its barcode with a little raygun until a beep is heard.
It takes a really long time.
I’d like to tell you a story of how I came to enjoy the process, how I came to feel close to my fellow booksellers as we pursued some common goal. I’d like to say, even, that I was a ray of sunshine the whole time. If I tried to tell you this, though, my coworkers would murder me on the spot. (I acted like something of a you-know-what there towards the end, and I duly apologize)
No, none of us really came to feel anything other than dread and annoyance about the whole thing. However, it did give me a renewed sense of the scope of our stock here at the Gothic. I wasn’t paying too much attention to the titles of the books I was scanning; that just slows a person down. But once in a while I would surface from my ennui-induced walking coma to find myself holding a book on the conquest of the American West, or some random book on mathematics, or a book on making pickles, or Kevin Young’s volume of film noir poetry, or Foucault’s History of Madness, or (I’m not making this up), a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. And I’d think to myself: wow, we’ve really got the bases covered here.
If it sounds like I’m bragging here, well, I can’t deny it. We do have a seriously well-stocked bookstore, and, after all, the purpose of this blog isn’t to tell the world that we suck rotten eggs.
So, after all, in the midst of the hellish slog that was inventory, I once again found purpose as a bookseller, and was truly glad for the experience...
I’m kidding, of course. I hope I never have to perform that godawful task again. But we do have a lot of great books here.