Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Joke, A Pageant

From Dickens' A Christmas Carol, which the ALP and I have been reading aloud:


"The brightness of the shops where holly sprigs and berries crackled in the lamp heat of the windows, made pale faces ruddy as they passed. Poulterers' and grocers' trades became a splendid joke: a glorious pageant, with which it was next to impossible to believe that such dull principles as bargain and sale had anything to do."


I love the splendid joke of Christmas in retail. Impossibly busy, we nevertheless find more time than we do at any other part of the year to give recommendations, to have a little human interaction with our customers. And it's glorious. Though we depend on it to pay our rent, it does seem to have less to do with making a buck and more with the pageantry of generosity and abundance. I spend a lot of time in the back office these days, but it's wonderful to have Christmas come along so I get to be a bookseller again.

Here's wishing all of you booksellers a merry and bright season in the store.

For the rest of you: do you have a favorite holiday retail story?

1 comment:

MCM said...

Hello -- I share your sentiments. I have worked in bookstores (Barnes & Noble, Borders, and currently, Powell's at Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton, Oregon) for many years. Christmas can be a bit frantic, but giving recommendations is always an enjoyable, and sometimes quite meaningful, experience. I take comfort in the knowledge that I am selling books, and not the usual sort of rubbish that people are inclined to buy at this time of year.

Cheers,
Michael C. Morton

P.S.
Like you, I am also a blogger:
http://vagrantviews.blogspot.com/