Sunday, January 23, 2011

Overheard in the Bookstore

The time: Saturday afternoon
The place: a bookstore
The players: a Middle-Aged Male Shopper and a Middle-Aged Female Bookseller

Middle-Aged Male Shopper: I'm looking for a book to give my buddy as a baby shower gift. [News to bookseller, who doesn't do much--or anything--in the way of baby showers: daddies are now included in the festivities. Who knew?] He's going to be a first-time dad, so I want something about becoming a father, how to be a father, something like that.

They start walking back toward the Parenting section.

Middle-Aged Female Bookseller: I know of two books that fit the bill perfectly. They're by the same author, and one is called The Expectant Father and the other The New Father. Here they are.

MAMS looks at the books and rejects them outright.

MAMS: No, this isn't what I want. I want something inspirational, about a father/son or father/daughter story. Like Tiger Woods' dad wrote.

MAFB: Hm. Earl Woods' book is out of print...I have a title on the tip of my tongue but it's not coming to me. Let me ask my co-workers. (Pages to ask for a recommendation and somebody answers with that tip-of-the-tongue title, which is Big Russ and Me, by Tim Russert.) Oh, yes! Let me show you this one; it's perfect. Tim Russert wrote this about his amazing relationship with his own father. He also wrote a follow-up book called The Wisdom of Our Fathers, which consists of letters from readers inspired by his first book.

MAMS looks at the books and rejects them.

MAMS: No, this isn't what I want. I'll just go back over to the Parenting section.

Um, yes, it is what you want. In fact, twice in a row I gave you exactly what you asked for. It's probably a good thing I didn't give you Punk Rock Dad or Alternadad

Well, nobody's shooting guns at me, so I really can't complain.


Laura Reese said...

Sad, sad, sad. Big Russ & Me is excellent. Not sure if I'll ever read ANYTHING by anyone in Tiger Wood's biological family. Perhaps the guy needed a picture book how-to: This is a diaper (picture of diaper). This is a car seat (picture of car seat), etc.

:) Laura Reese

Booklady said...

Reminds me of the conversations I have with the kids in my library. I want a book about elves. Here's one. No I want a true book about elves. But . . . - well you get the picture.

Rebecca Glenn said...

>Laura: What's sad to me is how inarticulate so many people are. They have a picture in their head of what they want but are simply unable to convey that picture to the one person who actually gets paid to help them. And the Tim Russert is a lovely book. When it came out he spoke and a conference for my company, and he was delightful.

>Booklady: Ah, yes. I remember as a cub bookseller way back when a customer asked me for the "true" books on vampires (this was way before Twilight and the recent wave of vampire was about in the middle of the Anne Rice vampire obsession). I said, "But sir, vampires are fictional creations." He said, "No they're not."

Learned my lesson.

EnriqueFreeque said...

Real men have no business being anywhere near a nasty baby shower! That's whack.

What's next, MAMS (Ha!) walks in to your store looking for a book on Tupperware for the Tupperware Party his best buddy is throwing?

J.G. said...

At the risk of sounding sexist, this is why men and baby showers don't often mix.

Rebecca Glenn said...