Friday, January 15, 2016

Bios of the dead, and "I have a really strange request... "

I first knew him as the evil King Jareth, and was determined to marry him! Even as a child I was setting myself up for destructive relationships. -Sigh-

David Bowie books have taken center stage at the bookstore. Overnight three 'new' biographies hit the stands. Three. Overnight. No shit.

Chuck Palahnuik's book, Tell-All focuses on this phenomenon. Famous biographies are written well before the celebrity is dead so they'll be the first to hit the stands. This profitable macabre trend is the focus in Palahnuik's least favorite book he's written, which just happens to be my favorite. Tell-All is told from the perspective of a movie star's personal assistant. It's an amazing read.

This brings me to the most frequent saying I hear at the bookstore.

"I have a really strange request..."

Our customers say this at the register. They say it over the phone. They whisper that opening line in the back of the store between book shelves so other people wont hear what they're about to ask me.

I keep expecting, "Do you have snuff porn?"

"Do you sell nipple clamps?"

"Is there a Fifty Shades of Grey board game?"

What do I get?

"Can you order a biography on Antoine LaVey?"

We. Are. A. Bookstore. 

Asking me to order a book is not a strange request. We can order any book as long as it's in print.

Still, the stiffness in demeanor as if bracing themselves for the onslaught of my judgment is pretty adorable.

"Can I see the book on the back wall?" asks a customer pointing at an architecture book titled, Cabin Porn.

My co-worker lifts it off the display to hand over.

"Wait. Is it really porn?" asks the woman refusing to touch it.


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