Welcome Tootie, Shopsitter III

Many of you remember Andrew. And Mark and Sally. Now it is time to welcome Tootie to the family.

DSCN0154At Southern Festival of the Book, Tootie came up after my author talk and said, “You mean you let people live and work in your bookstore? Where do I sign?!”

And that’s how we met Tootie. She seemed an energetic bubbly sort, but we didn’t need a shopsitter at the time, so we lamented the lateness of our meeting, and went our ways.

But a few months later, when I hopped over to Winston-Salem for an event with BOOKMARKS (a very active group of literary women over there) who should be attending but Tootie and a friend. And by then we knew that we needed to be in Wisconsin for a week in April, for the Fox Cities Book Festival, and a couple of day trip events later that month.

“Are you still–” I started, and Tootie’s eyes lit.

“You need a shopsitter, don’t you!” she cried.

So that’s how Tootie drove over from Southern Pines, NC last week and spent two days tucked up in the guest room learning the ropes. She and our indoor/outdoor cat Beulah have taken a particular shine to one another, so Beulah has decided to come back inside and help Tootie with the shelving.

Tootie, who recently retired from a career in sales, quickly figured out the shop’s daily regime, and was “pure dead brilliant” with customers, as Jack said. She also got the full whack in one day. Our bookstore rejoices in a few “oddballs,” what we like to call colorful local characters. One young man is schizophrenic and obsessed with “getting a PhD in guitar.” Tootie, hearing him talking to Jack, told him what a great career choice he had made. “Music makes the world turn!” I’d never seen this guy look so happy.

For her part, Tootie brought along a copy of Little Bookstore and started pointing out landmarks to herself. Very META. She also identified the staff cats correctly based on the book, calling them by name on first meeting–which impressed Valkyttie, and that’s not easy to do.

I read the first (but only the first) of the Left Behind books on the flight between London and Chicago that opened the action. That kinda gave me the willies, but Tootie says she likes “being inside the Little Bookstore‘s covers, literally.”

Tootie will be working the shop from today through next Saturday, so if you’re in the area, come over and say hello. She’s got a great sense of humor. And Valkyttie likes her. You can’t say that about just anyone.

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4 Comments

Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, publishing, reading, shopsitting, small town USA, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Welcome Tootie, Shopsitter III

  1. James R

    I’ll reserve judgement until I speak with Owen Meany. I’m sure he’ll have something to say.

  2. James R

    I spoke with Owen last night and he was a bit down at heart and showing a little of the green eyed monster.(Jealousy) It seems that Beulah has taken up with Tootie, Nike has commandeered a spot on Tootie’s husband’s lap, and Queen Valkyttie has them both under her paw. All of which leaves Owen out in the cold, so to speak. Being the heir apparent to the bookstore, he he was of the notion that he should have received a little more attention. I did my best to assure him that all would soon be back to normal and he did agree that, as shop sitters go, Tootie was very good. When I left him he was in a better frame of mind. He said that since he had nothing better to do, he would torment Bert for a while and there was still that field mouse down in the fence corner that had been eluding him. I agreed that the night was still young and the possibilities endless so he headed towards the back yard with a new bounce in his step. Life is good.

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