On Tuesday, we had an entire day where people used credit from our big blue ledger. No cash purchases were made, no books brought in. (The ledger stays in the bookstore and regular customers have a page where we keep an updated tally.) Since we don’t have the ledger computerized, we’d have to look at the dates on each page to know how much trade credit was used, and neither of us cared at the end of Tuesday, because we were tired of looking in the ledger.
On Wednesday, every single customer bought books for cash, and we outdid our previous sales record for best day ever by $41. We were slammed and it was fun, but when the day was over, we fell without grace or ceremony into chairs and stared at the ceiling awhile.
At some point I said, “You want supper?”
He said, “No. You?”
I said, “Can’t be bothered.”
He said, “All right, then.”
We went to bed.
On Thursday, from every corner of the world, it seemed, people brought in books to trade. Bags of books, boxes of books, miles and miles and piles of books! I was actually away Thursday, and came home to a carpet of them. Jack held up his hands as if to beg for mercy.
“They came too fast; I couldn’t keep up.”
We spent that evening shelving books, gnawing on some cheese and tomatoes between stacks.
On Friday, two kangaroos and an elephant came in. The elephant was pregnant and the roos were giving her a gift certificate to our children’s room. Nice folk.
And so it goes…. people ask us about “patterns in book retail.” There’s only one pattern: expect every day to be different from the one before it, and you will always be right.