Tuesday night, TheHusband and I went out on a mini-date to a questionable steakhouse, thanks to a gift card we received from my brother. Interestingly, on a Tuesday, the line was longer and thicker then we had anticipated so we opted to head to a local bookstore conveniently located behind said questionable steakhouse to kill some time before heading in for dinner.
This particular bookstore is the one that is part of a local chain and is closing its doors in a few weeks. I felt a sense of foreboding entering the building as the atmosphere was that of vultures picking a carcass clean rather than folks enjoying a nice bookstore.
I speculated on Twitter recently several reasons why I was grumpy about this local chain, why I had issues with its current business model, and why thus was not surprised at the demise of this particular store. A roundup: they started all new employees (with the exception of management) at minimum wage regardless of past experiences; the space was allocated mainly to used titles (larger profit margin) and gifts, with new titles pushed to the perimeter and becoming less prominent; their outreach, which was one of the best things about them, had dwindled down to almost nothing; the location was terrible and hard to get to. Would you not have done a survey before opting to get a lease somewhere?
So there we were, book stacks at home piled up past our eyeballs of things we should be reading and yet we were stockpiling more titles in the carnage such as:
- The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes
- Heartwood (Elemental Wars) by Freya Robertson
- The Diary of a Madman, The Government Inspector, and Selected Stories by Nikolai Gogol
- The Barrow by Mark Smylie
- The Vikings: A History by Robert Ferguson
- Song of the Vikings by Nancy Marie Brown
- The Deadly Sisterhood: A Story of Women, Power, and Intrigue in the Italian Renaissance, 1427-1527 by Leonie Frieda
Interlude: As I had been toying with the idea of asking for patron support on the site for months, I figured now would be a good time to do so since I’ve been upped my linking to Amazon. A longer think piece will be forthcoming in the near future on this decision, but I can assure you, it was not taken lightly.
It was slight madness. 45% off all new titles, 65% off used titles, and 75% off all gift and merchandise. We picked through the carnage with discerning eyes, pulling out titles we felt we had to have NOW rather then wait because the prices were too good to pass up.
I looked for titles in all my favorite sections (SFF, mythology, fiction, and history) and of things I was desperate to get right now. TheHusband, ever omnipotent snob he is, only looked for the tell-tale spines of Penguin classics. We put things back we knew we wouldn’t touch for months, no matter how good the price.
All but one of the titles is for me. We almost came home with volumes 1 and 3 of the The Graphic Canon, but decided to wait since volume 2 was not available.
With arms bulging with books, we dropped them off at the car and then headed into dinner. Since it was a questionable steakhouse, we opted for burgers rather then the steak. This turned out to be a most excellent decision the burgers turned out to be fairly delicious. Who knew?
Day one with no social media was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I had deleted almost all of the apps from my devices and my computer, and cleared out my browser history so no autocomplete when I input the letter, “t”, “p”, or “i”. I kept TweetDeck installed for work purposes and for scheduling out blog tweets. But the desire to look wasn’t really there.
I dug into one of my books from the spree from the night before, covering 2/3rds of if before 3PM. I did more job hunting stuff and had started writing before my brother called to take me out for dinner, so he could whinge about his girlfriend and current theories of government.
Neither he, nor TheHusband from the night before, noticed I wasn’t on my phone during the meal. I had to point out to both that I was not Facebooking/Tweeting/Instagraming/etc anytime during our night out and TheHusband watched sports ball at the restaurant and the brother was furiously text fighting with his girlfriend while attempting to complain to me about her. Next time, I’ll make it a point to them both if we’re going out to dinner, no sports ball even if the game is on at the bar and leaving phones in the vehicles. This was kind of ridiculous.
It should also be noted TheHusband and I had a long standing rule my phone only got pulled out for emergencies at dinner, so it was not as if I was ignoring him all these years before today. But you know, men. Can’t live with them, can’t reasonably feed their carcasses to pigs.
Not that I thought about feeding his carcass to pigs or anything.
It was a very quiet day and I am reveling in the mindfulness away from the chatter. I woke up in the morning with two distinct story lines running through my head, which of course in the few minutes from the time I woke, face down in pillows with one leg hanging off the bed, to being cognizant of what I was dreaming about, the lines were gone.
Tonight, I sleep with pen and paper on my bed stand.
This day in Lisa-Universe: 1999