Think Fast(er)

The other day one of our favorite regular customers, “Ted,” came in and special ordered a gift. While he was here, Jack said, “Your mom’s order is in” and began hunting through our hold shelf.

“Oh, what’d she order?” Ted asked, and Jack suddenly straightened.

“Can’t find it, sorry, must not be here yet,” my husband said. Ted shrugged. We ordered a Mother’s Day gift for his mom.

“I know she comes in here all the time,” Ted said, “so don’t mention I got this for her. It’s gonna be a real surprise.”

We swore ourselves to solemn secrecy, and Ted departed. No sooner was he off the porch than Jack sat down with a loud “WHEW.” He looked positively green.

“You okay?” I asked, and Jack pointed to the hold shelf.

“It’s there, what she ordered,” Jack said. “But I just remembered as I was about to pick it up and hand it to him that she told me it was his birthday gift.”

Close call, that. Sometimes it carries to full conclusion. Last winter a brother-sister duo browsed Christian non-fiction. He opened a book, frowned, and walked to her. “I gave you this for Christmas in 2008,” he said in the tones of a Methodist Minister opening a funeral. “See the inscription?”

With a weak grin, his sister offered to buy it back for him. He continued to frown and she continued talking faster and higher, but I could see a twinkle forming in the corners of his smile. Finally, his sister burst out, hands on hips, “Ok, Mr. Theology, admit it. It was a dumb, boring book, and that’s why you gave it to me after you read it first, because you didn’t want it.”

The brother burst out laughing and returned the book to the (bargain) shelf.

Such are the days and ways of a small town bookstore. We know who’s buying what, why, for whom. And we never tell – at least when we think fast enough.


Filed under bookstore management, humor, Life reflections, shopsitting, small town USA, Uncategorized

10 responses to “Think Fast(er)


    Wendy, do you have any books on loom knitting? I have been introduced to loom knitting and I love it. Difficult finding patterns.
    Let me know if you have time. Have a blessed day. Appreciate you site. Dana Coates
    Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

  2. Dana – we have a large crafts section. I ‘ll check, but if you are anywhere near you might want to drop in and check for yourself (I might miss one).

  3. Haha! This is funny. You get to know people pretty well with all that inside info, I bet. I was helping my best friend with her garage sale last summer and, you guessed it, I came across a gift I had given her. She quickly grabbed it and stammered all over herself explaining that it wasn’t supposed to be out there for sale. Haha!

  4. Betsy Whitehead

    Hi, Jack and Wendy: you talk about making tea at your shop – just interested – how do you two make the perfect pot of tea? Trying to learn. Betsy Whitehead, from dark and desperate Evansville, Ind.


      Except about once every two days, someone searches on that bookshop…..

      Boil the water, have the teapot next to it, and pour the water straight in on top of the teabag while still boiling (number of bags to water ratio is so personal, just play with it). We steep black tea 3 minutes.

  5. Maggie

    I got myself in trouble not long after we opened. One of the local librarians is a regular customer and I had placed a special order for her. The day it came in, two of her co-workers came in on their lunch break, and I asked themif when they got back to the library to let S. know her book was in. I still don’t understand why (I didn’t mention WHAT she ordered, which was ntohign embarrassing anyway), but S. was upset I had mentioned it to her coworker rather than calling or emailing her directly.

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