That Moment When….

It was inevitabljamese, but no less embarrassing for that, when a good friend who uncomplainingly looks after the bookstore regularly, arrived today thinking he was needed only for me to realize that he wasn’t.

James became our ‘go-to’ guy for shop cover a couple of years ago and has proved an absolute godsend. He knows where everything is, can sweet talk customers and ‘hand-sell’ with the best of them. Not only that but he makes sure our menagerie, including the ever-changing kitten population is well taken care of.

Ever since ‘The Little Bookstore’ was first published five years ago we have had times when we’ve been away for extended promotional tours or just on vacation and discovered that there were interesting people out there that relished the idea of running a bookstore and living in it. We’ve been fortunate to find them and give them that opportunity and some have done it more than once.

Where James fits in is when we need just two or three days and sometimes as little as a couple of hours.

However, with Wendy in WV on her writing residency, there are a few extra things for me to keep an eye on, including the afore-mentioned kitten population.

Around the middle of last week the team that runs Appalachian Feline Friends were getting geared up for a kitten transport to another rescue in MD and that can sometimes be a bit ‘changeable’ from day to day. Two of our long-term fosters here in the store are Fang and Delight and they were scheduled for updated shots today. However, they then got spaces on the transport which was leaving first thing this morning. So they got rescheduled for their shots to Monday.

This afternoon I was tending to mixed bunch of customers when James arrived. “Hello” I said – “what brings you here?” Sure enough – I’d asked him to mind the store while I took Fang and Delight for their shots and completely forgotten to tell him they’d already been! Just to complete the whole sorry story, the transport was cancelled because too few kittens were ready to travel. So Fang and Delight are happy bookstore cats with up to date shots.


Jack’s weekly guest blog post, in which he sinks ever deeper into senility –

We sell a few books each week on the Internet through Half dot Com, an online marketplace where you can buy and sell books, videos and CDs (a branch of Evil Bay). When one of our listed books sells, we get an email saying which it is and who it has to be sent to.

A few days ago we got one of these messages and I couldn’t find the book. I asked Wendy if she’d seen it. As it turns out, she’d just finished reading it, so we figured it was probably down in our basement apartment. No luck! Finally Wendy turned it up hidden in among the ordered books waiting to be picked up by local customers.

Meanwhile –

Wendy, knowing I’m a fan of Alexander McCall Smith, had picked up one of his books for me from the local library (I blogged about it last week) and, now that I’d finished it, I’d laid it aside to be returned to the library.

Yesterday morning I had two early tasks. I had to package for mailing three ‘kitty afghans’ that Wendy had crocheted to raise ‘spay and neutering money’  and I had to package the aforementioned ordered book. I then walked over to the post office and sent them both off.

Except –

When Wendy got home she picked up the now only too familiar ordered book and waved it at me – “Haven’t you mailed this yet?”

Uh, Oh – – –

Yes – that’s right! In all the kerfuffle of getting the three afghans into a compact box and getting it all taped up and addressed, I’d stuck the book into its envelope without double checking. If I had, I’d have seen that I was mailing the McCall Smith LIBRARY BOOK by mistake. So I’ve sent the buyer a crawling apology by e-mail, explaining what happened, and included a similar note with the correct book, which finally went off by parcel post this morning.

And, yes, I did double check this time, and triple checked, and – – –

I wonder if I’m going to have to buy a McCall Smith on Half dot Com to take back to the library?