As the year winds down, I can’t help think of just a few of the things that made me smile during the past year.
– My staff, who have been tireless workers this whole year, working extremely hard and recommending great books, even when facing daunting challenges of lack of information and time, and a constantly ringing phone.
– The great kids who come in eager to read, and requesting books even as young as two and a half. This little girl came right up to the counter, stood on tippy toes, head barely visible and asked in a loud, piping voice, "Do you have any books on moo-cows?" Well, everyone on staff practically leapt to help moo-cow girl, who left with a charming touch-and-feel book. It made me really happy that her dad was training her for a lifetime of being engaged in bookstores by making her ask for the moo-cow books, not just finding one for her. Okay, I have to admit, moo-cow is a really fun word to say, which is why I can’t stop repeating it.
– The customer from Albany, N.Y. (three hours away) who made me a scarf last week because I helped her find a book and complimented her on her beautiful scarf. Now I’ve got a stunning scarf to wear for the holidays, and a really sweet note.
– The woman who came in asking for the book that was in the window last year, who was patient enough to let us help actually find it for her. Hugs all around on that coup.
– The customer who just yesterday sent me a 16-month tea-cup piglet wall calendar. Adorable mini-piglets for more than a year. I can hardly stand it.
– The many children, boys and girls, young to teens, who have left the store hugging their book.
– One other thing that always makes smile are the many customers who surreptitiously sniff their books after they buy them.
– And lastly, the customers who come back to us and say how grateful they are that we’re in their families’ lives. This is why I love going to work every day. A book can make a huge difference in someone’s life: be it a moo-cow book, the breakthrough book for an emerging reader, the book that reminds teenagers it’s fun to read when they feel oppressed by schoolwork. It can be the book that is full of wonder, the great story they might not have picked up on their own, but the one that we enthusiastically told them they had to read.
So, enjoy the books you’ll get on Christmas morning and spend some quality time with your family, all cozy, all reading books.