Our summer season is in full swing here. I know this because yesterday pretty much all we did was sell books to campers or for campers. It seems the first week of sleepaway camp is now so kids are stocking up. For every kid at sleepaway camp, there are kids who have arrived in town for their family’s summer vacation.
Every summer I wait patiently for my seasonal customers to stop by. These are the folks I only see during the summer when they come to the lake. Often these are families I’ve known for the entire time we’ve been open. Yesterday, one of my favorite families from Cape Town popped by. Jack and Alice are now 12 and 16. We’ve known them since Alice was three when she asked in her clear, pipping British-accented voice, “Would you happen to have a loo?” I have loved them ever since.
Jack is an angelic looking young man with curly hair and lovely smile. He put a massive stack of books, mostly hardcover, on the counter. His mom suggested that he get paperbacks. He said that these were all the new books in their series. Mom then said she wasn’t going to pay for all of those. Jack just smiled at her and said he had money. It turns out he had $75. He spent $73 and was thrilled.
His mom said, “But Jack, that’s all your money.” And he smiled impishly and said, “It’s all I want to spend my money on.” I loved the look that accompanied that sentence. It was if he was saying nothing else mattered but the books. I gave him a tote bag that he wore around his head while his family shopped. I love kids who buy books and see the value in it.
He’s a fast reader and I suspect he’ll be out there mowing someone’s lawn to get more book money before he heads home to Cape Town.