Last night I browsed in an independent bookshop. I think it’s the last one left in San Francisco (http://www.bookshopwestportal.com). You know the kind. Hardwood floors. Well lit. Wood tables stacked high with literature. Yes, literature. Not the latest mass produced drivel. Titles that beckon your attention. Books with a distinct voice. Intelligent writing. Compelling stories. Just breathing the air made you smarter.
“What are you looking for?” asked the saleswoman. She was a woman in her fifties with short, dark hair, and a few wrinkles around her eyes.
“I’m looking for something well written, with charm, wit, and a story worthy of my time and money,” I said waiting to see a blank stare cross her face.
“Come with me,” she said. “Do you like mysteries?”
“Yes. British. Women protagonists,” I said.
Before I knew it I had a book in my hand, by an author who was new to me, that bore the marks of a decent read. “She’s smart and her stories have depth,” the saleswoman said. Clearly she was a reader.
She rang me up. I thanked her for the personal attention. And I’d be back to let her know how I liked the book.
I made my way to the front door. The blue computer screen on the counter stared at me unblinkingly.
Calvin says, “I love the personal touch. It’s like getting scratched behind your ears.”