An ongoing observation of a street closure day.
The "No Parking" Yellow Tape is already out when I arrive this morning, but people are still parking -- about half as much.
Having good business the first hour.
Streets are emptying of cars. (1:30 cutoff.) Also done a pretty good job of scouring the streets of all human life.... Haven't had anyone in in 15 minutes.
If half the people who buy candy from Powells would also buy their kids books, I'd be sitting pretty.
Typical "quality time" visits from dads and kids...dad usually more interested in what I got than the kids. Interested, but not enough to buy anything. After perusing the store, he turns and say, "Find anything?" and the kids act all confused because they thought they were here because of dad.
Lots of middle-aged couples which I immediately point to the used books. Should have a little tape-recorder that says, "Used books are on that side in front of the store for half price, new books on this side!"
Lots of requests all of a sudden for The Time-Traveler's Wife. As one guy commented, "Damn, I should have bought it sooner. Now I'll probably have to buy one with Eric Bana's mug on the cover..."
A couple of guys buying 2010 magic from me. Thought I'd convinced them there was a real shortage...then one of the guys let on that everyone "online" was sold out
Sold a couple packs of Pokemon.
Dad bought 3 chapter books for his kids, and we talked about Watership Down...
O.K. I have to admit, I'm getting the usual bunch of summer Saturday browsers...I should charge admission; I might make it as Duncan's Fabulous Pop Culture Emporium: "This way to the Egress!!"
Another fifteen minute lull. Streets now nearly empty of cars....scarfed down a couple of peanut butter sandwiches...
Funny. I've had the Big Lebowski toys in stock for a couple of years and couldn't give them away. And then, about 3 months ago, they started selling. I'm down to one last set. Guy just told me they have "Lebowski Festivals." First night at a theater and second night at bowling alleys. Who knew?
Amazing number of people (regulars, quite often) don't know about the bike race. "Hamsters in spandex going in circles as fast as they can," I say.
Looks like I'll do pretty close to my average in the first half of the day; you'll pardon me for wondering how I might have done if I had the whole day to sell stuff. We'll see, I guess.
Young lady in who said, "I passed on all the classics in high school, and now I'm trying to catch up so I don't seem like I don't know anything..." On my recommendation, she bought For Whom the Bell Tolls, which I think is Hemingway's most readable book...That why I like selling books!
Atmosphere has completely changed. No one in the door in over half an hour. I have to say, also, that I asked all the customers in the first few hours if they were down for the race, and the usual responses way: "Oh, that's what's going on?"
I'm going to give it until 4:00, and if nothing happens I'll go home and start working on my orders...
Couple of regulars in, who spent money and grumbled about the race. "If I'd known it was here, I wouldn't have come," one said. Have hit my daily average. Noticed that the owner of Ivy Manor has closed, and Wendy at the Trivia Antigues is taking her stuff in.
Also just noticed Pave was closed today.
So...4:00, it looks like. Did Good the first half of the day, at least.
(By the way, this is called the Twilight Criterion because it used to happen after 6:00....you know, as in TWILIGHT! Creeping promotionalism.... I'm not sure, but I think they might have broken the rules by closing the street next weekend -- if anyone wants to make a formal complaint...)
Came home. I can't believe it. One of the few times in my career when I closed within posted business hours. Anyone wants an explanation need only step into the street and get clobbered by a herd of spandex.
Can get an early start on my orders. I spend a couple hours just working up my nerve, which means I'll get going by 6:30 instead of 8:30...
5 days ago