A guy comes in looking for a good book. "What do you recommend?"
"Who do you like?"
"Oh, Cussler, and DeMille, and W.E.B. Griffin..."
"Potboilers," I say.
"It's a term for a certain kind of book. Let's Google it.............................Oh............By the way, have you read Wilbur Smith?"
Notice the subtle change of subject? Here's the Wiki description of "potboiler":
Potboiler is a term used to describe a poor quality novel"..." that was created quickly to make money to pay for the creator's daily expenses..."
What was really ironic, is that he then told me he'd read The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi, which is a complex and dense state-of-the-art S.F. novel that recently won both the Nebula and the Hugo for Best Novel.
I ended up selling him Perdido Street Station, China Meiville, and Anathem, Neal Stephenson.
Not the result I expected when he came in asking for Cussler....
I came across a great quote from George Orwell, (From Robert Gray's column on Shelf Awareness blog):
"When I worked in a second-hand bookshop--so easily pictured, if you don't work in one, as a kind of paradise where charming old gentlemen browse eternally among calf-bound folios--the thing that chiefly struck me was the rarity of really bookish people. Our shop had an exceptionally interesting stock, yet I doubt whether ten per cent of our customers knew a good book from a bad one.... Many of the people who came to us were of the kind who would be a nuisance anywhere but have special opportunities in a bookshop."
I love that last line -- "Many of the people who came to us were the kind who would be a nuisance anywhere but have special opportunities in a bookshop."
Oh -- I don't agree (mostly) . But it's funny.
2 days ago