If booksellers and publishers can’t even coordinate to get books into the stores by the time they’re being reviewed, it’s no wonder sales of everything but the likes of Harry Potter, The Da Vinci Code, and The Purpose-Driven Life are down.Even more disturbing, it seems that there are bignamebookstore employees who don't know their ass from their A.S. Byatt:
Today was the day. The day that a new novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was due for sale in bookstores. I show up at Barnes and Noble at 10:30am on my break and begin scouring the New Fiction tables for the book. I don't see it anywhere. So I ask one of the workers for help."The guy who wrote that Oprah book."
"Excuse me- I heard the new book by Marquez would be for sale today. Is that true? I don't see it."
Okay. We're already off to a bad start. It is my not-so-humble opinion that you shouldn't be working in a bookstore if you have to ask, "Marquez who?". Put your hands in the air. Drop the books and no one gets hurt. There's a job waiting for you at Sam Goody over at the mall. Now get outta here.
He goes to the computer. "What was the author's name again?"
Sigh. With infinite patience I say again, "Gabriel. Garcia. Marquez." I resist the urge to run to the cash register and buy this guy One Hundred Years of Solitude. If I thought he would put down his John Grisham paperback long enough to read it, I would consider it a worthwhile investment.
Crap. I knew he was going to ask that, the clueless git. Under my breath, "memoriesofmymelancholywhores."
"Memories of My Melancholy Whores." He looks over at my belly judgmentally. I'm not being sensitive, shut up, he did! "Yes, I'm seven months pregnant and I'm reading a book about sad whores, okay? It's not a romance novel, it's by a Noble Prize winning author who...nevermind."
"Oh, is he the guy who wrote that Oprah book?" Yeah, now I have to murder him. In the parking lot. Just as soon as his shift ends. "Ahhh, here it is. We just don't have it out on the tables yet. Let me go get you a copy."
And that, friends, is how I walked away with the very first copy sold of Marquez's new novel at my local Barnes and Noble. Next time I'm going to Full Circle. I guarantee you every single employee at Full Circle knows my good friend, Gabo.
God help me.