Friday, July 11, 2014

How we shelve

While I was shelving in the genre fiction section I could hear a woman grumbling about poor instructions and about not finding any of the books and just generally about how unjust everything was in the world. So when she popped around the corner into my row I defied my tendency not to offer help unasked while shelving and inquired whether there was anything I could do for her.

There was!

She was looking for several books by Emily Griffin. She was told they were in, but she couldn't find them!

"Are you sure it's not Emily Giffin?" I asked. I was pretty sure it was Emily Giffin.

"No, it's Griffin." She said emphatically.

"I think it will be in fiction." I said, starting to lead the way.

"I'm pretty sure it's in romance." She said to my back.

Like I said I was pretty sure it was Giffin, not Griffin, but I had a weird hunch, one that would let me pretend to believe her, so I led her to the Griffins in fiction. There, perfectly misshelved, was one Emily Giffin book. I pulled it out and handed it to her.

"It is Giffin." I said. "The rest will be here." I headed around the corner to where the Emily Giffin books should be shelved. She followed slowly, examining her new Emily Giffin book.

"Here are the rest of them." I said, gesturing to a full shelf of Emily Giffin books.

"Oh." She said. "I'm sorry. I thought for sure it was Griffin."

"That's okay." I said. I meant it too. 

After all, we weren't so clear on it either.


  1. Oh, I'm so glad you were nice to that woman. I'm a bit like her sometimes. I'm always finding out I don't know as much as I think I do.

    (p.s. I hope you don't mind if I comment A LOT. I'm now breaking out in a sweat thinking I'm burdening you, especially in view of the fact that we've had a conversation about you not commenting back. But it's hard to resist!)

    1. No, no, I can't emphasize enough what a delight it is to receive comments. I've gotten so many of the people reading this blog to receive it by email that sometimes it feels a bit ghost townish on the actual blog itself. A lot of that was by my own design, but it has its downsides- like that whole feeling of writing out into nothingness. So, it's terribly reaffirming to read engaged, and engaging comments like yours. Please don't worry about it. If you can.


If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.