Wednesday 15 April 2009

The Sarazens head without New-gate: Dear gawd, the inventory

I'm going blind here, people!
In case you've been wondering where I've been...we're doing store inventory. I don't mean the half-hearted inventory of a month ago, which I probably never mentioned.

No, this is the two friends have come in to do inventory with me and we all three work constantly from 11-5. At 5, they go home, and I keep working, to try to catch up on the parts of what they've done that only I can do, i.e., the inputting of the changes into our database. Except today. Today I'm taking a 5 pm mental health break and reconnecting with my little bloggy.

We're going full tilt on the inventory because of the problems with online sales mentioned in my previous Sarazens head post and there are just SO MANY books in each section that our database says we have and which we don't. It's truly daunting. And I don't think I accept the daunt easily.

And blindness makes reading somewhat difficult
Anyway, the inventory has to be completed so it is, but I am getting almost no reading done. Also, I'm slowly making my way through 6 books right now, which is ridiculous.

I keep taking breaks from Ivanhoe because the tension is just too high and it's making me want to whimper and rock back and forth.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love I'm finding to be utterly forgettable except when I read a story (as I did yesterday) which makes me think "Cormac McCarthy wishes he were Raymond Carver, but why? Why would someone wish that? Dull dull dull!"

I have one story left in Old Peter's Russian Tales and was all set to finish it yesterday but somehow lost it in the walk between my apartment and the bookstore. Yes, the apartment is above the bookstore. This is driving me a little crazy. This is also why you're getting a Sarazens head post instead of a post on Old Peter's Russian Tales, dammit!

What else am I reading again?

What people want to buy from my shop plus tangent
The advantage of being a used bookstore is that I carry weird shit that you might not see anywhere else, which is good for people whose tastes aren't mainstream - and we get quite a number of weird requests in person and orders online. The majority, however, of the books I sell are just what you'd expect to find anywhere: Eat, Pray, Love is a popular one these days, as are Eckhart Tolle books, Paulo Coelho books, The Road, The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and anything by Jodi Picoult.

I find this sort of homogeny in reading practices fairly depressing, I admit, but then someone will come in and buy a bunch of Russian lit or $100 worth of plays that cost $3.49 each (and none of it Shakespeare) or we'll talk about Rilke or George Elliott Clarke. My Russian boyfriend came in yesterday and bought some stuff and we talked about Russian lit, which he admitted he doesn't read a lot of, and how can I criticize when I don't read much Canadian lit? EXCEPT. Except, of course, Russian lit is infinitely more kick ass than Canadian lit!

But he told me something interesting after I suggested I was losing a lot of Dostoevsky in translation - it seems to be the case that Dostoevsky is better in English than in the original Russki! What!! If true, this is proof that gawd hasn't completely thrust me from his bosom.

The worst thing, perhaps, about inventory... that I won't be able to do the 24-hour read-a-thon after all. I have to work all weekend and my hubby is sick and I feel like I might be coming down with his cold so I'm making the executive decision to withdraw. But it pains me.


Stacy said...

Awww...I'm bummed about the read-a-thon. Although just reading about the inventory sounded exhauting, let alone actually be doing it, so I would probably choose to recover and nurse the illness too.

You get to live above all those books? Now I'm really jealous.

That is very interesting about Dostoevsky. I am going to look into that.

Hope you are all well.

Vasilly said...

Awww. . . I'm sorry you can't do the read-a-thon. I hope when you finish with the inventory you can get some time to yourself. You must be exhausted.

Melissa O. said...

Sorry to hear that. I hope you guys get to feeling better soon!!

~Melissa @ Melissa's Bookshelf

Lorin said...

Get well soon and hopefully we'll see you at next year's read-a-thon!

Amateur Reader (Tom) said...

"Dostoevski's lack of taste, his monotonous dealings with persons suffering with pre-Freudian complexes, the way he has of wallowing in the tragic misadventures of human dignity - all this is difficult to admire."

Vladimir Nabokov, Lectures on Russian LiteratureThere's more like this. I'm not endorsing; just reporting. N. does call D.'s The Double "a perfect work of art," which is correct.