back in August, but two things: 1) I don't want to conclude this series with whinging and begging in such unbecoming fashion; and, 2) I just remembered that I ran a very popular series on the Twitter back in September, in which I expressed the many ways in which I fantasized answering customers' queries about why we were closing up shop, instead of telling them the sordid, anti-climactic truth.
I know that it's shitty and sometimes, even, traumatic to discover that an indie bookstore one likes is being disappeared, but I very quickly became incredibly tired of having to explain. I felt overwhelmed by the stress of it all anyway; I didn't feel up for addressing strangers' feelings about it as well.
So, my friend Jason suggested the first one on this list, and then I began dreaming about what else I'd really like to say for my own amusement, and then I began writing them down, and then my husband and our friend Andy began contributing, and then some of them went up on the Twitter. One or two, I actually said out loud to customers when they asked, and managed to do so with a straight face. Their responses - one of pure confusion, and then deep personal affront; another of uprorious and joyous laughter (same answer as previous); and one hiss (yes, really!) - were all worth, well, everything. Enjoy!
Possible responses to “Why is your bookstore closing?”
(Favourites marked with an *)
1) We lost our liquor license.*
3) I’m quitting to become a hip hop artist.
4) Because you made God cry and kittens die when you asked for Dan Brown’s latest.
5) Because you called the Twilight books "classics”.*
6) We’re not closing, we’re going paperless.
7) We’re being sucked into a hole in the ground.
8) Because, like, all the really spiritual journeys happen inside your heart, you know?
9) I fundamentally believe people just don’t like words.
10) We’ve been here 13 years and the landlord never once bought a book from us. I just couldn’t take it any more.
11) Who said we were closing?
12) “Didn’t I tell you last time you were here?” “I haven’t been here in years.” “That’s why.”*
13) I’m tired of people asking me about when I’m going to have a baby.
14) Turns out people don’t buy stuff.
15) We just sold our last copy of The Da Vinci Code. Thought we’d go out on a high note.*
16) Couldn’t get the stink of Freddie Prinze, Jr. out of the rare books section.
17) Need time to dance.
18) Tired of winning.*
19) I like giving books as gifts, but ever since we got the store it just seemed insincere.
20) Big Pharma.
21) Unfortunately, the first rule of the Recycled Book Shop is you do not talk about the Recycled Book Shop.
22) I was just never going to win a championship here. It’s nothing personal.*
23) Umm… Yeah. What was the question again? No, not that one, the one about your face.
24) Kept cutting into my D&D time.
25) Every time you sell a used book it puts a thorn in the heart of Baby Jesus. After a while the thrill just wasn’t there anymore.*
26) You love Lady Gaga! That is so cool. And it explains some things.
27) Too many customers howling at my beauty like dogs in heat.
28) I just can't bear parting with another of my precious babies.
29) We were developing an allergy to the past tense, and couldn't weed out the offending titles.
30) My Etsy bunny-hair potholder business has taken off and I don't have time for this.
31) It's a condition of our settlement with Dan Brown in his defamation suit.
32) We're trying to stay one jump ahead of the stroller nazis.
33) We're opening a deli/tobacconist.
34) Too many ley lines connecting here - can't take the dark energy anymore.*
35) Tired of customers re-enacting the dress-up scene from Silence of the Lambs. (Jason’s response to this response: "It puts the Dan Brown back on the shelf, or else it gets the hose again.")*
36) So I never again have to deal with people who think Virginia Woolf wrote Shakespeare’s plays.
Second most common question and some possible responses:
So, you’re closing, eh? Do you know what’ll be going in here?
2) The future.*
3) In conjunction with the Toronto Vegetarian Association around the corner on Baldwin, Northbound Pleather.
4) Clearing house for missing socks.
5) One of those exclusive places.
6) With the hospital so close by, I'd assume some sort of sex shop.*
7) Apparently Starbucks and Wendy's are in some sort of bidding war over the site.
8) Hopefully something that rhymes with "fuck you."
9) M. Night Shyamalan's next movie idea.
10) Hungry Hungry Hippo franchise.
12) Whatever the Basement of Bad Dreams wants.
So, that's it. I'm just your garden variety reader and book-buyer now - and it's lovely!