Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Book Shelf Seminar: Class Presentations

Dee in a bookstore in Paris

"When I get a little money I buy books;
and if any is left, I buy food and clothes."

In heaven I want to work in a bookstore. I won't have to worry about making or losing money, or what will be worthy of the bestseller list. As thousands of books arrive in boxes (unpacked and stacked by angel employees) I'll peruse them all, and supervise their placement on the shelves. I'll be surrounded by people's words and thoughts, and other people who love to read and write. And I'll never run out of time.

My bookstore will have oodles of nooks and crannies, furnished with squishy furniture and lots of pillows, and foot stools for short people. The temperature will be 57 degrees, cool enough for a sweater, and perfect for fires in dozens of different fireplaces blazing in every corner. The scent of mulled cider will warm the rooms, and there will be numerous oak end-tables to hold your mug, and stack of books.

Picture it: ladders with wheels glide around the perimeters, giving access to the highest shelves, and low benches make it comfortable to examine the paper-backs closest to the floor. Dictionary stands display immense art books, and library tables have slanted tops so there's no glare or strain if you want to look at a weighty anthology.

Oh, did I mention the divine donuts? Homemade applesauce donuts. And the best frosted sugar cookies—all free (calorie free, fat-free, guilt-free.) The fudge brownies will bring out the devil in everybody.

Salzburg window display

And there will be a map room with giant tables to spread them out on. Plus, a sound-proof children's room with a loft and kid-size furniture, and endless healthy snacks (while we're munching the good stuff) and quiet, educational (but fascinating) toys.

Art by Judith Dufour Love

An angel will read mesmerizing stories to them so all the adults can browse for hours on end. And nothing will ever get dusty or faded, and the bathrooms will be handy and clean with sweet-smelling soap, and trustworthy attendants to help little kids. And the whole store will have lighting that doesn't buzz, or flicker, and makes me look . . . heavenly.

Bookstore in Krakow, Poland

Our class presentations today are about bookstores. Read the excerpt and then click on the name for more.

Tales of a Hummingbird described a bookstore this way:
that smell. that beautiful, musty, ancient and all-knowing smell of dusty books on shelves. they've been there for ages, all their collective wisdom and inspiration patiently waiting for me. the aging colors of their mix-matched book sleeves, fading a little more as the sun dutifully arcs its way across the shop window day after day, make up the most brilliant display as you stroll through the aisles. wooden shelves, hand crafted a long time ago when they really made things out of real wood and sweat. the wood is a little rough, you can see the grooves and the rings-those shelves alone tell you a story about life.

that perfect bookstore is just like a library, but much cuter and with a really spunky librarian who loves chatting to you about her favorite books. forget that no talking rule, and yes please bring a cup of tea! its homey and comfortable, a few chairs inviting you to get lost in the pages if you dare, if you can make time in your schedule. you should do it. just sit down in the cozy chair over by the window and lose an hour of your day. there's nothing better."

Vienna window display

Sue worked in a bookstore and she wrote this funny story:
"Another day a lady comes in and asks for 'all over sex books.' (This is in no way a weird request. It you've worked in a bookstore, you know.) I proceed to begin showing her our section on sex. (I'll bet most of you did not grow up in a place with your own section on sex. Well not my own, but you know what I mean.)

"I point out to her books like The Joys of Sex and several others. Finally she looks at me with the weirdest expression, and asks, 'What did you think I was asking for?' 'All over sex books,' I say. Then she laughed like I had never heard a laugh before. It took her several moments to calm down enough to tell me, 'I was looking for Oliver Sachs books!'"

"Always read something that will make you look good
if you die in the middle of it."
—PJ O'Rourke

Homework: Do any or all or be inspired.

~Rearrange your books so that you'll remember what you have. Then eat a donut.

~Pack up a box of books you don't want anymore and take them to Deseret Industries or another charity. Share the wealth.

~Be an angel and read a story to somebody.

Leave a comment here (with a link to your homework if you want to share it) and/or a link to your blog (so we can get to know you.) School Days has open enrollment so join anytime. No make-up work required! If you're new, click here for an orientation.


diane said...

Man I wish I had a donut right now.

crissy said...

I read to the babes just about everyday.

Christie said...

I am going to request that I be put on your staff (provided I get to heaven, that is). It sounds divine.

hannah :: sherbet blossom said...

I am going to organize my shelves today. they have needed that for a good while.

happy to report that i have completed 100% of my assignments thus far. loving your seminar!

Shelley said...

Hi! I read everyday and and leave comments occasionally. I love this post! I have always loved book stores. I would like to put your school days button on my blog but can't seem to do it. I am new to blogging and unfortunately not so computer savvy, which I know is sad since I have a blog! Anyway, could you give me directions on how to add it to my blog? I also tried to emai you but do not have outlook and my computer was giving me all kinds of trouble. Thank you!!

Sarah N said...

thanks for using my homework. :) its funny, i packed up a huge stack of books last weekend, sold a few on a garage sale, gave a few to a friend and the rest went to salvation army. and as for reading....i get a little pleasure read in but my favorite time is with my wee one reading those board books i just about have memorized. love watching him 'pat the bunny' and turn the pages with delight!

Travelin'Oma said...

Shelley, I left a little tutorial on your blog today. I hope it works!

polly said...

Jake and I read everyday! It's so fun now that he is remembering the stories. if heaven is a bookstore like you described, there might be a lot more people wanting to get there.

kenju said...

I want to work there with you!

Diane Linford said...

Your vision of heaven and mine are identical. I thought for a moment you were looking inside my imagination. It's fun to have a kindred spirit, as Anne Shirley would say.

I cleaned out a few books - and will read to some grandkids today. Cleaning out books is dicey for me. Once I got rid of a bunch of Mary Stewart mysteries that I loved and regretted it within a month or two. They're out of print, so I've combed used bookstores to replace them all. Then when I moved here (three and a half years ago), I got rid of a lot of books. After I joined a book club here they've chosen some of the books I got rid of! Oh well. Thank heavens for a wonderful library system.

Kristie Lynne said...

Can I work at your bookstore in heaven? Haha. It sounds lovely, and just my idea of an ideal eternity (with my eternal companion of course). :)

audrey said...

Douglas L. Callister said the following at a BYU devotional in September 2006 (you can find a link to it here.):

"I don’t know whether our heavenly home has a television set or a DVD machine, but in my mind’s imagery it surely has a grand piano and a magnificent library. "

I certainly agree! Joseph and I have grand visions for a library in our (future) home someday. I can't wait!

I read to all three of my children today. It was wonderful to snuggle with them. I am trying to do this more frequently.

Mrs. Organic said...

Done. I just read a Beatrix Potter to my youngest. I love Peter and his mischievous bunny self.

the wrath of khandrea said...

i'm pretty sure in the fine print of the assignment section, i saw a part that read, "spend sixty bucks at your school's scholastic book fair."

hey! i did my homework!

~Kristina said...

Under the wire. I'm back on the homework train! TOOT TOOT! Thanks for hosting, Oma!

gab said...

Story time is the ONLY time I can get anyone to sit still. No wonder I like it so much...

Alana said...

"the fudge brownies will bring out the devil in everybody" Laughing out loud!!!! love this!!!

Diane Linford said...

We haven't heard from you today - I hope all is well. No pressure, just wanting to let you know I'm thinking of you.

Miranda said...

my books need to be re-organized and (some of them) donated so badly. It's always really hard for me to get rid of books...

Misty said...

I was just going to say what Diane said. Hope you're well.

KJ said...

reading is not optional in this house. bedtime stories, every night, two, three, four or eight, plus assorted stories during the day. it's grand.