Today is the day when we all gather together family, friends, and those wandering strays who profess to need neither family nor friends (and we just silently mouth "OK, Boomer" when they're not looking). Eventually, there will be a meal, but before that there will be fiddling about, some fussing, and some wrestling with schematics and diagrams. Stuffing potatoes inside chickens inside octopuses is not as simple as it sounds, after all. In the end, there may not be much time for books.
But, we know that everyone will make up for that by cramming into the family wagon and heading out in the world. The bookstore will soon be filled with laughter and light, along with some mild wrestling for that remaining copy of the Hot Guys and Cute Animals 2020 Wall Calendar.
This has been the week for mass market paperback releases, and to celebrate that (as well as prep for the great flood of families on Small Business Saturday), we have done a bit of razz-ma-tazz on our Blind Date program.
Previously, these books have been wrapped with lurid explanations meant to both entertain and educate you as to the identity of the mystery book. Since we are officially in holiday shopping season, we've updated these wrappers. Now you can give them as gifts!
That's right. It's Awkward Messaging to Those You Like, Bookstore Style.
Here's the front of one of them, for instance:
And here's the back:
Happy holidays, dear person named in the “TO:” field on this wrapped object. This is a present from the individual named in the “FROM:” field. Now, you might be thinking, “What the heck? Did this person even try to find me an appropriate gift?”
Well, the answer to that is: YES. Because what they got you is a book. And books are incredibly personal gifts, because they transport you from whatever holiday gathering you are trapped in to a magical place of make believe—where animals talk, where true love is always true, and where stuff blows up all the time. And honestly, the aforementioned person thinks of you often and wants you to be happy.
Besides, if they bought you booze, you might have to share.
Happy holidays! Did you know that the folks at the bookstore are incredibly prescient about knowing what you want in life before you do? It’s an incredible talent they have, and what’s even more astounding is I don’t even know what this book is, but they assure me it is a book you will find amazing. Even if you don’t read it, it can be used as a drink coaster, or as a fetch toy for the dog, or you can leave it on the coffee table for six months and we can use it as the basis for one of those screaming fights where we don’t talk about what’s really important. And what is really important is that I like you and I wanted to get you something special—something unique—and, well, admit it: this is a going to be a total surprise. Because you’re worth it.
And so on:
Look, I tried to find you a perfect gift, but let’s face it: you’re kind of a tough nut to crack when it comes to holiday gift giving. Sure, I could have gotten you some sort of cheap “As seen on TV” life-changing gizmo that neither of us really understands how to operate. And it would go in the closet with the half-dozen of other crap products like that which we’ve gotten each other over the years. Instead, I decided to get you a book. And you know what? I didn’t fret over what you might like to read. I got you something that I want to read. Why? Because we should share things we care about, and we could talk about them too. But mostly, I just want to borrow this book when you’re done with it, so hurry up, okay?
Oh, but what about your favorite barista? They need a book too!
I realize the bulk of our daily conversation is you greeting me by cheerfully reciting my beverage order, and that I, typically, nod and swipe my card without making any effort to actually chat. Mostly because, unlike you, I haven’t had six double-shots of espresso. And by the time my beverage shows up at the end of the counter, you’ve moved on to six or eight other customers, and swimming back up the line to say “thank you” is a disaster in the making. But here’s the thing: I really appreciate your morning enthusiasm, and even though you barely know my name, you know me. Well, as much as anyone can know anyone in the 14.6 seconds we interact every day. Regardless of all that, I wanted to get you a little something personal this year, and maybe all these words will somehow catch us up.
We've even got your Secret Santa program covered.
I got your name in the office Secret Santa—I don’t even know what to call it? The lottery? The most awkward ice-breaker exercise ever? Whatever. I got you. I don’t know a damn thing about you. I don’t even know if you like to read. But hey, I had to buy something otherwise people would shun me at the office party and that sounds like hell. So, yeah, I got you a book. Why? Because books are cool. Books are subversive. Books make people get weird feelings in their tummies, and they make people—you know—actually interact with one another. So, yeah, I got you this. Maybe you could read it and then carry it around the office, and maybe we could talk about it. I’d like that.
We still have some of the regular Blind Date books if you would prefer something less . . . mmm . . . confrontational . . . in your messaging. Things like "Nipple Quota," and "No One Can Hear Your Scream in Kansas, Either," and "NASAgasm," "Kinky Sh*t," and "This is Why We Can't Have Secrets." You know, the standard sort of thing.
And, as always, we have cards and games and puzzles, in addition to the best selection of fabulous books that can't wait to be read by you. Please come on down and see us. We'll be here all weekend. All next week too. Probably the week after that and—oh, what the heck! We'll be here through Christmas.
Hearts and Stars—
Your devoted booksellers at A Good Book
Overheard At The Store »»
[When we last left our intrepid band of four-legged booklovers, Podge was stuck on a high shelf. The rest of the menagerie were working on a plan to rescue him.]
HODGE: Hang in there, Podge!
PODGE: I can smell pizza. Someone is making pizza!
HODGE: Don't let it diminish your spirits, old friend!
SERRA: I like pizza.
COLBY: We can have pizza later. Right now, we need to figure out how to get Podge down before he . . .
PODGE: I might expire soon! I need snacks!
ROLLO: We could throw up some crackers.
SERRA: Oh, I know how to spit! I can be helpful.
COLBY: Not that sort of throwing.
PODGE: Oh, I languish for a cracker.
HODGE: Where are the crackers? Why aren't there crackers? Can someone get some crackers!?
COLBY: You should do that, Hodge.
HODGE: Do what? WHAT SHOULD I DO?
COLBY: Go get some crackers.
PODGE: Yes, Hodge! Crackers!
HODGE: I will! I will fetch the crackers!
PODGE: Quickly, Hodge. My legs are getting all a-trembly.
HODGE: Just a little longer, Podge! I will save youuuuuuuu!
COLBY: He's . . . uh . . . he's gone, Podge. You can climb down now.
COLBY: Hodge. He's gone to fetch crackers. You can come down without him seeing you.
PODGE: Why . . . why would that matter?
COLBY: I don't know what you two are fighting about, and I don't care, really. But it's okay. He's done being angry.
PODGE: You think I'm up here because Hodge and I are having a tiff?
COLBY: I think it's more likely than that nonsense about "oh, I climbed up here for snacks and now I can't get down."
PODGE: But it's true! I can't get down.
COLBY: It's not that high.
PODGE: It is. It is terribly high.
COLBY: It's only what? Ten—
PODGE: The air is thinner up here, Colby. You don't understand. There are weather patterns up here. Like one of those . . . those . . .
PODGE: Yes! One of those. A combo-freminous. All the clouds.
COLBY: Sure, Podge.
SERRA: I could bounce . . .
SERRA: I'm a good bouncer. I could bounce up there and wrestle him.
COLBY: You'd go through the ceiling tiles. And who knows what's up there. That's a bad idea.
SERRA: I could half-bounce.
COLBY: Okay, maybe. But I like the idea of having Podge climb down better.
PODGE: I can't climb down! I'm like a cow!
ROLLO: How is an otter like a cow?
COLBY: Never mind, little one. It's just a simile.
COLBY: Whatever. Just ignore him.
SERRA: See? I'm half-bouncing!
COLBY: That's—would you—stop that.
SERRA: I like bouncing.
ROLLO: We need a lure.
COLBY: A what?
ROLLO: Something to lure him down.
PODGE: I can hear you!
COLBY: Ah, something irresistible. I like your thinking, hedgehog.
PODGE: I am irresistible. That's why I need to be down there, instead of being stuck up here. I am stuck, you know. Up here. Where there are no snacks!
COLBY: We know, Podge. We know.
PODGE: Is Hodge back with the crackers yet?
SERRA: I'm bouncing!
COLBY: Not now, Rollo. We can have lunch later.
ROLLO: No, as a lure. We put them on a string.
COLBY: Ah, the old 'sardine on a string' trick. I like that.