Showing posts with label bookstore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bookstore. Show all posts

16 April 2017

Model Employees

by Leigh Lundin

The French noun librairie looks obvious, right? Library? Mais non, it is one of those words related yet different… it means bookstore. Library en français is bibliothèque. Biblio– the root is obvious once you know the word.

La Librairie Mollat is a sizable bookstore in Bordeaux that has gained a reputation not only for books, but for its photography of books as modeled by store employees. By reputation, I refer to its 50 000 Instagram fans. What makes Librairie Mollat special? Take for example:



The employees photograph book covers… modeled with fellow employees.


Most are amusing, but the precision of the photos astonishes me.




Employees lend body parts or portions of their faces.






The eyes in this lady amaze me.


This case looks almost transparent.


Mustaches are a thing.




Charming, isn't it!


I love this one.


Our paranormal pal Charlaine Harris is very much a thing, too.












Charlaine Harris' covers are by far the most popular.


Enjoy the rest of the show.








Clever!














Backstory…


 Finally for you Star Wars fans…


Thanks to the reader who brought the bookstore to my attention. For other examples, visit here. For the full collection, check the store's Instagram page.

24 September 2012

Childhood Memories

Jan Grapeby Jan Grape

This week I opened a quart carton of orange sherbet. Yum. I've had orange sherbet through the years yet, somehow, this time my childhood memories flooded back (maybe old age kicking in, who knows?) I suddenly felt as if I were eleven again, visiting my dad for the summer in Fort Worth, Texas. My parents divorced when I was young. Both parents remarried and during the whole school year, I lived with my mother, step-dad and two little sisters, out on the high plains of Texas, forty miles from Lubbock in the small town of Post, TX. Post then had a population of about three thousand folks and this was back in the olden days when ice cream was only available in grocery stores and drug stores. The most flavors I remember were vanilla, chocolate, Neapolitan, and strawberry. In the summer, when I went to visit my dad in the big city of Fort Worth for a couple of weeks, one of the first things we did was to drive over to Baskin Robbins where, at that time, they offered thirty-one flavors of ice cream. I'd look at everything they had and every single time order the same thing...orange sherbet, served in an ice cream cone. I have no idea why. They had banana nut, peppermint, chocolate mint, cherry vanilla, regular vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, peach, Neapolitan, and something with nuts, maybe butter pecan. They also had orange, lime and pineapple sherbet. I don't remember any of the other thirty-one flavors but for some strange reason orange sherbet really seemed like the best of the best to me and that's what I'd buy.

This nostalgic trip got me thinking about my childhood memories of reading. I honestly don't remember not liking to read and really not sure when I began reading. A little before first grade and then from first grade on I read and still read as much as I can now. I lived with my grandmother in Houston for my first grade and then my mother remarried and I moved to Post, TX when school was out. I spent a lot of the summer playing outside, but I also spent a lot of time reading...sometimes reading outside. My parents bought me books. Post didn't have a library then but there was a small library at our church. Most of the books at the church were biographies but written for children. So I learned about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Ben Franklin, and George Washington Carver from these bios. At home mother bought, Heidi, Black Beauty, Grimm's Fairy Tales and Bible Story books. I loved the Bobbsey Twins and a series called The Sugar Creek Gang, which was about a boy and his pals but I liked adventures and the boys were always having those.

I probably started reading Nancy Drew when I was nine or ten years old and devoured those. I think I tried the Hardy Boys, and Trixie Belton, but Nancy was my idol. She had a really cool dad, an even cooler convertible and she solved mysteries. But my big love for mysteries really grabbed me totally when I was twelve and my father handed me a stack of his paperback books: Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, Richard S. Prather's Shell Scott and Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason and his Bertha Cool and Donald Lam detectives, and John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee. I thought Private Eye books were awesome and Perry Mason was so exciting by the revelation of the murderer in the trial.

Soon I matriculated to high school and devoured as many of their mysteries as I could find...Daphne du Maurier, Edgar Allan Poe, Raymond Chandler, Ross MacDonald, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Agatha Christi, Dorothy L. Sayers, Dashiell Hammet, Rex Stout. I could go on and on but you get the idea. I still read spies and thrillers, Ian Flemming, John le Carre, Alistair McClain and I soon discovered John D. MacDonald wrote other books besides the Travis McGee series. In the meantime, Post TX got a public library and my mother became one of the volunteer librarians and when they were able to hire a librarian full time, my mom got the job. She had only gone to the 8th grade in school but she had gotten a GED and she took some college classes by correspondence. She took many of the continuing education classes the library offered. That was her dream job and also helped add to my "have read" growing list of books. Is it any wonder that I wound up writing mysteries and owning a mystery bookstore?

In exploring my childhood memories which I decided to share with each of you I reveal how I managed to fall in love with mysteries and private eyes in particular. What about you?

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to the kitchen to have a bowl of orange sherbet.

01 September 2012

A Bookstore for All Seasons

by Herschel Cozine

NOTE: This week I have again invited my friend and fellow crimewriter Herschel Cozine to stand in as a guest columnist. As you might already know, Herschel's work has appeared in AHMM, EQMM, Woman's World, Orchard Press Mysteries, and many other magazines and anthologies.  His story "A Private Hanging" was a finalist for the Derringer Award, and several of his tales are currently available at Untreed Reads. Herschel lives with his wife in Santa Rosa, California. This piece, by the way, first appeared in Kings River Life Magazine and is reprinted here with their permission. (Herschel, it's good to have you here again. Readers, I'll be back on September 15.) -- John Floyd


There is a bookstore in my hometown, Ojai, California, that is one of the most interesting I have ever been in.  Before I tell you about it, I would like to give a few facts about Ojai (pronounced "Oh Hi") itself.  Situated in the foothills of Southern California, between Santa Barbara and Ventura, it has a short rainy season, and what rain does fall quickly evaporates, with very little runoff.  The residents hardly miss a beat because of rain.  Also, because of its small size and rural atmosphere, there is little need for folks to double lock or even single lock their doors.  All in all, it is small town America at its best.  Both of these factors (rain, locks) make it possible for the bookstore to operate successfully.

The first thing one notices about Bart's Books is the sign by the front door: "When closed, please throw coins in slot in the door."  Lining the outside wall are rows and rows of books.  One is free to read them or purchase one even if the store is closed; the honor system that is sadly disappearing in this country.

When one steps inside, the big surprise is this: There is no roof!  The entire bookstore is open to the atmosphere.  Shaded here and there by a tree, only the bookshelves themselves have a covering.

On the rare occasions when it rains, the books are protected by these coverings.  The water evaporates in hours, leaving the area dry and the books undamaged.

There are thousands of books in every category one can imagine.  Fiction and non-fiction, clearly marked and separated into the various genres.  History, biography, sports, and so on.  There are a few enclosed rooms where cookbooks, art, specialty and rare books are housed.  In these rooms are chairs and couches where one can sit while contemplating whether or not to purchase the book.

The fiction is by far the most abundant.  Classified by author alphabetically within the various genres, it is easy for one to find his favorite author or title.  And if you have difficulty, there are helpful staff members to aid you.  Needless to say, the staff is a happy one.  I overheard a customer ask an employee: "Do you actually get paid for working here?"  Considering the environment, it was a legitimate question.

Once you have found the book you have been looking for, there are tables and chairs available for you to sit in the shade of one of the many trees and read.  There are even snacks and soft drinks available.  It would be easy for one to spend the entire day in the store.  I have been there several times and still have not seen it all.
The store deals primarily in used books.  And, having been asked the question countless times, the management has T-shirts for sale with "What Do You Do When It Rains?" printed on them.

For those of you who love books, and that includes everyone in this group, if you are ever in the vicinity, make the detour to Ojai and visit this amazing store.  You will find it well worth your while.