Friday, June 29, 2012
Get to Know a Bookseller l Georgia
Most bookseller profiles tell you everything you'd want to know about a bookseller: Favorite Book, Favorite Film, Favorite Film Based on a Book, Home Address, Number of Cats, etc... It's all perfectly interesting, but rarely grants an in-depth look at who the bookseller is. This interview won't either. But it did save me the hassle of having to come up with questions ahead of time. At the start of our interview, Georgia asked me off the cuff if I’d ever seen Battlestar Galactica (a TV show about space pilots or something), which pretty much shaped the rest of our time together.
Georgia: Have you ever watched Battlestar Galatica?
Colin: Is that like Star Trek?
C: No, of course not. Georgia, are you a secret nerd?
G: The cool nerds watch Battlestar Galactica.
C: What about Star Wars?
G: No. That's not my thing.
C: Well, that was a basically poor start, what do you think?
As Georgia and I walked outside to take out the recycling, we talked about her taste for old books, which quickly devolved into a lengthy discussion about Battlestar Galactica.
C: So have you seen every episode of Battlestar Galactica?
G: No, I'm in the middle of it, that's why I'm talking about it.
C: How many seasons did it run?
C: I just find it so interesting that you just now started watching this vaguely unpopular show that’s six years old. Do you think your interest in the show has something to do with your preference for old books? Do you like old stuff, in general?
G: Maybe, but six years isn't that old. Although, I guess since television itself isn't that old, it could be old, relatively.
C: Like in dog years?
G: Right, TV years.
C: Do you like good shows, like The Wire?
G: The Wire's my favorite show ever. I used to like Mad Men. Elves write like that.
C: Like what?
G: Like how you’re writing.
C: Hmmm. Who are some of your favorite dead writers?
G: E.M. Forster. Room with a View is probably my favorite book ever. Howards End is the best one though.
C: You have a lot of favorite things.
G: I have very strong convictions. If it's my favorite, it should be everyone's favorite. Like Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short stories. Best short stories I’ve ever read.
Joe: Those are gems.
G: They are! They’re gems. I was going to say “cookies,” but they’re gems. I wrote my first shelf-talker for those stories. They haven't sold, yet.
C: You came out of nowhere, Joe.
J: He and Poe were buddies. Or no, Melville.
G: Oh, Melville! I babysat this girl I read Bartleby, the Scrivener to once, and all night long she kept on saying, “I would prefer not to, I would prefer not to.”
J: That's right, he has a mental breakdown.
G: Bartleby doesn't have a mental breakdown; he's not a normal human being. The narrator has a mental breakdown.
J: Oh, right.
C: Wait, this book sounds awesome.
G: The narrator tries to rationalize this character and it's absurd. I went to Melville House and they had these bags that said "I would prefer not to" on them. I wanted to get one, but I felt like I'd be too much of an asshole, walking around with this bag with a reference that no one else gets.
J: Melville died on my mom's birthday.
C: Oh, thanks for reminding me, my mom's birthday's next week. So besides Battlestar Galactica, what else have you read and enjoyed lately?
G: The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell, which is a study of comparative mythology.
C: Like Jesus or creation myths?
C: Speaking of Jesus, you're also a carpenter, yea?
G: Yea. I work at Macalester.
C: So you're a carpenter, a soccer player, and you like Battlestar Galactica?
C: I can't believe you like that show.