One thing I cherish about working at a "real" bookstore, as my college English professor used to say, is the chance to meet new authors and recommend their books. Joanne Esser lives in Minneapolis and recently dropped by with copies of her debut poetry collection, I Have Always Wanted Lightning. It's a beautiful book, both in content and design; the kind of book that instantly communicates the time its author took to mean most every word. Here's an excerpt from the title poem, which you can download and read here, in its entirety:
I've wanted it fast and flaming,
setting fire to all I've known,
nothing less than annihilation
of all ordinary thoughts...
But it never happens that way,
though I stand here looking up.
Other thing's the cards and stuff! Claudette, Common Good Books' first official Awesome Buyer, brings in an aviary of hard to find, easy to love journals, cards, and magazines each week. At least, each week I notice something new. Here she is with one such card, unique to Minnesota, followed by a milk crate full of journals that have more to do with Paris and New York, but can be used in Minnesota, followed by a picture of a secret envelope inside one of the journals that can be used for something secret in any of the aforementioned cities, but that I used very publicly in back.
The third thing I apparently enjoy is how many of my coworkers will put books on their faces, without a second's hesitation, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Hmm.