Friday, July 3, 2009

Store Motto

I've been pondering lately if we should have a Green Apple store motto. New York's Gotham Book Mart's famous store motto was "Wise Men Fish Here." Shakespeare & Co. in Paris has "Be kind to strangers , lest they're angels in disguise" above one of their doors, so that may be that store's motto. If Green Apple had a store motto, it would have to be something reflective of the store, of course. Something generic like "Bringing books and the people who love them together" isn't really going to work.

There used to be a beloved bar in the neighborhood, Pat O'Shea's Mad Hatter. They've been closed a few years now. The motto above their door was "We cheat tourists and drunks." Might scare some people off, but I think most folks understood it to mean they were entering an establishment with some character, one that wasn't afraid to have some personality.

One candidate for Green Apple store motto that I like was uttered unwittingly by one of our buyers in the act of being haggled with by a customer hoping to get more for the books they were selling: "We're not here to break even," he said.

But my candidate for store motto is "You can't step into the same Apple twice" (a nod to Heraclitus- Panta rei, ouden menei -- all things flow, nothing abides). Green Apple brings in literally hundreds, some days no doubt thousands, of books over the used book buy counter every day. One day we might buy someone's collection of crocheting books, and in one swoop go from not having much of a crochet section to having the best in California. Then those books will sell and over time we'll go back to having a crochet section like any other store.

Outside events also change the store. The 9/11 attacks and the War on Terror (or whatever it is being called) pumped our Middle Eastern history section from a handful of books to a full bookcase. The election of 2004 saw so many anti-Bush books published, they made their own section. The day after Bush beat John Kerry, they all got sent back. It wasn't funny anymore.

So for now, until I hear any better suggestions, the official Green Apple store motto is "You can't step into the same Apple twice." I'd love to hear some other ideas.

9 comments:

Kayin said...

There are so many to play with. I nominate "Not a bad apple in the bunch" because of the bookstore's proximity to so many markets in the neighborhood.

Nick said...

'Too much for Eve"

Anonymous said...

How about "straight bobbin'." I really think that would look great on a marquee. GREEN APPLE BOOKS: "straight bobbin'"

emily@skylightbooks.com said...

A coworker once suggested: "Skylight Books: No, But We Can Order It"

Anonymous said...

I think we should let the people decide. By people I mean Hailey P., who wrote in her Yelp review of the store:

"Green Apple.. you rock my world in so many ways, if you had a penis I might forget about men all together!"

There it is:

"Green Apple Books... if we only had a penis."

Jay said...

The sign in the poetry room at City Lights says, "Printers' Ink is the Greater Explosive."

Anonymous said...
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Spiros said...

I like "We're not here to break even"; I wish I had said it.

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