Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Our Customers Love Us!

The maxim in retail is that you only hear from your customers when they're unhappy. Which is a good thing- we definitely want to hear from people when they feel that they weren't treated well at the store, or if in some other way they were somehow let down by their pals at Green Apple. But sometimes people write to tell you how much they like you. And sometimes they go even further. We've had people bake cookies for the staff, or drop off baseball tickets because they know there are a lot of Giants fans here. The above paint sample collage was sent to us by an appreciative neighbor as a token of her affection for the store. It is now affixed to the wall of our stairwell, a place of high honor. It is lovely, and we are honored.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nicest Author in the World?

Working in the book business, we have pretty special access to authors. Between trade shows, book tours, drop-in visits, and just plain old customers who are writers, we meet dozens of authors every year. And, of course, we booksellers think of authors like some people think of movie stars or popes. The authors vary, of course, in their level of success, from self-published scribes to Pulitzer Prize winners. And they vary, of course, in how they treat booksellers and the general public.

Some swoop in with an entourage (like Maya Angelou did a few years ago). Some sneak in under the radar (like Oliver Sacks did with actor Robin Williams once in my early days of bookselling). And some try to steal their own books. Well, OK. One tried to steal his own book. But that's another story.

This winter, I was invited to a publisher sponsored dinner with Howard Norman at a book industry trade show. Alas, at the last minute, he canceled--a combination of his mother dying and crazy winter blizzards kept him from coming. Understandable, right? Sure, I was disappointed. I LOVED the Bird Artist and his short story collection Kiss in the Hotel Joseph Conrad and very much liked The Museum Guard and and The Haunting of L and enjoyed his most recent book What is Left the Daughter (coming this summer). But when your mom dies, all bets are off, right?

So it surprised me to get hand-written card in the mail about a month later apologizing for missing the dinner, thanking Green Apple for its support over the years, offering to come by in August when he's in the area, and giving me his snail mail and email addresses.

A real mensch, I say.

Any other nominations for nicest author ever?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Poem of the Week by Joseph Noble

Happy Monday. Here's your weekly dose of poetry. This week's poem is by Joseph Noble from An Ives Set (Lyric & Press, 2006). Enjoy.

PS. Something's wrong with our web site. We DO have a copy of this book on hand.

calcium light night

to sing and to speak
the alphabet begins
fife type tones bones
signals with hat in hand
thinking in the cell
tramp tone
makes you free
sound round
the few days
we shall breathe