I wonder what would happen if those jolly wags at The Guardian tried this out on us? The British broadsheet sent volunteers to major UK bookstores, both on and offline, with a variety of complaints (a copy of Ulysses with missing punctuation!) and questions (“If I like The Naked Chef, will I like The Naked Lunch?”) to find out how well-read their booksellers were. They were sorely disappointed – most booksellers know their stuff!
Mind you, most of us, especially when faced with a ‘which-book-is-next-in-the-series’ question can be thoroughly stumped now and again. And that’s where Fantastic Fiction comes in handy, a website where novels are listed in chronological order, sorted by series. Really, really handy when trying to figure out which ‘Margaret Weiss book with dragons’ a customer is looking for.
This does not work, however, if you come looking for a book that does not exist.
I was amused to discover today that book thieves in New York have rather literary tastes. Here at ABC Amsterdam the items we most often discover to have been stolen are coffee table books and fun things like Giant Microbes. Which books are most often stolen from bookstores in New York? You’d be surprised.
Remember when we used to have a little cafe in the basement of our Kalverstraat store? First Lindsay, and later Gary provided coffee and treats and were sorely missed when they had to turn off their percolators for good. Many of us had to go through some serious brownie-withdrawal. If we are ever able to have a little coffee stop in our store again, please, oh please, let it be run by these people: Caffe al Baccio: a darling Italian bookstore with a coffeeshop that serves coffee with a kiss – including Nutella! In the coffee!