Weird things customers say in bookstores, another blog-based book, and Seminary Co-op on the move

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Blog, blog, blog. Blogging's where it's at, right? Nobody reads books anymore. Too time-consuming. Print is dying. You can find it all online anyway, you Luddite.

Yet it's apparent that people still want their blogs turned into books, tangible objects, things that can be purchased—that is, sellable objects. (How's that blog monetizing going, y'all?) Even a fucking Twitter feed can get turned into a book.

So much blogorrhea out there. (Blogorrhea is a word that I thought I just now made up. Turns out I'm wrong. I need to spend more time on the Internet.)

I recently received two books based on blogs that I had never heard of. These books came in the mail, from actual publishers. You can hold them in your hands.

Jen Campbell lives in London, where she works at an antiquarian bookstore. She has a nice booky blog, This Is Not the Six Word Novel. Her book, Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores (Overlook Press), arose from her blog. I worked in a bookstore for years; I can assure you that weird things are indeed said in bookstores, even in ones that don't serve wine (hello, Book Cellar!).

Here's a great weird thing from Weird Things:

Customer: You know how they say that if you gave a thousand monkeys typewriters, then they'd eventually churn out really good writing?

Bookseller: . . . Yes.

Customer: Well, do you have any books by those monkeys?

Another blog-based book out recently is Jen Adams's The Books They Gave Me: True Stories of Life, Love, and Lit (Free Press). Adams also has a booky blog, a Tumblr, The Books They Gave Me, "in which we reflect on books given us by loved ones."


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It seems, based on the books "given us by loved ones" in The Books They Gave Me, that the books given by "loved ones" are mainly books that are meant to impress the recipient with the giver's profundity and depth of feeling, as there are no weak-sister books included, which makes me conclude that the givers are mainly interested in trying to get into the recipient's pants rather than broaden the recipient's literary experience. The Unbearable Lightness of Being? That means I want to jump you now, preferably doggie style; just say the word. Julia Child's The Joy of Cooking? That means let's cook something then screw. William S. Burroughs's Possible Side Effects? Let's do some drugs then fuck. Walker Percy's The Moviegoer? I'm a little messed up right now, let me get my act together and we can fuck later. Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita? I think we can get it on if you're willing to suck on a lollipop and look underage. Sylvia Plath's Collected Poems? Good luck. Neil Gaiman's The Sandman and Tolkien's The Hobbit? Sorry, great conversations ahead but you people are never going to get laid. (But if it happens, the sex will be great.) Max Brooks's The Zombie Survival Guide? OK, I want some of that action.

I am in agreement with this citation from the PR sheet for The Books They Gave Me: "In the age of digital media, physical books are increasingly becoming curios, artifacts that we put on our shelves and admire from afar while playing with our numerous electronic devices. But books are so much more than that."

And there's this: "Blog-to Book Success: This is the new American dream: develop a clever blog about one's passion and bring it out in book form."

All right, dammit, I'll start a blog about my passion. Publishers, get in touch. I'll adopt any passion that'll get me published. Take a look at this stuff. Great, right? I'll even start a blog about cleavage if that'll get me book action. Just say the word. I'll sell my soul. (Soul = blog.)

In other news, this week the venerable Seminary Co-op bookstore moves to its new digs at 5751 S. Woodlawn. We thought enough of that monumental move to feature it in our Fall Arts Preview. Go buy some books.

Seminary Co-op

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