Probable heresy

Mon, Oct. 17th, 2005 09:25 pm
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[ profile] fannishly and I wandered over to Kepler's this weekend, in part to provide both moral and financial support (if you can count my measly $10 as financial support). As you know, Armadillo Bob-san, Kepler's is an independent bookstore in the area that abruptly closed last month and was saved thanks to a grassroots effort. It's now reopened.

I wasn't a frequent patron. I am, however, a frequent patron of Amazon and Borders (there are two of them which are closer than Kepler's). There's another indie bookstore down the street here that I do go to fairly often, and I am a very frequent patron of the local used bookstore(s).

Right around the back of the store was a giant area for posters and flyers, all very cool (I like browsing posters and flyers, never know what you might find), and there was one for California Independent Bookstores. I'm not actually sure if it should be all capitalized or what, but anyhow, they had a column of statistics comparing California indie bookstores with Amazon -- author signings, events, donations to charity, tax dollars -- all of which were supposed to convince me to patronize indie bookstores.

I felt a twinge of guilt. Despite having worked in an indie bookstore and generally wanting to support indie bookstores, I actually very rarely patronize any that aren't either a) used or b) two blocks away. I make my occasional trip to the Really Cool Sci-Fi/Fantasy Bookstore with the Hairless Cat (aka Borderlands) in San Francisco, but that's about it.

So herein is my bit of grumpiness about feeling guilty. I like Borders. I like having giant rows and rows of books. I like having a ginormous selection.

But even more than Border, there is Amazon. I like Amazon. I like Amazon a lot. Amazon remembers my Wishlist and ships me things and gives me random recommendations, most of which don't make sense. I can use Amazon for research. Also -- and this is the most important bit -- Amazon stocks almost any book in print that I want. It can be something that maybe .05% of the population will ever buy, but gorram it, it will be there, and I can get my grubby little hands on it, and no one at the register will look at me funny for buying a romance, YA, manga and the latest McKillip at the same time.

I know that one of the benefits of indie bookstores is supposed to be a greater sense of intimacy and whatnot, but a lot of the general indie bookstores I've been to rarely have that sense. I highly appreciate the fact that most of the general indie bookstores I've been to around here try to give employee recs, but I've never really come away from a general indie bookstore with the sense that I've discovered something that I otherwise would have overlooked. The sci-fi/fantasy section recs tend to be for Robert Jordan and Ender's Game, Ray Bradbury and Ursula K. LeGuin, authors and books that I've read of or heard of or both by the time I graduated from high school.

Plus, I always feel like a bit of an intruder. I'm very sure that a large part of this is because I try very hard to avoid eye contact and not talk to anyone, but another part is that I don't feel like I belong there. I get an immediate sense of warm fuzziness when I go to my (many) local yarn stores, even though no one there knows me personally, and when I go to the farmer's market, but not so much at the general indie bookstore. There is, of course, the warm fuzzy surrounded by books vibe, which is always present, but I feel it should be supplemented by an additional vibe or something...

What generally makes me feel disgruntled is that because general indie bookstores can't stock half as much as a Borders or an Amazon (which is understandable), they stint on genres that I like to read. Usually the selection of sci-fi/fantasy, romance, comics and manga, and other "unserious" reads get short shrift. I realize I am generalizing horribly, but it really gets to me. Especially the lack of romances. Most general indie bookstores that I've ventured into have miniscule romance sections, despite romance being a very high-selling genre.

Plus, when I do get to my little genre sections, I find that they have very few authors that I like. The romance sections invariably have the big names -- Nora Roberts, Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz, etc -- and almost never have the romance authors that I want to read. Ditto with the sci-fi/fantasy section. Usually it's a little better there, but still, there isn't much depth. The manga/comics section will have the big, serious authors like Gaiman and Moore and Miller, with Tezuka Osamu and some Akira thrown in, but no shoujo. And the crafts section is teeny.

I don't read what the people who run the stores seem to be promoting, my sections are being slighted, how am I supposed to feel like a part of the store?

And I hate that when I walk in there, I feel faintly marginalized. I like romances. I like shoujo manga. I like fantasy and sci-fi that's not necessarily "hard sci-fi" or "dark fantasy." I knit.

I dislike the fact that I get the feeling that anything too "fuzzy" is looked down upon. I'm quite sure the people running these bookstores don't feel like they are doing this (and kudos to them for running the bookstores; just because I feel out of place doesn't mean everyone does); I am quite sure that they promote general fiction written by women and women's studies and the like. But there on the outskirts, in the wild jungle that is genre, I tend to feel that it's still the conventionally masculine that is prized and upheld as art, while anything too cute or crafty or romantic continues to be sneered at. (insert general disclaimer here about fluffy not having to be feminine and vice versa and that I use the terms "masculine" and "feminine" in the stereotypical sense for the purpose of discourse and that usage does not indicate agreement)

I would like to say that this is only the impression that I tend to get from general indie bookstores (my old used bookstore included). The specialty bookstores that I go to (aka, my happy sci-fi/fantasy bookstore and my happy romance bookstore) I adore wholeheartedly and try to support as much as possible. The used bookstore that I used to work at used to not sell romances at all, despite a very large demand for them, and when I was buying, I'd often hear sneers about chick lit and romance. Luckily, the demand for such things has increased the selection so that I can find a good deal of things there. But I hate that attitude.

Anyway, I am done confessing. That's why I don't buy very much from Kepler's or Books Inc. I don't deliberately avoid them and I do actually try to buy things there when I can, but too often, they just never have what I'm looking for.

(no subject)

Sat, Oct. 30th, 2004 09:57 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Calvin and Hobbes comics)
Bought for the bookstore again today. On one hand, having to get up early (aka, before noon, since I have a horrible sleep schedule) wasn't so great. On the other hand, we didn't have too many plans for the weekend, and it was nice being back and sort of hanging out and having fun there. Although my feet hurt like crazy now because I'm not used to eight hours on my feet anymore. But, oh, it was so nice being around all those books again.

Some strange books seen today:
- How to Sell Footwear
- a book for biology students that put various important processes (photosynthesis, making urea, etc.) to the tune of songs like "Battle Hymn of the Republic." That one made me giggle for quite some time.

Also met one of the new employees there, hee. He's still figuring out all the sections and whatnot. I remember when I used to get totally confused when a customer would ask me stuff, and now it's just, "Oh, real estate? That's in aisle 18, bottom two shelves of the first bookcase on your left, right after the break in the aisle."

And I hunted around the bookstore and found Pamela Dean's The Dubious Hills (whoo!) and Greer Gilman's Moonwise and Geoff Ryman's The Warrior Who Carried Life, because I was going through old LJ entries and realized someone had recced Ryman. Unfortunately, no Unconquered Countries, which had been the specific rec. I also forgot to look for Swanwick's Iron Dragon's Daughter, oh well. Maybe next time. But I am very happy, especially about Dubious Hills, which I've been looking for for a while now.

I've found I'm really sort of addicted to used bookstores now. One of the bookstore people mentioned getting really depressed looking up books online because they were all going for fifty cents or so used, which devalued the book. But then, I almost never buy used books online. I only do if I've hunted for it for quite some time and am getting really impatient for it to show up (i.e., the Cuevas books). Otherwise, I love sort of hunting through the stacks of used bookstores and looking for out of print stuff. And it's great because you never quite know what you're going to get. New bookstores all carry fairly similar stock (which is good in a whole 'nother way), but I really enjoy the hunt itself.

(no subject)

Tue, Sep. 21st, 2004 08:35 pm
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Go fig. So finally, after a year at the bookstore looking for Sorcery and Cecelia and finally succumbing to the temptation to buy the reprint in hardcover instead of waiting for the new mass market to come out, the first edition paperback has shown up. I bought it anyway (for a dollar)... I figure I will sic it on a friend back at home.

Funny things heard at the bookstore (which is a used bookstore):

Customer (on the phone): Hi, I'm wondering if you could find some books for me?
Me: Sure, but just to let you know, we don't have our inventory on the computer. I can check the shelves for you though.
C: Ok, it should be really easy, they should all be in the same section.
Me (thinking): Yes! Please let it be fiction! (says) Great, what would that be?
C: Textbooks.
Me: ...

Customer (with a sort of shocked whisper): Do you know some of these books look used?

Customer: Hi, can you tell me where your non-fiction section is?

The first one was a one-time occurence (so far), but I've been asked questions two and three multiple times. Although I suppose question number two is actually a pretty nice compliment if one is a used bookstore.

Wandered into Borders. It was the boy's fault for going to EB Games, which was right next door, and therefore it is completely not my fault that I was sucked in and ended up buying something. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it ;). Found Ryan Adams' Love Is Hell (both parts! compiled!) for $9.99 and then found out there was some buy three get one free thing, and then spent half an hour looking for more CDs. Unfortunately, all the CDs I want are still to expensive or not stocked, so I only got Ryan Adams. But! Flogging Molly's new CD is out! I want! And I want the Assassins revival soundtrack very much as well.

(no subject)

Sun, Sep. 5th, 2004 01:57 pm
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So, that awesome buy that I talked about last week? The guy came back. With 33 more boxes of books. SQUEE!!! And I got to go through all of them again! It's almost embarrassing how happy I get when confronted with gorgeous new books. There were stacks of them! Stacks! Taller than me! (granted, piled on the counter, but still!) I was extremely restrained and only put my name on about ten books or so. They had all these reprinted DWJ books (of which I stuck my name on), Gaiman and McKean's The Wolves in the Walls, the new Allende YA fantasy, the new Clement-Davies YA fantasy, and many other such wonderful things. Did anyone by the way know that Gregory Maguire has also written a bunch of YA fantasy short stories? It's the new black, I tell you ;). So yes, I squeed quite a lot over them and vastly amused my bosses as to how many books I was already putting my name on.

I really was very restrained though.

I then (finally) cleared out part of my locker, so now I have a book on the rats of Manhattan, Robin McKinley's Sunshine, a Georgette Heyer, and very pretty copies of Juniper and Wise Child. Even though I already had a copy of Wise Child. But see, these two match!

Yes, I am a dork.

Anyhow, if anyone wants a copy of Wise Child, leave a comment and I'll mail it to you!

(no subject)

Sat, Aug. 28th, 2004 10:12 pm
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Most awesome buy ever today. This school came in with 22 boxes of books, and it being for a school, I sort of figured that the boxes would be a lot of old ex-library books, or very ugly donations or something, since that's what usually happens when charities or other organizations bring things in. Instead, I opened the first box to find brand new books. Absolutely beautiful, brand new, glossy kids and young adult books, most from 2004 and 2003. 22 boxes of them. And all for store credit, not even for cash! We NEVER see stuff like this! Well, we do, but very rarely, and almost never in this kind of quantity. Guh. I was barely able to keep myself from drooling over all the books or from bouncing up and down every two seconds over the sheer wonderfulness of the order. And I only put my name on two of the books, which shows immense self-restraint on my part ;). But, guh! Many Jane Yolen picture books! New young adult books! It's such a good thing that they weren't mostly fantasy books, or I would have been a complete goner.

Later on in the day came another nice order of comic books and manga... three bags full! My manga section will somehow have to accomodate all of them. I spotted Gravitation among them, but only book 7 =(. But there was books 1-5 of Banana Fish, which I will now borrow, and Y: The Last Man, which I've been meaning to read as well. The best part about shelving the manga/comics section is that I get first dibs ;).

And the boy and I have bought a Tivo. I am excited ^_^.

(no subject)

Sat, Aug. 7th, 2004 09:26 pm
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Day two as a book buyer: Coolness!!

I am quite happy that now instead of hovering over the buyers and surreptitiously checking out all the books in the order while trying to clear the table and everything, I am now the one going through all the piles of books ^_^. Imagine that. They are paying me to flip through tons of books. Wow.

It's reinforced a lot of things that I knew before from working behind the buying counter, though, and it's just so fun seeing the different books people have. Actually, the majority of people have really boring books, but that makes the nice orders that much cooler.

It perpetually amazed me that the people who always ask for cash or a combination of cash and trade credit will almost invariably be the people who have musty books from the seventies and eighties on topics that go rapidly out of date. Or they will be people who always underline and highlight their books and wreck the spines in the process. Or they will have an order of books that they've left outside for six months or something, so that the books have been rained on and all sorts of nasty molds and insects have had a chance at the books. Or they will have thrown all their books in a garbage bag so even if the books were nice beforehand, by the time they've gotten to us, they're wrinkled and bent and dented.

And it's amazing that these people all have the same kinds of books -- lots of old self-help books and old, cheap cookbooks (not even the pretty kinds with glossy pictures, or nifty ethnic cookbooks), old success psychology or business books. I get bored just flipping through them.

Or they will have stacks of CDs that look like they've been played with a record player, they're that scratched.

Then there are people who keep their books in pretty nice shape, but unfortunately read (or get sick of) the exact same books that everyone else reads and gets sick of and sells back to us. Then I get to cart around armfuls of bestseller genre books or general fiction to see if we need them. And I always feel kind of bad turning them away, because a lot of the new customers think, "But these are nice books! Why don't you want them?" and I have to tell them that we see about twenty of them a day.

And then there are the orders that make me drool -- beautiful, pristine picture books in gorgeous colors and dust jackets, young adult hardcover and paperbacks in like new condition, fat and expensive art books from Abrams and Rizzoli. And once in a blue moon, there comes a person who has absolutely beautiful fantasy books in great condition, and (the big surprise) it's stuff I read. That's when I get a little nuts and start putting my name on everything ^_^. We almost never see Emma Bull or Patricia A. McKillip's non-Riddlemaster books.

It's just so much fun trying to keep track of all this stuff in my head.

(and it doesn't hurt that the boss says I am picking it up quite well, although I still feel like I mess up very often)

(no subject)

Fri, Aug. 6th, 2004 08:59 pm
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Yay! I am officially a buyer now ^_^.

Well, I bought a few orders today, which was quite nifty. Haha. So now it is my official job to go through tons of books and pick them out and deal out store credit and cash. I feel quite powerful, really ;).

And the boss says I'm pretty much ready to price everything that goes in the store now, which is also cool.

And then I came home, and the boy had set up the new grill and grilled dinner, so I am fed as well.

And my parents are going to visit Rome and say I can go along too!! I've never seen Rome! So much history! Museums! Art! Architecture! (I'm very excited)

Life is good.
oyceter: Delirium from Sandman with caption "That and the burning baby fish swimming all round your head" (delirium)
Questions from [ profile] double_helix:

1) You want to own a scifi bookstore! Cool! Tell me your dream version of it.

Ooooo... Um. First, it has to be well-lit. Because while dark corners are great for fantasy atmosphere, it sucks to try to read books like that! Also, I'm wondering if I should do scifi/fantasy and romance, or just sci-fi/fantasy... although after seeing Borderlands, I'm a bit more certain that there are enough books for a bookstore for just sci-fi/fantasy. But I'm also all for promoting romance and making it not the genre-of-shame that it is. It's got to have a section full of comfy chairs and sofas for reading, because I want it to be a place people feel comfortable in. I was thinking maybe that area would be a little separate from everything else so I could make people take off their shoes or something before sitting on the couches, because I like curling up in the chairs and B&N. There's got to be a used book section -- depending on how many used books I would get, I would consider limiting it to out of print stuff. Graphic novel section because I refuse to own a bookstore that doesn't sell Sandman. Little fantasy knickknacks and merchandise lying around (Sandman statuettes, posters, etc) and for sale. It'd be cool if I could team up with a local cafe for a cafe in the store, with wireless access. Employees who know what they're talking about, and who hopefully specialize in different things (hard core/golden age scifi, me and my fairy tale fantasy, etc.). I would want something like "___ is reading ___ right now" things up, along with lists that each employee would make up, including their favorite books and other book recs in a certain vein (ex "If you liked ___, try ___"). Lists of Hugo and Nebula and Mythopoeic winners. Hopefully itty bitty card sized reviews of more obscure books we want to bring attention to (no little cards for Ender's Game, despite how much I love it).

And I would want some sort of online store. I don't know if we'd sell stuff online (depends on viability), but I would want some sort of online storefront that included forums. I'd have employees drop by, I'd drop by, hopefully there would be much discussion and mutual recs of books. I want my store to be something like a community, getting people of the community in for readings or book club type discussions, getting authors in for talks, and having the online stuff going as well. I want it to be something people can participate in. Heh, that was a giant answer. And of course, all this pretends that there's no such thing as money!

2) I know you've lived in several places. Which do you think you'll choose for long-term living? Or do you want to keep moving and trying new places?

Taiwan. Barring Taiwan, probably California... but I know if I ever have kids, I want to drag them back home. It sounds kind of sappy, but I want them to know Chinese and to have some sense of that culture. I really, really, really don't want to keep moving and trying new places -- I'm absolutely horrified of moving. I think the four years of packing and unpacking rooms each year to move to a new dorm in college was about all the moving I can take. Plus, I tend to get very attached to places where I live. I mean, I know the boy wants to kind of float around and try living in Japan and stuff, but eventually, I want to settle down in Taiwan.

3) Rec me some good fantasy. I need to branch out. *g*

Ooo, what have you read? I rec Diana Wynne Jones to everyone -- she writes young adult books kind of in the vein of Harry Potter, but she's been doing it waaay before JK Rowlings. I particularly like her Fire and Hemlock and the Chrestomanci books. Robin Hobb's got great world-building AND good characters AND a good epic feel, although some of my friends find her a bit depressing. I read Steve Brust and Emma Bull's Freedom and Necessity and bit back and absolutely adored it. It's a Victorian epistolary novel, on the border of fantasy, and great fun. Plus, I love the characters. I really loved Juliet Marillier's Daughter of the Forest trilogy, which is a take on the seven swans fairy tale combined with Celtic mythology. And everyone who likes Monty Python should read Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens. Firebirds, an anthology of short stories by some very good YA writers, is out, edited by Sharyn November. And that's just the tip of the iceberg ;). Now I'm slightly afraid you've already read most of these!

4) What got you into fandom and livejournal? What keeps you here?

Fandom -- wow. I had pretty much just gotten the internet back in tenth grade and was trolling around for online fiction, thanks to a giant lack of English books in Taiwan. Instead, I kept running across this weird thing called fan fiction, and I noticed a lot of it was for the X-Files. Didn't pay much attention until a girl in my class started watching X-Files. I got curious, read a few stories, and got absolutely hooked when I hit Madeleine Partous' Shadow Puppets (all the talk of a Cancerman and black oil worms was reeeaaally confusing). I decided at that point that I had to watch the show, and watched the third and fourth season in bits and pieces whenever I could catch them on TV. I'm still pretty impressed they aired in Taiwan. I was a lurker for X-Files, then I got into anime fandom with Gundam Wing -- started a webpage, wrote some fic. Then I discovered Buffy junior year watching FFL ^_^.

I think I found LJ after noticing some of the blogs I had been reading stopped being updated because the people were moving to LiveJournal. I trolled about in LJ for a while, and finally decided to get one last February, mostly because I wasn't in the best of emotional places at the time and wanted a diary that I would write in more than my paper one, since I type a lot faster than I write.

5) Who's your favorite fictional character of all time? (Or at least one of your top three). Rave about him or her to me.

Ender! This is partially based on the sheer length of time I've "known" him. Plus, of most of the fictional characters I adore, he's one of the ones who is the most delineated and explored, unlike, oh, say, Eowyn, who I adore, but who is not exactly center stage in LotR. I read Ender's Game in seventh grade, and it was an absolutely wrenching experience -- could not be parted from the book and wandered around in a bit of a daze for a few days after reading it. I love how Card brings me into Ender's head, and I love Ender's compassion and his brilliance, and his mixed desires to win so that no one will ever hurt him and his hatred of himself for that very desire. And while I do love adult Ender in Speaker for the Dead and beyond, it's kid Ender, stuck in Battle School, who I love the most. I think I love him so much because I used to be a kid like that -- not that brilliant, but smart enough so that there was a definite barrier between me and other people. And while I liked it, I also got the loneliness that comes of that.

The Rules of the Game

Want to be interviewed yourself? Ask here.

1 - Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2 - I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
3 - You'll update your journal with my five questions, and your five answers.
4 - You'll include this explanation.
5 - You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

NB: Will limit myself to the first five people as well, in case there are more.

(no subject)

Thu, Dec. 11th, 2003 08:22 pm
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Wow! LJ is getting rid of invite codes! This makes me happy (and a little jealous that I paid for two months to get mine).

Plus, I like the idea of getting paid time for my unused codes.

So I suggested something to R (the guy who started the bookstore) about staff recs. And he said they had had it in the past, but the problem was that they'd generally run out of the recced book too fast, being unsure of supply and all. But then, I was thinking more of a general list of recs, like "Oyce reads fantasy with a tendency toward YA and fairy tales" and a list of liked authors and books. And he liked the idea! So what might actually happen now is it could be a special display -- each employee could get a certain amount of time with two shelves and just stick whatever they liked on it, with a list on the side for more recs. Yay! I feel all good, like I am effecting good change and who knows what. Plus, it's an idea I've always liked because I never know what to get in a bookstore (or I know too much) so I used to stock up on recs online and on Amazon and then go to a real-life store to browse.

And it makes me happy because if I ever had a bookstore, it's something I desperately want to do.

(no subject)

Tue, Nov. 25th, 2003 07:07 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (book addict)
Found a gorgeous book at work today -- not as pricey as the $600 potential one, but just gorgeous. It's a French book called Aventures Marveilleux Huon (something something, and I probably spelled everything wrong), by G. Paris, oversized. Probably published around the late 1800s or early 1900s. Bound in some sort of maroon leather, with a beautifully elaborate gilt drawing of a knight on the cover, with the title in a very medieval looking script. And the inside, the text was all printed in a dark green, on nice glossy paper that looked as though it could have been published in the 70s.. not much foxing or anything. Plus, you could kind of feel the texture of the words, thanks to some printing technique. And each page had a border about an inch wide, around the top and edge, really elaborate animals, flowers, etc. And each border was different. I think I sat there for a while just kind of petting it. Cheapest one on ABE going for about $230.

Sometimes my job is awesome.

(no subject)

Tue, Sep. 16th, 2003 07:05 pm
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Well, the boy is off doing a scavenger hunt type thing for the gsb, so I am all by myself. It's kind of odd. Things that passed through my head today at work:

- I wonder if the whole bit on looking down at romance novels is because it's women's fiction? Not that I think people are consciously doing it, but there's been a steady trend of that in the past. I had a course on American Popular Lit. and it was amusing how up in arms everyone was getting about women reading scandalous books! So of course all the books they were reading were denigrated as trashy (I was always mad that Jo gave up writing her potboilers for Bauer). And I wonder if that's kind of carried on? I mean, Romeo and Juliet, giant romance, as were tons of the operas, but romance novels are supposedly a different thing. Is this because of the cultural propensity to think tragic endings are somehow "better"? Is it the women's fiction thing? Also, why is it that even though critics denigrate feel-good chick flicks and stupid action movies, I get the feeling that going out to watch a chick flick is somehow a much worse or sillier thing than going to watch cars blow up?

- How can a mass market paperback on the evils of life insurance go online for 100 some dollars?!

- Who is it buying and reading all the books I'm processing anyway? Seriously, I love the researching part more than shelving because things come in batches -- I'll be going through a batch of books like Gospel Parallels, New Testament Concurrences, Greek-English dictionaries of the NT, and I wonder, does the person read these for fun? Was s/he a Bible scholar? Why sell them? Was it for a class? Then there are streaks of books on art or crochet or quilting (those were fun to flip through).

- How can there be so many books in the world? I walk into a normal new bookstore and there are tons and tons of books I want to read, or at least flip through. Then I go to work, and I find that's just the tip of the iceberg! I go through soooo many books that are out of print, and it's just overwhelming how much there is!

- California sky (or at least South Bay) is giant. I eat outside everyday because I get really cold from the aircon, and it's nice after being inside for forever to be able to go see green things and feel the sun on my face. I love sitting outside in the park and looking at the pine trees and reading my book and letting the sun bake my skin so I feel like I'm soaking up all the warmth that was never really there in Princeton. Because while indoor heating is nice, there's just something about the dry heat here from the sun that makes me feel good and settled and real. Must remember to get sunblock too so baking doesn't turn into burning into a delicate, painful red. Back to sky... I look up and it just seems to stretch out forever, this giant expanse of blue against the trees and the buildings. Sometimes there are a few white clouds to accent the blueness, very rarely enough so that there's no sun. I think something about the flatness of the land and the buildings makes it feel like a giant upturned bowl.

(no subject)

Wed, Sep. 10th, 2003 09:35 pm
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Well, one of the managers got back from vacation today so more training to be a book buyer will commence. I think they've finally decided what to do with me -- apparently I won't be spending much time in the San Jose warehouse at all, although they'll train me for that too so I can go down there and help if they're ever overworked. This is probably good, as the place is half an hour away, in a kind of skeevy area not close to any nice park I can go eat lunch in. Plus, I would have to go on 101 to get there, and 101 is just horribly congested perpetually. Kind of like my nose ;). It's also good because book buyer is higher paying ^_^. Apparently tomorrow I'll start being trained to do research.. not quite sure on what, but probably on book prices on the internet. So if I'm using the computer, hopefully I will get to sit down once in a while!! Yay! Plus, I am a bad worker because I'm already thinking that maybe I can check in on LJ every so often...

Anyhow, this is good because shelving computer books was starting to drive me nuts. So today I reorganized the college section (study guides, etc) and got quite nostalgic looking at all these books advising students on how to study well and how to survive freshman year. Plus, ran across even more books I want to read -- one is a study on twenty Stanford students and what they did after they graduated to see how a good education affects people's lives, some are questioning liberal arts, some are questioning colleges and universities. I'm already predisposed to disagree with them, but they look interesting anyway.

Hied myself to the library during lunch break (and had a cappucino with caramel... must break self of expensive coffee addiction!) and got another Nora Roberts for fuzzy value, the next two Butler books in the Lilith's Brood/Xenogenesis trilogy, Connie Willis' Doomsday Book just because I keep seeing it around and I figure I should read more female scifi writers. Yup. Couldn't find Otherland 2 there... hopefully they have it.

Oops, forgot to add that I did an incredibly stupid thing yesterday. I walked out at six, signed my little timesheet and everything, and decided to call the boy from the car. Opened my cell phone and discovered that my cell phone clock read 5:12! Well, I thought, maybe it got off by an hour. Looked down at my watch and found my watch read 5 too. Somehow I completely misread the time and almost ending up leaving an hour early. Shuffled back in with great embarrassment and hoped no one had seen me leave with my purse....

Job, day 2

Sat, Aug. 30th, 2003 10:03 pm
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So far I have organized the corporate history and the Chinese language section. Well, Chinese fiction at least. I like doing this so far. I like how I'm not sitting at a desk every day staring at the computer screen, which is funny because in my free time, that's pretty much all I do. So my legs are sore from all the sitting on the floor and getting up and hauling books, and my shoulders ache, and my arms kind of hurt because I was lugging some encyclopedias around, but my eyes are ok. They used to hurt like mad all the time at Merrill, and I hated it because when my eyes hurt, I can't do anything that entertains me -- no reading, no internet, no TV or movies, not even cross-stitching. I rather like this not being in one place all the time, although I suspect it will be much more like a desk job when I go to San Jose. Next week, though, I'll be in Mountain View because one of the owners will be on a small vacation. I read all the dust jackets for the corporate history section so I could organize them, and wow! Just, lots and lots of books out there on every possible subject. I love it.

And it's nice... I get to decide when I want to lunch break, as long as there's someone to take over, and since the store is downtown (it's a small downtown), I'm just a block or two away from the civic center/public library. Today I brought lunch from home (leftover pasta, yum) and sat on a park bench in front of the library -- it's lovely. It was sunny, and the grass was green and there were trees everywhere, and it just felt so nice to be out in the sun for an hour. I hated the Merrill office, which apparently reserved windows for executives only. Poor cubicle workers didn't get a view at all (although when I did get to see the view, it was awesome -- 17th floor looking right at the Bank of China building and HK harbor). I also dropped by the library for a few minutes and picked up some more Connie Brockway and Tad William's Otherland book 1. Also left my extra Rose Daughter copy at the local cafe for BookCrossings, which also made me happy.

It's strange how different I feel now that I have a job, something I've been worried about for about a year. It's like this great weight off my shoulders, or kind of like the niggling thing at the back of my head constantly has finally shut up. I was bored out of my mind doing nothing all summer, and I rather like this. It's nice going home after a day of work. It's also nice being able to think, yes, perhaps I have a future after all and don't have to be stuck doing finance or accounting or whatnot -- hated the thought of that. I know my mom wants me to get a graduate degree sometime, so will think about that, eventually. Maybe will take courses on small businesses or something, who knows?

Bookwise: Just finished reading Ursula K. LeGuin's Tehanu. And while it took me longer than it took for me to read The Farthest Shore and The Tombs of Atuan combined, I think I like it best. I loved Tenar when I met her in Tombs, and I still love her. I also love the sense of calmness about the book, of rediscovering the self, of finding childhood loves again. Going back to [ profile] aliera9916's question about age for heroines, I find I tend to like older heroines more. I like knowing my characters have a past, that they've experienced things. I like having a sense of history to books, which is why I loved Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches. Generations of history packed in there! For that matter, I also love tortured heroines, much, much more than tortured heroes (esp. in romances). I'm rather averse to the innocent virginal girls who show up in romances and who don't know anything. I like it when they've been hurt a little, had their hearts broken maybe once or twice, have been tempered so they're not all fiery and spirited (which often means they are Too Stupid Too Live because they get in dumb situations due to their feistiness). I like the role reveresal of the tortured heroine and a loving, steadfast hero who tries to win her over. I think this may have started with LotR, now that I think of it, and the Eowyn/Faramir dynamic. Hrm, interesting. Makes it more obvious to me why the S5-6 Spike and Buffy dynamic affected me lots more than the S7 one.


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