So it looks like my bookstore isn't quite giving up the ghost yet. Which is good for me, since I have no other job skills, and also good for Ithaca. I have to say, though: where did all the customers go? The last couple of months have been deadly dull. No one comes in! No rousing chit chat. No nothing. Does it have anything to do with that $3.96 we're paying for gas around here?
How about you? Are you buying fewer new books? Is this a temporary trend, or a long-term one?
I've cut back a bit, mostly because I'm putting all my cash into my garden this month. But I've read some good stuff. The new O. Henry Awards collection isn't bad; I bought it because there's a story by a guy I know in it (Alexi Zentner, who's a student at Cornell and one of the stalwart Bookery II customers) and an Alice Munro story. Haven't read Alexi's yet, Munro's is good, of course, but I was quite taken by Michael Faber's "Bye Bye Natalia," about a Ukranian woman who's trying to decide whether to become a mail order bride. I liked it so much I bought his collection of stories, Vanilla Bright Like Eminem. I think that's an awful title, but it shows some guts.
Also, did anyone else read the Joyce Carol Oates story in the new Harper's? It's called "Suicide by Fitness Center" and it's creepy, especially knowing that JCO's husband recently died. I have mixed feelings about her, and think she ought to write more slowly and let someone else have some shelf space, but when she's good she's awfully good.