|I snapped this pic just moments after|
my visit to Kramerbooks in Dupont
Circle in DC.
I was in the store looking over my options and saw a bunch of books that I wanted. Or at least wanted to add to my reading list. I only had carry-on space for one book, so it was Sophie's Choice all the way. I had to make the tough decisions. Of course, one of the great things about independent bookstores is that they aren't beholden to a corporate mandate on which books get shelved where. So you're more likely to find weird stuff and stuff that staff recommends rather than just what a publisher pays to put on a higher shelf at eye-level, etc. That being said I was finding all kind of books that I wanted to read, so I did what came naturally. I whipped out my iPhone and took a picture of the barcode to add to my GoodReads list.
"I'm sorry but you can't do that in here," said a male clerk about my age or a little younger.
Me: Excuse me? Can't do what in here?
Clerk: Take pictures of the books.
Me: I can't take a picture of this book's barcode to put on my reading list? (Clerk nods) Can I have my cellphone out and type it into my reading list?
Clerk gives me a star and I wonder off because I'm a little ticked and also totally understand. Amazon has made bookstores run for their money because people can go in, find a book they want and in two clicks have bought it--for less money and delivered wirelessly in a minute to their Kindle. It's gotta be hard to sell books. But I'm a book lover and a lover of independent bookstores, so I was still a little sore about this. Then the guy came up to me and said:
Clerk: What reading list are you talking about?
Me: Good reads. It's a website that helps people connect over books, track what they've read and want to read. It's got an app that helps me add books to my reading list.
Clerk: Can you show me? I don't have one of those smartphone thingies. (I chuckled at this because I wasn't expecting that answer from a 30-something male. A 60-something female? maybe).
After I took the time to show him, I ended up buying a book (Anthropology of an American Girl) and the clerk was trying to make me feel better so he through a free t-shirt into my bag. It only made it on my carry-on because it was squishy. So, hey. free workout t-shirt.