"I'm looking for a book."
I hear that a lot.
Those five words are code for:
1) There's this book I
(a)heard about or
(b)read a long time ago and want to read again but can't remember the title or the author, but I know the plot,
2) I want to order a book
* Business suit crowd at lunch - soup and salads, no messy burgers or stacked sandwiches.
* Construction and road crew - burgers and stacked sandwiches.
* Law enforcement officers- easy to eat, grab and go no utensils required fare, ie, wraps, paninis and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Sometimes I was way off, but I had a pretty good winning match-the-person-to-the-food average.
My success rate for matching people to what they like to read isn't as good as matching them with menu options. The customer I mentioned at the beginning, Mr. E, is a good example. He's an 84-year old retired civil engineer and semi-retired farmer. He asks me to order books several times a year because he doesn't own a computer and "wouldn't know how to work the dang thing even if I did have one." He says coming to my store gives him an excuse to leave the house and come to town.
Mr. E isn't the first customer with a request or interest that has surprised me. In the nearly four years I've been a book seller there have been many.
*The retired college English professor with her trim figure, unyielding coif and matching slacks and blouse ensembles who reads only True Crime stories. She can't abide fiction.
*The dairy farmer who reads nothing but romances, all with cowboy or rancher protagonists. He's particularly drawn to books with red-headed ladies on the covers, (something I've wondered if his blonde-haired wife has noticed).
*Fantasies for a mother who homeschools her FIVE children (I totally get that reading preference!)
*Christian Fiction/Romance for a librarian (a very popular genre in these parts)
*Erotic Romance for a sociologist (always waiting for me to open the store and looks so embarrassed!)
*Biographies for a welder and Sci-Fi for a county sheriff.
In my profession, a version of the phrase "Don't judge a book by its cover" could apply to readers of said books. Don't judge what a person will read based on their appearance.