Monday, December 14, 2009

Maddeningly Unhelpful Advice-How to avoid overreacting

I share this experience to show you the way to deal with bad news in a mature manner. The main character in this story may or may not be me depending on how crazy she comes off.

I love the book store, I thought, trailing my finger over the spines of books as I walked toward the Middle Grade section at the back. My goal was to get a few Christmas gifts and avoid buying anything for myself. I slowed as I came to the Young Adult section. Beautiful Creatures (the book) stared at me from it's perch on the top shelf with the other featured titles. I picked it up, felt the weight of it in my hands. The blurb on the back promised an amazing story. No. I was not buying a book for me. Especially not one that was so thick and would make me useless for days when I had so much to do. I put it away and found the books that I had gone there for.

At the register, books in hand, I noticed signs with large-printed warnings: ALL SALES FINAL I furrowed my brow. "Has your return policy changed?" I asked the guy (I'll pretend like I don't know his name) behind the counter.

"No, we're closing."

I gasped. Really loud. I hadn't been informed of this decision. "W-What?"

He got an apologetic look on his face. "Sorry."

(Now is the time where if you want to avoid overreacting, and appear mature and in control, you would just pay for your books, say, "that's too bad" and back away from the counter. But I didn't do that, instead I said....)

"No. You can't close." I handed him my credit card.

"Well, they're keeping the big one at Riverpark open."

(Now, is really the time where if you want to avoid looking slightly crazy, you take the pen he is holding, sign the sales slip, and walk away with your purchase. It would definitely not be the time to....)

I stared at the pen blankly, my eyes starting to sting from not blinking. "But that's all the way across town."

"I know, I'm sorry."

(Just sign the slip.)

"But I come here like once a week. Really? You're closing?" I took the pen and as I signed I started to think: How can I keep this bookstore open? What would I have to do? My neighbor is a reporter for the news. Could he do a story on it?

"Yes, we're really closing." He set the bag down in front of me.

"But what if you do really well during Christmas. Then maybe you'll stay open....right?"



He looked past me to the customer who had walked up behind me. "Have a good day," he said, obviously trying to tell me to walk away.

(Don't say anything at this point. Just walk away.)

"Well, it won't be a good day now that I know my bookstore is closing," I mumbled.

On the drive home I thought about how I could open up my own bookstore. Really. I thought seriously about this. Then (and when I say "then" I mean about two days later) I realized that the only reason I would be opening said bookstore was so I could shop in it. I didn't think this was a good enough reason (not to mention these things cost money).

So, if you are ever faced with a similar situation. Try not to let your denial play out in front of the poor helpless worker who has no control over the situation. Wait until you're in the car, turn on a sad song about loss, and sing really loud (not that I did this).


  1. Awww, poor bookstore! I'm so sad! Thanks for spreading the holiday cheer, Kasie.

  2. I was in the bookstore and had Beautiful Creatures in my hands ready to buy, but put it back as well. deja vu. (Is that the right word)

    Sorry about your book store, I would hate not having one close by.

  3. Oh, Kasie - that is exactly why we all love you! (and that is probably exactly how we would/will react in the same situation) ;-)

    So sad...

  4. Kasie,

    I think you showed great restraint. It's not like you jumped over the counter, grabbed said helpless worker, and forced him to hold you while you cried your eyes out for the loss of your beloved bookstore. You did just fine, besides had you done that, we'd still be on your side. A bookstore is a sanctuary for so many of us. We understand.

    And, by the way, I bought Beautiful Creatures and it stares at me, with some judgment in its eyes, because I'm re-reading the Twilight series instead of a new book because I'm just too busy right now to lose my ability to exist outside fiction. But I will get there. Darn holidays. :)

  5. I hate when bookstores close, they're like death knells for the publishing industry. Especially when they're local favourites.

  6. Wow! This is like You've Got Mail... Totally! You so didn't overreact (sp?) seriously. But um... so does that mean all the books were on sale? Like they were half off or something? Like, uh--could you just go back and get a few more...? Just sayin...

  7. Honestly, I would have done the same thing. (Even going as far as Julie said, jumping over the counter and frightening the poor cashier). Then again I live in an area were there are only 2 bookstores. Barnes and Noble being one of them. (Hugs)Indigo

  8. It hurts my heart to hear of another bookstore closing.

    Let's do it! Let's open our own bookstore/coffeeshop/art gallery/record store and anything else on the verge of extinction. We'll call it "Extinct".

    How 'bout it?

  9. This is sad! (And I so want Beautiful Creatures too. I'm going to wait until Christmas to see if I get it. I've certainly dropped enough hints...)

  10. I will respond to all your comments individually later (because they are all great). But since I'm on my way out the door can I just say I love you all? I love that you make me feel like I actually under-reacted and that all of you would've done exactly the same if not more. This is why we are all kindred spirits. :) Love it!

  11. In my area, there are zero bookstores. None. Zilch. Nada. Unless you count the used bookstore(which I don't)that only sells used books and required reading for the schools.
    I have to drive an hour, ONE HOUR, to get to a Barnes and Noble because even the 'mall' which is a half hour away, has a lowly Waldenbooks with more magazines than books.
    But I digress.
    You did not overreact. When you start freaking out AT, not TO, your husband because there is just NOWHERE TO BUY A DECENT BOOK BECAUSE THERE IS NO BOOKSTORE IN TOWN, while you are driving home from the hour away bookstore, then you have overreacted. ::Sigh::

  12. I would totally be freaking out too, if my bookstore were closing. I would miss it terribly.

  13. Sadness. Sounds like it was a chain store. I'm with Rhiannon on this, worried about the publishing industry, book selling and overall what's the world going to look like for authors next year?

  14. I think you could push your overreacting even further. What about chaining your self to the door on the day set for demolition? Or staging a hunger strike?

  15. I laughed so hard at your mumbled comment about it not being a great day now that you know your bookstore is closing. Too funny!

  16. Great Post. I would NEVER do anything like that...LOL I'm quoting you on my blog today. Check it out this afternoon. HUGS

  17. This is sad. I think I would have reacted by buying myself some more books, and reading like it was going out of style. Because then I could avoid the reality of my loss.

  18. I am sorry to hear that the bookstore is closing. It is very saddening. :O(
    If it gives you any comfort, Brigham City has NO bookstore. Waaaa! Waaa!! *sniff*

  19. Natalie, I am sorry to be the cause of your 48 hour depression. Next week I will try to be more seasonal and share some Christmas happiness.

    Patti, if you end up reading it first, tell me what you think.

    Shannon, it is so sad, and I'm glad to know you would've done the same in the same situation.

    Julie, yes, you're right, I did under react. I should've had him comfort me while I cried and gnashed my teeth.

  20. Rhiannon, yes, this was another reason it depressed me so much. This was the bookstore that I always pictured my book in. Now I have to come up with a whole different setting for my fantasies. :)

    Jenni, I wish they were half off, I would've bought more. But, they weren't. Grrrr. And now I'm bitter. I don't want to go back there ever again. That bookstore has hurt me. I have been scorned and I am bitter now.

    Indigo, now I too will live in a town where there are only 2 bookstores. Now I'm sobbing again.

    Tricia, Extinct! I love it! Lets! Although, wait, this sounds like a sure fire way to make my writing become extinct. Hmmmm. How about after we both sell our books. :)

    Elana, I'm sure Santa has heard your hints and will bring you your beloved book. :) Tell me how it is.

  21. Julie, okay, you have shown me that it could be worse. And I'm sure when I've gotten over my loss, I will see that at least I only have to drive half an hour. But until then I will continue to pout. And it's impossible to overreact to husbands, so let him be your sounding board, then you won't have to take it out on strangers. :)

    Lois, good, I'm glad I'm not alone. You guys are all making my reaction seem normal. I love it.

    Elle, I know, it's depressing. I hope this isn't an indicator of the market. It was a small store, so maybe it was its time.

    Renee, I like your idea. Do you think it would work? Hmmmm.....

  22. Candi, no, no laughing, only crying. This is the bookstore where we stayed up until midnight to buy breaking dawn. We have memories here, Candi. MEMORIES!!! :)

    Christine, no, of course not, you're much too controlled to do anything like this. :) Thanks for the blog love, btw.

    Amber, I think I was in a state of shock because you're right, what I should've done was marched back to that shelf and bought Beautiful Creatures to comfort myself. What was I thinking? I think I was mad at the store. :)

    Elizabeth!!!! Brigham City????? Brigham City, Utah??? I know it well. I visit there twice a year. My husband grew up in Brigham City. :) His parents still live there. So cool.