Monday, January 12, 2009
Even before I started selling books, I'd get this question a lot. The answer was always (obviously) yes. Now that I work at The Bookstore, I've discovered a wonderful flipside to the question-- I now love to pose it to our customers. There's no such thing as a bad answer, but I especially like it when a customer tells me about a book we haven't even heard of before.
Here's an example. I started chatting with a customer who enjoyed The World To Come by Dara Horn, one of my favorites. We started comparing notes, and found out we had similar taste. She told me about Love's Executioner And Other Tales of Psychotherapy by Irvin D. Yalom -- she liked it so much she had it tabbed and highlighted -- so of course I ordered it.
I was a little doubtful, because the book looks and sounds a little weird. I mean, who wants to read a bunch of true stories about people in therapy? (I've got my own problems!) But I loved it. It was fascinating and insightful. In one of the stories, it explains how existential therapy asks the simple question, "what do you want?" Even between perfect strangers, this question can generate some pretty intimate answers. Between a psychotherapist and patient, it can bring out the deep anxieties that underlie bizarre obsessions. Between friends, it can help us make sense of our perfectly normal denials and secret longings. I think it could be a really interesting book club discussion book. A little like group therapy, maybe?
While Love's Executioner might not be for everyone, I thought it was great, and I've recommended it to others since. But the point is, I don't think I ever would have found out about this book if it wasn't for a customer.
So, here's your chance, customers! What have you read lately that we should know about? We'd love to hear about your new find! Post a comment and be the source of a hot new read at The Bookstore.