Saturday, 15 May 2010

BYT: Book Geek Mobbing

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May 2010
Second, I always find it unusual to return to old work places or to pass houses that I used to reside in, the buildings seem to reach out and give me a little shake or a lightening bolt jolt of memory and emotion. One place this happens a little less is Waterstone’s on Oxford Street in Swansea. Mainly because it is full of books and I happen to love being surrounded by books. I used to work there, as a Grade 2 Bookseller, no less, with pink hair and responsibility for the Poetry section (result) and also all those GCSE revision booklets that make up Education (nightmare).  Just call me Clementine (Eternal Sunshine). Actually, don’t. As jobs go I’ve had many worse, and several of the familiar faces remain, having now worked their way up the ranks. I usually have a natter with one or two of them after my usual browse of favourite sections, new fiction tables, the Fiction ‘W’ section, specifically the space between WILC and WILE for no reason at all, cough, blush, etc. … and the local interest section, to check they still stock Nu, and to see if there is anyone who has missed my radar for the Mslexia blog.
This week was a little different. On Mondays the library is shut. I hate this. Monday is THE day I want the library to be open. It is my writing day. I write on other days too, but Monday I allocate for creativity.  If I want to check something or read a favourite poem I go to Waterstone’s. There is nowhere else that can provide for such needs in this pretty shitty city. So there I am browsing when Susan passes, smiles, and walks back to stand in front of me. ‘congratulations’ she says. I look bemused. ‘on your book’ she continues. ‘Thanks…?’ I say. I am still bemused. Susan, like all other staff from my time at Waterstone’s, knew I was writing, and had in fact completed a book. I told them this was what I was going to do at interview. I had told them that this was what was indeed happening at our occasional shelf-side chit-chats. She beams, excited as only book geeks (of which I admit to being, also) can: ‘You were in the Bookseller!’ A small crowd of former colleagues has gathered. They point, we all do a little geeky jig. ‘You were!’ They chant. ‘You were in the Bookseller. We saw you.’ I am a child at the best birthday party ever. ‘I know!’ I say. It is all I can do not to squeal.
I was, so were all the BYTs. LOOK!
In other news I’ve been blogging like a blogging thing on lots and lots of arty things for Buzz and I went to see La Roux for Artrocker. I am also getting so incredibly excited about Hay Festival and the Hay Poetry Jamboree. If schedules work out I shall be on stage for 3, THREE things and when the dates have been confirmed I shall tell you all about them. You can read my Hay preview in this month’s issue of Buzz Magazine. Also, ladies, look out for my How To… do Hay Festival column inThe Western Mail’s WM supplement on Tues 25th May.
Finally I’d recommend you go and see The Devil Inside Him at the New Theatre in Cardiff, the Natonal Theatre of Wales’ latest output. I went to the press night and afterparty last night for Mslexia, and it was gripping. Blog coming on that later this week.
Be good kids,
Susie Q x

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