Tag Archives: Bookstore

You Are Surrounded By Beauty

What Treasure Do You Hold?

The other day I was sitting in a bookstore talking to one of he girls that works behind the counter in the coffee shop section. It seems that many bookstores these days have a full-blown coffee shop inside. Which makes sense, because what goes better than hanging out in a bookstore and reading books?

One of the cool things I like about bookstores is how many completely ideas different people have about certain things. Even if we confine ourselves to the measurable physical universe, there is still an endless supply of things known and unknown to talk about. Even things we can see, touch taste and feel we have really no idea of the underlying structure and substance.

Many quantum physicists have dramatically questioned the nature of reality after discovering the incredibly illogical subatomic world. Many have gone on to write philosophical books on the subject.

Even you wander into the religion section, you are in for a wealth of different ideas, beliefs and opinions regarding who we are, how we got here, and where we are going.

There are some really interesting books that lie on the border between religion, philosophy, and metaphysics. I never cease to be amazed at the sheer variety of thought that is available in bookstores. And those are just people that sat down and wrote a book and convinced somebody to publish it and sell it in a bookstore.

Imagine all the incredibly diverse thoughts in people’s heads that are just walking around and waiting to get out. Many times we make the mistake and assume that because someone may not be so eloquent with words that their thoughts are therefore inferior, but that is never the case.

One of the most prevalent theories of human existence is that every single human shares the same DNA. Not that we all have the same parents, but the structure of all human DNA is the same. It’s not like some people have more chromosomes than others.

So it stands to reason that everybody’s brain has the capacity for thinking up new and wonderful ideas. Speaking skills may not be their Forte. Even the great Moses called up his brother Aaron to do his public speaking for him. Can you imagine if you tried that at work?

“Uh, yea boss, I’ll give the presentation at next years shareholder meeting. But I pretty much suck at public speaking; in fact, they kicked me out of toastmasters. So I’m gonna have my brother come in and give the speech for me, ok?”

So as I as talking to this girl that worked behind the coffee counter, she started telling me her story. She is originally from Laos, and her family escaped to Thailand during the seventies. She said she remembers being shot at as they crossed the river from Laos into Thailand. Then in Thailand they had to live in this “reeducation camps” for a while before they figured out a way to get to the United States.

She was very young when all this happened, so she doesn’t remember much other than what her older brothers and her parents told her. She was six when it happened. Imagine getting shot at trying to escape the country of your birth at six years. I don’t know if I even learned to tie my shoes when I was six.

I couldn’t help but be amazed at the incredible amount of stories and ideas and experiences that everybody is carrying around with them. And most of them will be more than happy to share with you. All you need to do is ask.

The Power of the Pre-Frame

The other day I went into a bookshop that I had passed by several times. I had never really stopped to look inside. It was a small bookshop, and I suspect it is family owned. Not like a large chain like the other ones. I passed by it enough that it was just in the right spot in the back of mind if I ever needed a bookshop in a pinch whenever I decided to be in that area, if you catch my drift. There have been a few new bestsellers I’ve been meaning to read, and I hadn’t go around to buying them yet. So the other day I was in that neighborhood, and I decided I’d pop in there for the first time and pick up a book I’d been thinking about getting for a while.

Much to my surprise, it was a second hand shop. Perhaps if I’d taken the time before to look in the window and check things out, I would have realized this. But there I was, standing in the middle of stacks and stacks of old, used, out of print, and other interesting books, all for under a dollar.

I used to have a friend who loved to travel, but even more than traveling, he loved to plan to travel. He would pick a destination, either a country or a city, and just completely absorb himself in planning his trip, and finding out everything one could possible find out about a destination. He would research all the hotels, all the restaurants, all the museums and sights. He would buy several travel books and participate in several online forums to discuss anything and everything he could possible think of before going on his trip.

And he invariably had a great time. He would always spend at least a week afterwards posting all of his experiences online and share his opinions about the restaurants, right down the detail of the entrée’s for each particular night.

An old roommate of mine took a sales seminar, and he said that of the several speakers, one gave a lesson on how to overcome objections. Like when people want to buy a car, and they are not sure about the color or something like that, or they are worried they won’t like the car after a week or something. He said that the best way to overcome an objection is to address it before it comes up. Of course this takes a bit of experience in knowing what objections are likely to come up, but once you can answer the objection skillfully in a conversation before you actually close, or ask for the sale, the customer almost never brings it up. It’s like when you prepare for a difficulty ahead of time in your mind, the difficulty never presents itself.

So when I realized I was in a used bookshop, I decided to look around anyways. I found a couple of older books by the author whose bestseller I was looking for that I hadn’t read yet. I decided to read these. And when I was paying for them, the guy at register asked me if I had read his latest. When I said I hadn’t he offered to sell me his copy, as he had just finished it. He was planning on selling it to the shop he worked for, and I bought it instead. One dollar.

Reading for Pleasure

So you’re sitting there, reading this, wondering how you got here. You may be wondering whether or not you can find this useful, or you may be wondering if you will find this interesting. I know the feeling. You start to do this, and wonder how much you are going to get out of it. Sometimes you find benefit, sometimes you don’t. It can be a metaphor for life, if you think about it. You wonder exactly what it is you’re doing, and if you can really find this useful. Many others that regularly read this blog, like you, have been able to find really cool stuff here. Like book reviews.

I have a friend who works at a bookstore. He doesn’t really make that much money. In fact it makes barely above minimum wage. Despite the less than stellar pay, he is able to find it really interesting. He just loves to read. He finds it fascinating looking through all the books, arranging them on the shelves, picking up the ones people leave on the table when they are sitting around drinking coffee. (I love doing that.) He says just picking up the books and reading the backs as he is returning them to the shelves is the second best part of the job. He has this cart that he wheels around, and he takes his time, so he can read this and that. And he finds some really fascinating things that he didn’t even know existed. Cookbooks, exercise books, photography books. It’s absolutely incredible the amount of information you can find in a book store. And like I said, that’s not even the best part.

I actually met him a few weeks ago after he finished working. We met in the cafe section, and there happened to be a Toastmasters group that was meeting. And this guy gave a speech about goals. He was talking about setting goals, and how you need to make sure you know what is really important when choosing the things that you want to make come true in life. He said that it starts by thinking of something, now, that you want to achieve in life. Something really nice that you want to achieve. And when you think of that, you can ask yourself, what’s important about that? What is really important about having that thing that you want to achieve? And when you really start to imagine what is important about that, you can really begin to imagine how nice it will be when achieve that. And as you read this, you  might be able to do that yourself. I don’t know if you are able think of that now while you read this, but you can really find value in this, because doing this can help you achieve many things in life.

So after the guy finished his speech, my friend told me the absolute best part of working at a bookstore. He gets to talk to all kinds of different people each day. Especially when they come in to his shop, but they aren’t sure exactly what they want. He can help them make a decision, find something that they can really enjoy. And then he takes them and guides them to where the book is, and shows them how to choose from many options, so they can be sure that this is what they really want, and they can be really happy that they’ve chosen this. And since my friend is single, and half of the customers are females, well, you get the idea.

Which is what many people find when they read this blog on a regular basis. Because I like to write on so many different subjects, you can find many things here to read and enjoy. And reading things that you can enjoy is one of the greatest pleasures in life.