"But the most difficult task of allLIBRIS THE BOOKSELLING ELF
that a mortal man can embark on is to sell a book . . ."
--Stanley Unwin, The man who discovered Tolkien
Libris the Elf squirmed in the chair and looked around Santa's waiting room. It was spartan. There were two chairs and a coffee table with an array of Highlights magazines on it. The only picture on the wall was a panoramic photo of the North Pole. Libris nervously tapped his green elf shoe. The Big Guy was in his office and he wasn't going to be happy with what Libris had to say. Libris wanted to be a bookseller. Yes really, a bookseller. He recalled the last time something like this happened and it hadn't gone well. Hermey the Elf had wanted to become a dentist and it had turned into a big production. There had been talk of a movie. Meanwhile, Hermey had been ostracized by the other elves, and eventually he had had to flee the North Pole. Libris was hoping it wouldn't come to that . . .
The door to Santa's office opened and his assistant ushered him in, "Santa will see you now."
Libris crept in. Santa didn't look up from his papers and asked, "Libris, what can I do for you? And make it quick, those presents for the Laplanders aren't going to deliver themselves."
Libris took off his Phyrgian cap, kneaded its brim with both hands, and blurted out, "Santa, I want to be a bookseller!"
Kris Kringle looked up from his papers, arched an eyebrow, and shook his head.
Libris continued, "Sir, I'm just not cut out for this toy making thing. I get excited about new releases like Dean Koontz's 77 Shadow Street (9780553807714) 28.00 and W.E.B. Griffin's Covert Warriors (9780399157806) 27.95."
Santa cleared his throat, "Now look, Libris, I don't think you realize how difficult it is to be a bookseller. It makes working with me look like a walk in the park."
"But, Santa, I would be so good at it. For example, let's say that a lady after Christmas asks me about a new diet book and I would say, 'Oh yes, I've heard good things about this South Beach Wake Up Call (9781605293325) 27.99 by Arthur Agatston. Also, The Petite Advantage Diet (9780062025456) 25.99 by Jim Karas has been flying under the radar.' See."
"Humph," Santa replied.
"Sir, I would be really good at recommending titles like Richard Rhode's Hedy's Folly (9780385534383) 26.95 for readers who like quirky World War II stories."
"Hedley," Santa cut in.
Santa looked up from his desk, "You know 'Hedley.' I thought we were doing a bit here," Santa shifted in his seat and shook his head, "At any rate, Libris, why don't I transfer you from toys to new book title acquisitions, and then you'll see how easy you really had it in your old department. Ho, ho, ho!"
Odds & Sods
John Grisham's surprise blockbuster The Litigators (9780385535137) 28.95 is back in stock. You won't have to sue anyone to get this book in your store . . .
Smokin' Joe Tait's authobiography Joe Tait: It's Been a Real Ball (9781598510706) is also in stock . . .
The holiday sleeper Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site (9780811877824) 16.99 is here. It's clever, but it's still no Goodnight Keith Moon (9780956011923) 10.95 by Bruce Wooten and Clare Cross . . .
The Partners family would like to wish one and all a very Happy New Year!