Merry times at Morley’s Books
Today is Carson City’s September Wine Walk Day. I am at Morley’s Books (used and rare books). This is where I will spend the next few hours displaying my book, and hopefully selling a copy or two.
Morley welcomes me saying “You are quite early, but here’s what we do,” and immediately sets up a card table and a metal chair in the adjoining alcove. “This way, everyone will pass right by you,” he says and hurries off.
From where I am sitting, I can see into three small rooms. Each room has floor to ceiling shelves, with a tag specifying what area of interest is covered on each shelf. There isn’t a book I wouldn’t like to get my hands on and read. The reason Morley has been so successful is he knows how to buy the right book and leave the rest alone.
As I sit day dreaming, waiting for the event to begin, it comes to me that Morley is mindful of Mr. Lundy (pronounced “loonday,”) of the film Brigadoon (Gene Kelly/Van Johnson). Brigadoon is a village on the moors of Scotland. It appears for a single day every hundred years, and each time Mr. Lundy, the patriarch, orchestrates a wonderful fair and everyone celebrates.
A gentleman walks in. “I’m Dan Kaffer, the bartender. I pour the wine and nonalcoholic beverages. Give me one of your books; I’ll try to sell it for you and drop around when you get thirsty,” Dan says and is gone.
Minutes tic by, I squirm in my chair, it’s almost 1 p.m. I lean an 8 by 10 dance picture against a stack of my books. Waiting like this is like opening night of the shows I danced in.
I hear the front door squeak open. “Welcome to Morley’s Books,” Morley says and our first guest has arrived. By 1:10, the place is swarming with “wine-walkers.” It’s hot outside, and the coolness inside has everyone relaxed. No cell phone chat sessions or “You Tube” nonsense going on here. Eventually, everyone saddles up to Dan for wine and wassail. For the record, Dan would give all the standup comedians in Vegas, Reno and Atlantic City a run for their money.
Young couples stroll in, hand in hand, a chatty group of blonde gals pay close attention to the “All books $1 table.” This is the fair sequence of Brigadoon, the only thing missing is the dance number. Morley’s Books is a sanctuary from the frantic pace we live in and I get caught up in all the joyous goings on. I forget I should be trying to sell my book. I become my talkative, sometimes “yappy” self. I make a comment, it turns into a conversation and before I know it, I’ve sold a book. I sell 3 books this way. Ah ha, so that’s the secret of being a good salesman. You get to know people, and invariably they ask, “So, I hear you have written a book,” which really is quite funny, because my picture is on the cover of my book.
I thank Morley, and take my leave. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did.
Ron Walker lives in Smith Valley. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.