Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Onion and the Body- part two

It just occurred to me that it was exactly a year ago that I started Lamplight Books blog, beginning of April 2010.
the second post was promising a part two that I had never fulfilled and it was about the layers and the body of the store.
What a better timing than now to finally fulfill the promise?
Part two is about a body (or an onion )that goes through a complete and extreme makeover.
First of all, all the layers get peeled off so as to get to the the core of the matter:
What is this body made of? What does its heart look like? what kind of energy does this core emanates?
Once these key questions are asked, the stripping can begin because no matter how differently you re-arrange the layers, you will make sure to maintain that same center of gravity.
And so now, after the last batch of shelves was delivered by the Master Carpenter, the skeleton is assembled with its skull, collar bone, ribs, hips, and so on and so forth.
The muscles are next,(remember the muscles part is played by the books themselves), and as you can see, half of them are in their new homes,attached to the bones.
The skin will be the dress with which the body introduces itself to the public. You would think that the books should be assigned that part but I think that the first quick glance is always directed to the general look of the space, its style and its decorations, or lack of them.
Lamplight Books 's dress 's main feature are still them: the lamps and the old type-writer.
No more paintings or art on the walls, not only because all the wall space is now been taken up by bookshelves all the way to the ceiling, but also because, unless you have a real Picasso up, what can you possibly have that is worth drilling the wall for?
So, decoration is going to be minimalistic, and behind a see through dress, the muscles will dance their dance boldly so.

Monday, April 25, 2011

45 down 229 to go

Fiction is completed, A through Z.
After that little triumph, things started becoming unclear for a minute and so I decided to sit down and draw the outline of the store and brainstorm on where to put the remaining 101 categories.
Panic knocked at my door again, but I ignored it and so now I think my new mantra is:
Panta rei. Everything flows. Nothing stays the same, so if I misplace a category, no big deal, I can always change it later.
I find this process of organizing categories, a very tricky and delicate matter, and did I mentioned stressful?. When you find yourself in the middle of it and stuck, you have to focus on concepts such as Logic and Fluidity, which, in a situation of chaos and confusion, are aliens on earth. You want to have what people look for the most,visible and easily accessible, but what is it that readers are NOT looking for. I should line everything right at the entrance , all piled up in huge towers, right in their faces as soon as they come in and leave the rest of the long and narrow canal to roller skating. ( this is the panic talk).
On a more rational note, I should make some decisions based on concepts like: space availability, people's tastes, the volume of a category and , yes, personal taste, hence , a whole wall dedicated to Fiction.The rest will all be born out of its ribs.

Friday, April 22, 2011

one box at a time

Today was the big day of getting the books back. The movers moved back the 274 boxes of books and everything else they had taken out of a space that is 680 square feet big: shelves, tables, chairs, fans, stools, heaters, more shelves.How I am going to fit everything back in will be interesting to figure out. At a first glance I felt instant panic, then, all of a sudden the meditation mantra of the day came: one box at a time, and so I started opening the first box of the mother of all categories, FICTION, A for Abbey and Austen, down to B for Barth and Burrough, through C for Celine and Chekov and D for Didion and Duras all the way to G for Gide and Garcia Marquez ( still not sure why it goes under G and not M ).
A little progress was made for the day, silence was the background music that filled the space in my head and in the store, since I had forgotten stereo and cds at home, so I could hear loud and clear the words : one box at a time, one box at a time, one box at a time.....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

phase one

The floor is done: Red fire. The walls are done: Yellow submarine. Every brush and every rolling strike that was being put on the surfaces, bear the meditation mantra: "with my heart and soul", because, like my hairdresser said to me, it is only by putting your heart and soul into something that it turns out just fine. And when you are busy creating and don't have the time and mental space to find wisdom among the pages of a book, the hairdresser is always a sure shot. The cut was perfect and the bookstore that is traveling now through the birth canal is going to be great.
Heart and Soul.

Monday, April 4, 2011


It is official.
The countdown has started: in two days I will be signing papers to regain possession of the space, in two weeks I will start painting floors and walls, building new shelving, shoveling books back on the shelf and any time around May 1st is good to be back in business.
Lots of people have been asking how the vacation was and the answer that came into my mind was never the one I resigned to utter. It was no vacation.
Vacation is picking a book or two off of an overflowing shelf, pack them into your suitcase, put two to three weeks vacation leave notice at work, book a flight to a remote and exotic destination, and then come back to thirsty house plants and a jammed mail box.
These were four long months of feeling like a mama cat when her newly born kittens are being taken away to give them up for adoption. She keeps sniffing her nest and looking around to no avail without understanding exactly what happened and ,nonetheless, being unable to give up the search. That is not a feeling you should be hoping to experience when planning your vacation.
All I said instead was: yeah, sure,but it is now time to come back.