June 27, 2007

Over the last week or ten days, I've had the pleasure of adding a lot of Goodtime Charlies to my shelves. What are Goodtime Charlies? I'm glad I asked. Goodtime Charlies are the guys you always want at your party. They're the ones with the jokes, the zingers, the witty refrains. Put the word out that a Goodtime Charlie will be at any event and your attendance will double or treble. Goodtime Charlies have an audience, an entourage. They are hounded by sycophants and admired by aspirants. They are the cool kids. And you, Stranger, become (slightly) cooler even when you're in eyeshot of a Goodtime Charlie: arm in arm with one while you strut down the street or sharing a coffee with one at your neighborhood cafe. Goodtime Charlies give you a bump up in social rank. And they make excellent conversation starters for lonely Strangers everywhere. Now, just who do I mean when I say Goodtime Charlies? Why, I mean The Vonnegut, of course. Tom Robbins and Thomas Pynchon. Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac. William Burroughs and Richard Brautigan. Chuck Palahniuk and Charles Bukowski. There are others, but you get the idea. These are the people you want at your party. They are the voices you want in your head. And for the moment, Ada Books has more of them than is usual. But I promise you, Stranger, these Goodtime Charlies won't linger. They never do.

June 22, 2007

O fickle Stranger, I am going to make it difficult for us to meet this weekend. I'll be closing around four o'clock on Saturday. (I have a date with a kickball.) And on Sunday, I'll be barbequeing with the in-laws. So I doubt I'll even open the door. Please accept my apology in advance for any inconvenience this may cause you.

June 16, 2007

Saturday's at Ada Books once had a festive air. There were people in the aisle, murmuring to themselves or to others. Books were removed from the shelves, pages fluttered, thumbs were wetted. Sometimes the books were returned to their places. Others times not. I even recall, on one or two occasions, the excited yelp of discovery. But now it's summer. Weather and tradition dictate that you wear shorts and flip-flops and put coconut creme on your skin. And I won't even mention beach reading. I think that's just an urban legend, a seaside tale. People don't read on the beach. At most, they put a bestseller on their face and go to sleep. If I thought differently, I'd pack this place up and join you there. And maybe I will anyway. Or just loll in the shadows of the nearest bar. Saturdays used to be my meat. But these days, they're nothing but bones. And these bones are bone dry.

June 15, 2007

It's pure shirkery, my writing this so late in the day but I won't offer you excuses, Stranger. You're too smart for that. Okay, one excuse, or what I prefer to call a reason -- it's been so long since my last poetry night that I've forgotten how to promote. Yes, that's right, I said poetry night. Specifically, number seven in the infinitely-enumerated Publicly Complex Reading Series, put together by Kate Schapira and Ada Books. It's tonight, at 6pm. The readers are Ryan Daley, who has some wild stuff in his new book Armored Elevator; and Jennifer Martenson, whose work I'm unfamiliar with but she was published by Burning Deck -- a small house with a giant shadow across the groves of academe. There will, as always, be dry wine and salty snacks. And again, as always, it's all free.

June 11, 2007

Do you like new stuff, Stranger? Because I have some. What kind of stuff? Oh, just some new graphic novels, that's all. I'd drop some names if I thought you were the type who was impressed by celebrity. But I don't peg you as a gossip. How many? Maybe twenty. Maybe a couple shy of twenty. But they're quality. Class. I prefer not to deal in anything but. It's swell strolling weather out there, beyond the glass, in late-Spring Providence. No reason I can think of that you couldn't stroll on into Ada Books. Not that I'm asking. No hurry. I don't mind reading these before you buy them.

June 8, 2007

I haven't seen much of you lately, Stranger. You don't drop by like you used to. I understand. It's a manic work-a-day world out there and books, you imagine, will only drag you down. Your days are surfeited (I have a dictionary!) with doing. I understand. Sometimes the same thing happens to me. Like tomorrow, for example. I won't be here for you. Not entirely. Because there are things that need doing. I won't burden you with the wherefores and how-sos, but I'm going to have to shut the shop down early on Saturday; say, around 4pm. And then on Sunday, I won't be open at all. Because I have things to do, Stanger. Better things, apparently. More important things. Like you. So if you're coming, come early. Or not. It doesn't matter. Books are patient creatures. But then, they don't have to eat.