book it!

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October 3, 2012 by jooshanoosh

Last weekend when I was in Portland I was able to visit Powell’s Bookstore, which is a really famous bricks and mortar bookstore right downtown in the famous Pearl District. I had never heard of Powell’s before, but that’s not a surprise. I worked for Barnes & Noble for five years and now I have a traumatic mental block about bookselling. I’m like the Manchurian Candidate. Say the words “bestseller” “sticker” or “chai latte” and I zone out and try to murder someone.

Anyway. Powells has millions or books, or at least it feels like millions. You wander through all of these different levels; up staircases, down ramps, through wardrobes, it just keeps going and going. It’s the perfect place to hang out on a rainy day. The clientele runs the full gamut from hippy to hipster. Everyone is lurking in dark corners reading books, growing beards, and looking a little suspicious and disaffected. Lots of flannel and tattoos. But that’s just Portland. (Lisa and I had breakfast at the famous Pine State Biscuit Diner, and everybody there was really nice but we just felt conspicuously clean and super Mormon. Even with my too-tight cardigan and three-day growth. Portland has a vibe.)

But back to Powell’s. While I was browsing the shelves I found some titles that I really want to share with you. Because, well, they are amazing.

So, this one. What do you think? I feel like I could have written it. My answer is YES, because I would do anything to reverse my baldness but I can’t. But maybe I’m confusing “necessary” with “inevitable.” My students, you know, are always showing off about their hair. But it’s coming. Those hairlines are creeping back. They know it, I know it, and we all see the writing on the wall. I wish baldness wasn’t necessary, but nobody has figured out a way to stop it! Except this book I read once that advocated peeing on a ball cap and wearing it to bed. Somehow urine was supposed to regenerate hair growth. But who has time for that?

I like the idea of this book. Who doesn’t love puppets going to church? I feel like the authors missed the mark, somehow, with their cover page. Yikes! That puppet girl has really terrifying eyebrows and she’s taking dead aim on that poor little chapel. Can you imagine anything more terrifying than sitting in church when a giant felt lady with a Navajo blouse comes pawing through the rafters? I’ll admit, I’ve daydreamed such a scenario to get out of a boring Sunday School class. But I would never want the real thing! Especially if the puppet lady has hair ribbons the size of gallows and a greedy, crater of a mouth cranking open to take in our fancy bell tower! Try again, Wilma Powers Perry! This cover does not say what I think you want it to say. But then again, I haven’t read your book.

Pop Quiz! You know Suzanne Somers from:
1. Being really dumb and jiggly on Three’s Company
2. Selling you thigh masters and making you feel bad about your body
3. Complimenting your earrings while waiting in a line (that happened to my mom)
4. Writing poetry. Poetry where she encourages you to touch her.
I’ll let you answer that. Geezy! Those poems must be horrific. Don’t quit your day job, Suzanne! Wait. What was your day job again?
Anyway, that’s my report. Keep reading, you guys! You can learn so much from it.

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