Today is warehouse day. Probably my favorite day of the week.
My bookstore is one of four locations in the valley, and they all feed from a 61,000 square foot warehouse full of books. The first time I walked into the warehouse (or "area 51"), I was completely taken aback by it. This was about a year ago. I'd never seen such a huge collection of books before. I've been going once a week for a year, and I still haven't explored the entire place. It's pretty marvelous.
So anyhow, my Wednesdays consist of spending six hours basically shopping and hand picking stock for my bookstore, off of the innumerable racks of books, one hour eating lunch, and one hour meeting with the management team to hash out the coming week throughout the bookstores. In addition to that (because I have experience in a warehouse), I also usually end up doing a lot of heavy lifting and manual labor. Which is pretty okay...it's a workout, but I don't mind it.
The one thing I do mind about warehouse day is that I have to get up at 5 am. The thing is, I get up at 5 am every day (I sleep in the same bed as a high school teacher. we're in it by 9 pm, and out of it by 5 am), but I don't HAVE to, I just choose to spend those precious few moments with her in the morning before we both go off to work. On wednsdays, however, I simply must be out of bed by 5 am. It's like when I was forced to read 1984 in high school. I couldn't get into it because it was homework. Sure, it's one of my favorites NOW, but when I was forced into it I could not care less. When I MUST be out of bed by 5, and it isn't my choice...man, that's a bad time.
I was also out later than I wanted to be last night having dinner (at one of my favorite restaurants, Cafe Bizou), with her parents. Her mom is a character, and we actually worked together in an office prior to my bookstore job; she's a blast. Her father...well, we get along, and he's a pleasant man, but I feel like five years into our relationship, her father still doesn't believe it. He tolerates me. But I think he's a funny guy, and at least he doesn't hate me (usually fathers hate me, why wouldn't they?)
Point being, I guess, that I'm tired on warehouse day. BUT the promise of 61,000 square feet of books for eight hours, and a day off tomorrow is waking me up pretty quickly.
Today is also my assistant manager's (and one of my most trusted friends) birthday. Happy birthday, person whose name I won't put on the internet!
I woke up to a lot of new followers. Hi new followers. First followers, I should say, as you guys are my first followers. I guess this calls for introductions.
My name is Jonah, and I am a bibliophile. I am 11 days away from turning 30, and I fear that as I get older, I get more and more out of touch with everything but my books. That's not a bad thing, necessarily, just a different one. I was born in the deep south, but when I turned two, my family started moving. We spent time in Kentucky, Ohio, and Massachusetts before moving to Los Angeles, where we settles for many years. At the age of 16, I left home and school for the first time, with a duffel bag full of clothes (and my teddy bear) and began moving around the country by myself. For ten years I traveled around the contiguous US, mostly by foot, or by bus, stopping where I felt like stopping, and trying to do good things for others. I survived mostly on the kindness of strangers, only working for a few months here and there when I needed to. When I was about to turn 26, I lost a dear friend, and decided it was time to stop. So I found my way back to my family home down south, spent a night with my cousin drinking robitussin until we flew through space, then rode in a tractor trailer truck with my uncle (I think he was my uncle) back to Los Angeles. My mom met me on the road before I even made it into the city, in a truck stop somewhere in Riverside, and she took me to her home. I unpacked my duffel bag (and my teddy bear), and started living adult life.
There are a few things that traveling around the country for ten years did for me that a college education never could. Firstly, I'm 30 years old, and I'm only 800 dollars in debt (and that's because of library bills that I never paid). No student loans for me. Secondly, meeting and talking with people from all over the country has instilled in me a certain distinct set of values that nobody has ever had or vocalized ever before in the world ever; "Be excellent to each other". Seriously, nobody has ever said that before. I guess more specifically, I learned that there's no point disliking anybody, and every single person on the planet is worth more than anyone can fathom in the deepest and most profound pit of their brain. People are beautiful, enigmatic, and awful creatures; the best kind of creatures. And I know how to love all of them, even the bad ones. I am a true egalitarian, and I love everyone the same way I love my siblings; because All Men Are Brothers (or The Outlaws Of The Marsh) - get it? Literary jokes. Worse than dad jokes. That's me in a nutshell.
I can't really say for certain what my favorite book it. If someone can, then I don't really believe they're a true book lover. Some of my favorites from the past have been Frank Herbert's Dune, Anne Rice's The Vampire Lestat, Maxx Barry's Syrup (a strong contender for the top spot), Shui Hu Zhuan's Water Margin and Mark Z. Danielewski's House Of Leaves. But the book I've probably read the most is Elizabeth Barret Browning's Sonnets From The Portugese.
I've talked about myself more than I anticipated doing. The only blog platform I've ever used was a far more personal place, with a less clear focus. I feel like I should be using this to talk more about books, but when it really boils down to it, books are my life, every day, and every night. So this is somewhere that I hope I can open up to, and talk a little about myself personally, while skewing towards my rampant bibliomania. I mean, really, it all ties together in the end, anyway.
Currently reading: Kavalier and Clay (truth told, I haven't even started this yet. This is more of a reminder that I have less than a month to read it.)