Ever get one of those compliments? I’ve heard them called “back-handed compliments” – which I suppose is drawn from those back-handed slaps that are intended as an insult.
“You’re looking pretty good for an old man.”
That sort of thing.
It started well, and was directed at the store instead of at me. The lady came in the door with her eyes wide and wearing a look of confusion mixed with curiosity. She said her sixteen-year-old daughter and friends had urged her to stop by.
“It’s like something from a movie,” the lady explained. “They said it was like – from some other place. People sitting at tables eating. Books on shelves. Pictures and music. They said it was a place you’d see in a movie.”
The sort of thing a business person likes to hear, but then the lady added, “In a movie from my era.”
I’m glad they thought the bookstore was interesting enough to tell someone about it, and it is flattering to hear someone describe it as being like a place “in a movie.” In fact, it isn’t the first time I’ve been told that. Until this occasion though, nobody really went on about it quite so profusely.
Once I jokingly apologized to a young woman standing with her mother at the counter. “I hope you can pardon my old-fashioned music,” I said.
“Oh, I like it,” she replied. “It reminds me of Christmas.”
That was in July. I presume that she had only heard vocalists like Tony Bennett and Perry Como singing Christmas carols. That’s when those singers usually come back into vogue, however briefly. I’ll admit that some “old-timey” stuff comes up every so often. I have eclectic tastes in music as well as books.
As for the movie-set feel, I don’t really know what film that would have been. The only one that comes to mind immediately is You’ve Got Mail, which is a film about a small bookstore. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. There are some tables on the set, but the restaurant scene was shot at a different location.
Then there was the bookstore in Notting Hill, that Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant film. Some tables around in that one, too. But I’m not sure about eating or having a pint. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen that one.
We’ve changed up just a bit. There’s a bigger table up front now, to accommodate everyone a little more comfortably when there are more than three or four in the party. Click on the image for a better look. (Or better yet, just drop in!)
At any rate, even though the teenagers had the movie set in the mother’s era, I enjoy having the store compared to a movie set. The time-frame isn’t important. Maybe there was a book somewhere in Rick’s Café Casablanca. I’ll take it as a compliment.
So long as the movie in mind isn’t the book-burning story – Fahrenheit 451.
We’ll save a director’s chair at the table for you, so…
Booksellers & Irish Bistro
122 South Main St. Broken Arrow OK!