Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Thoughts On Barnes & Noble

  • How many fucking books has Bill O’Reilly written, anyway?
  • Excuse me: “written.”
  • I don’t want a sandwich from the bookstore.
  • Nor do I want a personal pizza, or a hot pretzel impregnated with cheese.
  • Of course, I don’t want a Don Henley album from the coffee shop, either, so it’s not like Barnes & Noble is the only company at fault: every store has to sell everything, now.
  • I look forward to purchasing a pair of cargo shorts the next time I get my oil changed.
  • If you think that sitting on the floor and reading directly in front of the bookshelves is okay, then I hope you are fucked to death by the ghost of Lee Iacocca.
  • There are benches and chairs and tables absolutely everywhere; there are also places to sit that, while not explicitly seating areas, are not directly in front of the bookshelves.
  • I’m not even passive-aggressive to these oblivious cocksuckers anymore: I stand right in front of them and shove my potato salad in their faces and browse.
  • Your particular location of America’s Last Remaining Giant Bookstore may be different, but in South Florida, the worst job in the world is working in that CD section in the back.
  • David Browne, whose book So Many Roads can be pre-ordered in softcover (with a blurb from yours truly on the back) from the sidebar, recently wrote a defense of the Compact Disc format, and maybe there are still people of a more moderate age buying CDs.
  • Not me.
  • But others, I suppose, except that Rock Nerds and Audiophiles and CD Proselytizers aren’t buying their product from Barnes & Noble: they do it online, or go to a local music shop.
  • The only people who buy CDs from Barnes & Noble are a million years old.
  • Which means the poor schmuck who got stuck in the music section has to help them, and is invariably (I deeply enjoy listening in on these conversations) roped in to explaining how Bluetooth works, or setting up Bubbe’s Kindle, or donating a kidney.
  • The section’s in the back of the store: the old people trap you in there.
  • It’s like a zombie movie, but the zombies want to tell you a story about the War.
  • There is an entire sub-section of the Young Adult shelves called Teen Paranormal Romance.
  • Why do  the young people want to have sex with a dracula?
  • 10-foot long lineup of books: all about teens humping werewolfs.
  • When I was a teen, I did not want to hump a werewolf or a dracula: I wanted to hump Tawny Kitaen.
  • There was no section of the bookstore called Teen Tawny Kitaen Romance.
  • We’re spoiling these children.
  • Why are there still magazines?
  • An entire wall of a big-ass store dedicated to print magazines and newspapers.
  • Yet, you could not purchase any typewriter ribbons nor hire a stagecoach.
  • TotD is not just a fan of reading and writing and stories: it’s a belief.
  • The more the better: let us sandpaper our eyeballs with words, and soothe them with sentences.
  • But there are too many damn magazines.
  • There should be one per subject.
  • “What are you reading?”
  • Sports. What about you?”
  • “Latest issue of Movies.”
  • “Cool. Praises to Allfather Trump.”
  • “He made America great again, momentarily.”
  • And so on.
  • (In defense of the magazine: I used to love Magazine Day. The new issues of everything came out on Tuesday, and I’d devour Time and Newsweek and Esquire and Spy (when it was good) and Details (shocker: Details was worth reading at first). I never missed an Entertainment Weekly. Plus–and here’s something we’ve forgotten since the innertubes so thoroughly pervaded our brains–if you read a couple magazines a week  and read the paper every day, you were caught up. You could get as informed as a layman could be with minimal effort, and sometimes there were also pictorials of Alyssa Milano. The internet has taken from us not only the ability to be all caught up, but perhaps destroyed the concept of being all caught up. No one’s ever going to be all caught up ever again. We need to deal with it.)
  • There should be some sort of test you have to pass to get to write a memoir.
  • Age, for one.
  • People in their 30’s don’t get to write them.
  • Or anyone who made a journey through anything.
  • You can make a journey through the Amazon Basin and write a book about it, but that’s not a memoir: it’s a travel book.
  • Sara Bareilles doesn’t get to write a memoir.
  • And please don’t take this as being anti-Sara Bareilles.
  • She writes swooping and catchy melodies, and smart lyrics; when I scan past the pop station on the car radio, I’ll always punch the button to hear her songs.
  • She also has a glorious nose.
  • Sara Bareilles’ nose looks like falling in love with a stranger on the sidewalk feels.
  • Still: no memoir.
  • She’s 36.
  • Admittedly, Primo Levi wrote his memoir around that age.
  • But, you know.
  • You know.
  • Then the Journey Books: my Journey Through Depression/Chronic Depression/Seeeeeeeerious Depression/OCD/ADD/PTSD/Night Sweats.
  • Again I wish not to be misunderstood: mental illness is a problem in the world and in my home.
  • Everyone should have short and restful nights, and days that go according to plan.
  • Some people don’t.
  • But have the decency to channel your inner struggles through a metaphor and make some fucking art, huh?
  • Your story is not inspirational.
  • Stories are inspirational.
  • They also sell Cinnabons at the Barnes & Noble, but I did not buy one; last time I ate a Cinnabon, I had not eaten sugar in a while and the rush caused me to posture like a gargoyle in the food court of the Livingston Mall. (Totally true.)


  1. this post is long enough to be sold at b&n

    • Yeah can we get a spark notes, or cliff notes or whatever you read nowadays when you have not read the long thing?


  2. have we tried img tags ?

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