January 15, 2014
I worked at one bookstore for 25 years (off and on). The last fifteen years was full-time occupation. My memory is that I entered Book Soup sometime in the 80's and I reached out for a Gilbert & George art book on the top shelf, when I did so, that book and several others landed on the top of my head. It was at that very moment that I decided to work there, even though I wasn't asked to work there. But nevertheless I showed up on a daily basis - around 2PM Tuesday through Saturday, and basically hung out there.
I always had the talent to chat, so the fellow (not technically) employees allowed me to roam the store and occasionally help the customers locate books and so forth. Odd enough the management got a little testy when I picked up their phone when it rang. I always picked up their phone saying "Tosh here, Book Soup." On the record I never actually said "Tosh here, employee at Book Soup." That is a big difference.
When I started 'working' there, I remember a beautiful woman by the name of Elizabeth Short. She was an expert on Hollywood history, and actually turned me on to some great books. The one title that stands out at the time is Otto Friedrich's "City of Nets." One day I showed up at 'work' and she wasn't there. The shock of her not being there was highly depressing to me. Seeing a face on a regular basis and then not seeing them, is something that words often fail me in describing such a lost. When people go, I often feel that their spirit remains. It was one of the reasons why I stayed there for so long.