Friday, July 25, 2008


Yesterday Jan & I went to Chamblin Bookmine in Jax. If you've never been, it is an experience you would remember. Bookmine is applicable as would be Bookmaze, Booklabyrinth or even Bookcave (Batman!). I thought Jan wouldn't make it past the front desk since her attention was grabbed instantly by the books shelved floor to ceiling immediately after crossing the entry hall threshold.

While it is a book lover's paradise, it is a librarian's nightmare. Books are shelved, stacked, piled and stuffed into all manner of shelving, corners and end caps as well as on chairs & tables. There is some semblance of organization but to a librarian's "one true spot for every book" mentality it is chaotic. Forget Dewey awa (definition: "as well as") alphabetization and numerical order.

Old and new materials are mingled together. Old and just released publication dates. Used items brought in for store credit of one fourth retail price (you can get cash but not as much) which are resold at half retail price and things purchased new by Chamblins for sale (10% off retail price). And not just books. They have DVDs, videos, audio books, magazines, CDs. Quite a stash.

Our visit was even more exciting than usual because just before we arrived part of the building's power went out. The employees were scurrying around turning off computers, phoning the power company, figuring out what still worked and what did not, organizing search parties to find customers lost in the dark bowels of the towering bookshelves (listen to them screaming...).

Well, not that last part.
As I said, only PART of the power was out (part of a transformer blew - I didn't even know that was possible but Stan understood it right away.) so those happily browsing in the back may never have known there was a problem. In the front, however, we were instructed to "go get lunch or something" until the power was restored. Wise that, even though I did have a flashlight in my purse. No telling what lurks among all those ancient tomes (not tombs!) in the dark. :-) Plus, with all my natural gracefulness... well, you know.

Jan told me later that she had considered sneaking to the back but thought that might really blow our witness since we had just brought in a bunch of Christian books for store credit.

We went across the street & had lunch at Chick-fil-a, which was also suffering from the partially blown transformer - a benefit since we knew when full electricity was restored.

The wait was worth it. Even though we didn't find many of the books on our list, we still found a couple of bags full to bring back home. "Found" being the operative term there. It was like a treasure hunt looking for gems in a diamond mine complete with an "ogre" challenging shoppers to a debate about organized religion who was accosting people in the "Christian" section.

But that is another story.

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