September 6, 2015
"There won't be a next time." The editor's cold blue eyes swept Marty's face. "You're fired. I told you being young wasn't going to excuse you when I hired you. I gave you a chance and you've muffed it. I just can't keep you on as a reporter."
Marty, her face burning, turned away from the desk. There was a such thing as pride ... (from the back cover)
H'mmm--maybe she'd have to find out for herself! (from the back cover)
and it revolves around a very "hush-hush" new club. When invited to become one of the privileged few members, Beany is enthralled--life had been looking very down, with her favorite date going to college halfway across the country, and her father, newspaperman Marty Malone, springing a new stepmother on the family, to mention but two of Beany's current problems.
However, before many weeks have passed, the club has added to the complications in Beany's life; she's quarreled with Adair, her pretty stepmother; and, in fact, things have gone from Bad to Worse to Dreadful.
But to quote one enthusiastic reviewer, the untangling of this very snarled situation "makes a thoroughly absorbing story...Beany fans are in for a treat!" (from the back cover)
At the Sophomore Dance, wearing her first formal, Anne felt sophisticated and happy to be one of Glory's crowd, though she knew deep down that her present popularity was a reflection of Glory's shining orbit. When Tom Magoon, attractive literary editor of The Blue Pencil, danced with her and then asked for a date without any scheming or maneuvering on her part, she felt she was really beginning to live. They began dating regularly, and Anne found that with him she could be quite independent in her ideas and opinions, and this gave her confidence in her own judgment.
As Anne gradually learned the means Glory employed to maintain her popularity, she realized what a shallow, shoddy thing it was. But it was through Glory's final horrifying downfall that Anne rediscovered the fact that in building a good life, what counted most was the way you left about yourself, and that in friendship--even love--you needed to be natural and not a pretender.
Because girls will identify themselves with Anne's gradual rejection of the false and her acceptance of new values and standards, they will love this deeply probing story of Anne's emotional growing up. (from the inside flap)
Max straightened slowly. "Oh, no," he said. "No. I don't feel the least bit like your brother." (from the back cover)
Steve Olson--The best athlete and the most popular boy in school, tall blond Steve becomes very much a part of Bonnie's dreams.
Toni Reo--With a smile like a toothpaste ad, beautiful figure, and lots of money, Tony does her best to see that Steve remains simply a dream for Bonnie.
Kay Fogel--Chubby and full of fun, Kay proves a loyal friend in her effort to help Bonnie come out of her shell.
Dennis Miles--Known in school for his accordion playing and jazz band, Dennis' one-track mind about music makes Kay wonder if she will ever be anything to him but just a "next-door neighbor." (from the inside flap)
The, miraculously, Walt Kennedy asked her to the Valentine Dance, but the most wonderful evening in her life ended in misery. Walt's care collided with an improperly park car and he was forced to pay a bribe. For the first time Gina was made aware of city corruption. She had never been remotely interested in politics; now she found herself boiling mad. There ought to be something she could do, but how could one girl alone fight graft?
The answer came when her class in American Government decided on a campaign to get out the vote. Nobody wanted to head the project, and Gina saw it as her one chance to salve her wounded pride and gain her classmates' respect. Her Future Citizens Committee were only teen-agers, but perhaps democracy needed fresh young blood to make it all work. Walt seemed impressed as Gina planned her all-out campaign, and she found herself making new friends and gaining new confidence. Her triumph and that of the Future Citizens came on election day when their car pools, teams of baby sitters and good citizenship banners for every voter resulted in the biggest election turn-out in Granada's history.
For Gina the victory was greater than just the town election. In teaching the townspeople that an ideal is worth working for, she discovered that no dream or ideal has value unless you are willing to work for it. Armed with this knowledge, she was able to judge honestly her own musical aspirations and decide on her own future. (from the inside flap)
It was easy to adopt the role of a gay and charming sophisticate. She knew the Arcadias would pledge her for their sorority, and it was a heady experience to be liked by Doug Holden, a popular man on campus. Riding on a wave of popularity, she was suddenly shocked to discover that her grandmother was penniless, living on her past glory as a grande dame.
To keep a roof over their heads, Nancy's mother went back to nursing in the small Cordoba Community Hospital and converted Cliff's Edge, the family mansion, into a boardinghouse for nurses. This violated the zoning ordinances, stirred up feelings among new and older residents and, worst of all, Nancy's friends began to avoid her. Confused and hurt, she drew comfort from unexpected sources. She learned to confide in Mark Bonner, a college man who worked as a gardener, and she spent rewarding hours with the Nightingales, a group of volunteer girls at the hospital.
In the midst of her personal problems, Nancy was caught up in the vicious rivalry between Cordoba and Southside, the two local high school. As the tension mounted, both at home and in school, she was forced to choose between Doug and Mark and what they represented in terms of her most cherished beliefs. A tragic accident in Cordoba created chaos in the town, and from the crisis Nancy emerged confident about her future.
This is the story of a sensitive girl, town between two ways of life, who learns in the process of growing up that you prove your worth and maintain your dignity by what you give of yourself to your school, your community, your friends. (from the inside flap)
Sometimes it's surprising.
Sometimes it's sad.
But always, always, FIRST LOVE is special!
Here are fourteen wonderful stories of teen-agers who found their first loves: tomboys and tough guys, plain janes and big wheels--and maybe (just maybe) someone remarkably like you ... (from the back cover)
Beany Malone's father used to say that a trip was wasted unless you came back a different and bigger person. For 16-year-old Beany, who kept getting postcards from vacationing friends, it seemed as though any trip would mean excitement and fun.
Beany's big chance comes when she is asked to drive her little nephew back to his parents in San Diego. She and her brother Johnny set out in the old family Dodge and it isn't very long before complications develop. Among them:
Miss Opal, an eccentric old maid,
A horse named Quaker,
A ripe tomato plant.
One lazy adventure follows another and the "two-day trip" keeps getting longer and longer. At the end of the journey, Beany gets the surprise of her life--and has good reason to remember what her father said before she started out.
For more delightful adventures with the happy-go-lucky, heart-warming Malones, read LEAVE IT TO BEANY and MEET THE MALONES. (from the back cover)
Summers at Lake Champlain had always thrilled Kit. She knew all its romantic history, from its early discovery to the days when Admiral Macdonough built the fleet that defeated the British in the war of 1812. Surprisingly, her fund of anecdotes about Vergennes, Vermont, the Turners' summer address, was just the key that gave her Bates' companionship. Kit's enthusiasm for the area charmed bates and he asked her to be his guide. It was great fun touring in his cream-colored Jaguar, rowing on the lake, and picnicking near historic sites.
Kit realized that she was growing up--slowly. She began to look outside herself and try to understand others: her mother's loneliness when Mr. Turner had to be away on business trips; Great-aunt Charlotte's weaknesses; and even Elaine's good points. But it wasn't until a treacherous storm endangered Kit's life and the lives of others for whom she felt responsible that she really understood her own development into a young woman, and the ways and needs of other adults.
The historical pageant which Kit inspired proved that she had left childishness behind. "Brick Top" Kit could toss her head happily in the knowledge that her Champlain summer had brought her her first romantic interest in boys, her first compassionate interest in people outside her family circle, and her first appreciation of the heritage that had come down to her from her country and from her own ancestors. (from the inside flap)
Gretchen Bemis was the kind of girl who usually set her own standards and if she wanted to be notice by a man--even in a prim nurses's uniform--she generally was. Not only was she popular with the medical staff at Sibert Memorial Hospital, but with her quick intelligence and easy going personality, she was well liked by the other student nurses--especially by the delicate Rosemary Joplin adn the studious Nelle Gibson.
Senior year at nursing school was an exciting time for these three girls, but most of all for Gretchen, whose great wish to fall in love was granted in a way that was as unexpected as it was delightful... (from the back cover)
"You did pretty well," said Anne. "Four days." To Anne, loving Doug is no experiment. And yet when she is with Dough she finds that she has little to say. Why?
In the long summer days Ann, seventeen, discovers love wears many faces for her, her sister and her best friend Nora. (from the back cover)
September 5, 2015
At sixteen Marcy was aware of the gulf between her people and those who lived up the Hundred steps on the hill. She knew the exclusive hill crowd in high school but was never asked to their parties. This didn't particularly bother her, but her best friend Jeannie was adamant. Why shouldn't Marcy be content with her own kind? She'd only get herself into trouble running around with a bunch of rich, spoiled kids. Their continued arguments widened the break between them, till Marcy found herself without any friends from the Lower Town, except Bill who shared her heritage of the sea.
When Gwen Ellis asked her and Bill to doubledate for the Peppermint Ball, Marcy was delighted. This would prove how wrong Jeannie was. But her joy was shortlived. She realized that Gwen wanted Bill and was using Marcy's friendship for him as an entering wedge. She was stuck with wealthy, thrill-crazy Walt. When the dance was over three couples piled into his car, and an evening of fun ended in terror. Before the night was over Marcy was to recall Jeannie's remarks and be inclined to agree with her--for she was in real trouble, torn between loyalties. Bill, steady as an anchor, held her on her course.
Then disaster struck, and Marcy's world was shattered when her father's ship was caught in a hurricane. Throughout the long night neighbors from both sides of town hurried to help the McKays. Marcy learned that people were mixtures of good and bad, that neither wealth nor poverty were yardsticks of character, and that the Hundred Steps did not divide the town--but united it. (from the inside flap)
I picked up this book a few years ago at the Twin Cities Antiquarian Book Fair and every word of this book is completely delightful. I can't believe this slim and gorgeous book is 87 years old. It even includes an immaculate sample daily report sheet.
So here, excerpted for your enjoyment, are a few of my favorite bits from Book Shops: How to Run Them by Ruth Brown Park.
Chapter 1 – Book Shop Orientation
"So it is to be a book shop? You have talked it all over with yourself; with your friends; with your pet dog, and perhaps with your family. You have decided books are your medium for making money. You feel that coal or popcorn or antiques would not be your medium, but that books would. For books, underneath their square surface value, carry realms of further interior interest. You may not only pick them up and hold their solid circumference in your hands, but you may open them, peer into their unfolding pages, and bury yourself in the delights of those pages. Then, when you have surfeited yourself with those delights, you may pass them on to your patrons, for money. We know of no other business where a merchant may both have his cake and eat it at the same time. Therein lies the advantage."
"If novels are the mainstay of your buying public have them on a front table, accessibly arranged. Have a placard marked “Late Fiction” and point out through this front table that there is nothing more important to you than the customer’s desire for fiction. Novels of all kinds – you carry them. Say through display, “I am a ‘novel’ specialist. I know what you want; I have what you want; or if by chance I should be out of it, I will get it at once.”
Another point: Avoid giving a prominent place to books of a sensational or libelous nature. If you must carry them, at least do not boast flagrantly about it through prominent display. Instead, give the prominent display to popular books of the moment without these undesirable qualities."
Chapter IV – Window Display
"Down the street they come – those potential book customers. They are in a hurry. They are rushing along to important engagements. They are flying for trains. They are dashing for home before dark. They are intent upon their own business and utterly unconcerned about yours. Now what are you going to do to break that intent and make them concerned about yours.
You cannot stand outside your shop with a raised club and demand, “Go in there.” At least, you cannot and still remain a public favorite. Nor can you even stand in the doorway and quietly beckon. Not unless you wish to be misunderstood.
No, you can neither club nor call. You must legitimately attract. And your only legitimate attraction at first is through your windows."
Chapter VI – Notes on Selling
"The plus sales.
When the customer has practically finished his purchasing, suggest a must have book. Such an item should be small and popular priced, although any additional books sold to such a customer is a plus sale. Usually, the customer will say, “Oh, add it!” The plus item should be a popular book – one that is in great demand, so that the sale does not seem to be forced, but natural.
Use the power of suggestion to the utmost.
Keep suggesting different titles until the customer is through buying; don’t let him rush off with one book.
Keep the customer in the shop as long as possible. People who say, “I’ll come back when I have more time,” don’t mean it at all; that is merely an excuse for getting out without buying. Don’t let customers wait until next time, sell them this time.
Make for yourself new customer contacts.
Nothing pleases a customer more than personal attention. Get on as intimate a plane as possible with your customer, without offence.
Don’t waste time on non-buyers.
One of every book shop’s greatest pests is the kindly chap who comes in to “talk books.” These people can be a serious menace to business if you let them. They seldom buy, but, oh, how they can talk! Yet they have to be tolerated because they sometimes weaken and buy a book. But steer clear of them as a rule, when they are in a talking mood. They’ll soon tell you if they want to buy anything.
By this I don’t mean to cut short the person who has just finished buying and wants to “talk a little.” This practice is bad, and one that you must guard against. Still, with other customers waiting for you, you can’t afford to talk very long. Be tactful in this matter, and try to please both customers. Remember, many added sales can be made by avoiding as far as possible the 'talker.'"
Chapter VII – Advertising
"How are you going to get word to those who have passed by, or to those who have never even passed your way, that you have an attractive shop, overflowing with tempting buys, waiting to serve them? How are you going to speak for yourself, against and above the tremendous roar of other competitive forces in your business?
Of course, you could go out twenty or thirty feet beyond your shop and shout the news to the oncoming crowd – you could, until the police force in your city heard you and locked you up. Or you could mutter the news in trains and on boats, or pass the word along in railway stations and subways – you could, but you would not be considered a rational human being."
Chapter VIII – The Employer and His Employees
"Now, be it known, first, last, and always, the successful manager or owner of a book shop is no ordinary mortal. For he must have the book knowledge of a head librarian; the book love of a bibliomaniac; the business sense of a Wall Street magnate, and the patience of an orphans’ home matron. Added to these things, he must instruct his clerks with the trained vigilance of a Harvard professor and lead them to selling victories with Foch generalissimo proclivities.
In a small shop often publishers’ salesmen give customers a very bad impression. They stand around smoking and talking while waiting their turn with the buyer. As they are usually hatless, they are indistinguishable from the regular clerks. Naturally, they do not offer to wait on trade, and many customers are offended, thinking they are being neglected by the store’s regular staff. So by all means put a stop to this “village store” atmosphere and tactfully urge travelers to wait quietly in a hatted condition. So by all means put a stop to this “village store” atmosphere and tactfully urge travelers to wait quietly in a hatted condition."
Chapter X – The Buying and Selling of Children’s Books
"In no other department, should greater conscientiousness be exerted by the bookseller than in this one. When you are buying for adults you may have a certain educational and moral twist to your conscience, but in most instances it is feeble. If a full-grown man wants a badly written, blood-and-thunder story, that is his own look-out. Or if a blonde approaching middle age slinks in to mumble a request for the newest, highly heated love drama, that, too, is none of your concern. But, on the other hand, if a nice rosy-cheeked little boy darts in and asks for the best story of adventure you have to offer, you want to know the best story and have it to give him. If you do not, and through carelessness, hand out some cheap, poorly executed piece of work, unless you are the kind of person who would take candy from a baby, you cannot be very easy or untroubled in your mind.
Right here a word should be said about forcing too dry reading on a child. There are so many good enthralling tales which will not choke the little reader that it is unforgivable to hand him something unpalatable. Often too advanced reading will kill forever a real love of literature in the child. What greater sacrilege could be committed than smothering a taste for reading in a small, unformed soul!
If you are too busy to give much time to this department we would suggest that you choose an attractive young woman with some knowledge of children’s education as the head of that department. If she has any kind of initiative she can do a big thing for you, for your store, and for herself."
Chapter XIII: Tools of the Trade: Some Bibliography
"Why is it that the average bookseller thinks he can start on his professional road without the slightest knowledge of his trade? Why does he think that he can plunge into a business requiring unlimited technique without the faintest notion of advantage of his public, strutting about his shop, pluming himself with the fruits of his bestseller knowledge, in utter ignorance of the things which would make him invaluable to the intelligent bookreading public? Up to date this question lies unanswered. But gradually, as the general impetus demands it, book people are going to become more and more accustomed to give skilled book information and less and less prone to hand out ungrounded answers. Then the halcyon days of bookselling will have set in.
The book concludes with the 1927 American Booksellers Association Code of Ethics and is well worth reading, even if it states that '"the head of the business should be a man of high character and sound integrity.'"
I wonder how flexible they were on the man part...
Are you sold? I am! Let's go sell some books!
September 2, 2015
There is FRANCINE, with whom snobbery was a rule until her at-first-sight-love of Tom gave her a compassion for all people; and PEGGY, whose restless ambition brought her marriage to the brink of ruin; and TIPPY, who, in her loneliness, looked with despair even upon her own good disposition; and MARY, who came from the wrong side of the tracks with a secret wish, and attained it.
Although their backgrounds are varied, a common bond results from working side by side in the oft-times dramatic atmosphere of the switchboard room. For one girl somehow touches the life of the next and, in so doing, adds understanding where there was none before.
Here is a new setting for the problems of human relationships, happily resolved in an intriguing way. (from the inside flap)
Josie Campbell, growing up all over the world, has never gone to a "real school" in her life! So she doesn't know how to act when a girl friend becomes an enemy over the star role in the school play ... or when a boy who is going steady asks her for a date!
Another delightful story about the irrepressible, unpredictable Campbell family, by a favorite teen author. (from the back cover)
Unexpectedly, Lyn, her neighbor, asks Penny to teach her pottery-making. Could an art studio be the answer to the problem of raising money? Lyn's friend, Susan, also wants to learn, so perhaps there are even others. Excited and a little frightened about the undertaking, Penny, with her family's approval, converts the drawing room into a studio for rug-weaving and pottery-making. But how much should she charge for instruction? Can she buy equipment reasonably? Will she be able to sell the ceramics? And how will she get more students?
In spite of her doubts, Penny's class grows as one neighbor tells another about it, and Penny is encouraged to advertise. She never expects her ad to produce a boarding student, but Tony Lestrange writes that he is willing to camp on the veranda, if he can become an expert at pottery-making and design. And, without even waiting for a reply from Penny, Tony barges in in his noisy sports car. Seeing Tony's Great Dane and squeaky violin, Penny Wishes he could camp -- elsewhere. However, Tony is there to stay.
Teaching is fun and creative, but it demands diplomatic skill as well. Conflicts and jealousies, common to every classroom, arise and Penny has to cope with varied personalities and talents; Susan, who is all thumbs; and Tony, brash, outspoken and, it appears, in love with Penny.
Conscientious Penny is determined to be successful. Exploring the possibilities of selling ceramics to Esselmont's Gift Shop, she meets handsome, young Garth Esselmont. Now, more than ever, Penny wants to return to art school in downtown Vancouver, for Garth is attending the university there.
As her arts and crafts conclude, Penny's goal seems more attainable. In reaching her goal, Penny reveals the understanding, warmth, and maturity that are some of the fruits of a wonderful summer--her summer of surprise. (from in the inside flap)
Even before she is off the plane the next day, Linda begins to have uneasy suspicions that while London is as different as can be from Los Angeles, she still hasn't solved her problems. Her aunt and uncle and two cousins, Icy, a year older, and Roger, two years younger than herself, are kind and welcoming, but their quiet reserve makes them strange to her. She soon finds out that the Lady Phillipa Grammar School for Girls is just that--there are no boys. Furthermore, the students wear unbecoming uniforms and take their lessons most seriously.
During her first difficult days, her main comforts are Mrs. Maxwell, her aunt's housekeeper, and Kath Hollister, a fellow schoolmate. Like Linda, Kath prefers to look on the lighter side of life, but still she is level-headed. In spite of Kath's good-natured guidance, Linda makes one mistake after another until finally a row with her unsympathetic Maths teacher sends her storming to the American Embassy, determined to borrow money to fly home.
An understanding embassy aide encourages her to stay and be an ambassador for her country, and after that things become somewhat easier for Linda. The old monuments of London cause her to take a real interest in the study of history. At a Christmas reception at the Embassy, she finally meets some boys--Andy and Jack, American students at Cambridge. She meets them again in Scotland where she is enjoying vacation with her newly met grandparents, and in Cornwall where she goes for the spring holidays. The high point comes when the boys extend invitations to Linda, Kath, and Icy, too, for May Week at Cambridge.
There are many more surprises and discoveries in store for Linda before her year in the British Isles in over--among them the realization that hard work results in very satisfying rewards. (from the inside flap)
While Ginger is working out the details of her campaign, her parents have also been struggling over a decision about the future that will change Ginger's plans, not only for the summer, but for a long time to come. Mr. Johnston is going to take a job in another city, and the family will have to move there.
This is the situation in which Ginger finds herself. Pulled between her loyalty and love for her parents and her devotion to Spark Plug, the emotional adjustment she is asked to make proves to be the biggest she has yet had to face. What is Ginger to do about Spark Plug, about her friends, about her whole way of life if her parents move away from Cheltham.
Janet Lambert, as always, writes with a sharp insight into the continually changing world of teen-agers and with a sympathetic understanding of the problems that young people must work out for themselves. (from the inside flap)
Beautiful Patty Palmer was demanded and totally self-centered. Her best friend, Ginger Johnston, was a cheerful second-fiddle, absorbed in other people and the world around her. As sophomores in high school, they were wondering about popularity, personality--and boys.
Patty didn't like it when her brother compared her unfavorably to Ginger but she had to admit that both boys and girls preferred Ginger to her. Nor could Patty understand Ginger's interest in "Spark Plug" Baker who concentrated on his 1914 touring car far more than he did on Ginger.
Tim Ford was a different matter. Patty thought that she and Tim were practically steadies, and when Tim didn't share her feelings, she blamed Ginger.
The story of how Ginger takes her first step in emotional independence from Patty, and how the girls learn to evaluate their friendship will delight all teenagers. (from the inside flap)