Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Tao of Everything

One fine afternoon at Barnes and Noble a decade ago a man came in looking for some help. Turns out, he was looking for a book. As often happened to us, the man couldn’t remember the title of the book.
“Do you remember what the book was about?” No, he couldn’t. As luck would have it, the guy did remember the author’s last name: Tay. Did he know how to spell it? No. Did he remember anything else that might be helpful in locating the book? No.

We checked our computers, nothing. We checked Book In Print, nothing sounded right to him. We ran with the info however.

Could it be the Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet? No. A classic mystery thriller by Josephine Tey? That wasn't right either.

We pulled books from all over the store and nothing fit. We absolutely couldn’t find anything. We’d been searching for 20 minutes.

Then, one of us thought to ask, “Do you remember the first name?”
Yes, yes he did: Don. Don Tay.


The guy was looking for The Inferno.


Kiki said...

NO! This is one of those urban myths.

AzĂșcar said...

If only, mon petit choux, if only. It is only one of dozens and dozens of stories experienced by me and my fellow former booksellers.

cabesh said...

You just made my day.

compulsive writer said...

The English major in me is laughing out loud...spelled out, of course. Please write a book.

And by the way--I loved the cookie + cute little boy photos.

Geo said...

Autodidacts of the world, unite!

Ecch, I cringe to think of how many times I've been the blushing ignoramus. I hope after reading Don Tay that fella went on to bumble his way across other classics.

Emily said...

While that story is awesome in every way, I am amazed that you spent 20 minutes with the guy trying to jog his memory, and also amazed that it took 20 minutes for him to offer up that he had additional information on the author's name.

(Word verification dilemma: is it a "q" or an "a"? I always guess wrong.)

La Yen said...

My favorite was "I know that the cover is blue..."

FOrmer UVSC Student said...

Was he a UVSC student?

Bek said...

While I worked at the Barnes and Nobles, The Jolly Porter helped a really old lady who wanted the book about the boy sorcerer. "Harry Potter?" Chris asked, "noooo, it is Harvey Porter". "no, you must mean Harry Potter". "Harvey Porter".

She went home very upset that we couldn't find her the book about Harvey Porter the young wizard.....

How about the people that home school their children in the store?

christopher clark said...

Carina, this is the second time you have reminded me of a great B&N story. First, mele kalikimaka, now this. I guess we really did have fun there, didn't we? I just remember answering a lot of phones. Do you remember when I got to sing "Blue Bayou" with Linda Ronstadt?

Erbecca, the lady was asking for "Harvey Porter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." Doesn't that make that story even more infuriating! She made me look it up on the computer, even!