The Bookstore is just short of 35,000 square feet, spread across two levels. I know this because we have a giant floor-plan in the break room detailing where we were going to move our sections. Anyway, 35,000 square feet means I could fit my apartment into the store eighty-seven and a half times. When you take away the space for the break room, and the stock room, and the offices, and the boiler room, and the assorted storage rooms and closets, and the register queue, and the cafe, and the front-of-store displays, and the calendars and the cards and the assorted other crap, we’ve still got hundreds of bookshelves, and on those hundred of bookshelves? Probably thousands of bookshelves, and on those thousands of bookshelves? Tens-of-thousands of books — maybe even hundreds of thousands of books.
All I know is, we’ve got a lot of books. Crappy books, good books, some great books — books in perfect shape, books in not so perfect shape. Books that fit into categories like Psychology, and Sex, and History, and Politics, and Economics, and Biographies, and Science, and Cooking, and books in those categories? They fit into subcategories, too: Self-Help, Recovery, Death, US History, World History, Latin American History, Biology, Chemistry, Astronomy, Local Cooking, Food Reference, ad nauseum, until we’ve got so many books and sub-categories and sub-sub-categories that no one actually knows where the UFO section went (hint: it’s not in Sci-Fi), and where did Speculation go?
But all those sections I listed above*? They’re all part of an even larger category, a basic one that any bookstore splits its reading: the above books are all Non-Fiction (the other category, duh, is Fiction).
So if you come in? And I ask if you need any help finding an item? It’s fine if you take a superior attitude, it’s fine if you tell me that you’ve been looking for books by yourself without any help for years, since before my parents were born, but, if I wouldn’t mind, could I just point you to the Non-Fiction section? You can find your way from there.
Certainly I can. Here’s a hint: it’s everything not Fiction. So, it’s there, and there, and back there, and then downstairs? It’s over there, there, back there, right there where you can’t see, and then over there, too.
Have fun! And if you change your mind? About, y’know, not needing help? You know where to find me.
*With the exception of Sci-Fi, which is part of Popular Fiction (as opposed to Fiction/Literature), and did you know we class our homosexual-genre fiction by Gay Literature, and Lesbian Fiction? Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.