July 30
I'm a lawyer in my past life, who got the kids through college and decided to try something different and a little more fun. A used book store sounded like a good idea, so that's where I am for now. I just hadn't counted on a recession or E-readers and am a little afraid there's going to be a third act. In the meantime, I have plenty to read and a little time to write. Not a bad way to spend a day.


Jlsathre's Links

Editor’s Pick
JULY 4, 2013 10:14AM

Losing My Signature

 A friend of my sister had what she called her signature piece of jewelry--something she wore every day and was known for. Being an affordable  initial necklace (at least by Tiffany's prices), she probably wasn't the only one wearing it. But she liked the way that it defined her.

Yesterday… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 31, 2013 11:43AM

25 Things I'm Learning From Closing a Bookstore.

A while back I wrote "25 Things I Learned From Opening a Bookstore." This is the other bookend.

1. When people ask why you're closing, you can tell them that the economy's poor and people are buying Nooks. But it's more fun to tell them that it's time… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 30, 2013 12:02PM

Looking Back On Africa

When I was in Africa I wrote a post about how the Beninese people were reulctant to have their pictures taken and how it made me miss a lot of the pictures I wanted to take.  I wanted people and expressions and reactions---what I considered the real face and the true… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 12, 2013 10:41AM

Mom Always Liked Me Best

It seems I missed another Siblings Day. No cards. No gifts. No real surprise since I didn't know there was a Siblings Day.

It makes sense though. If we have Secretary's Day, it only seems fair that we should have Siblings Day. Athough I guess we don't have Secretary's Day… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 28, 2013 10:02AM

Arriving in Africa

They arrive in small groups. Each group in uniforms that differ only slightly from girl to boy, but greatly between groups. A few with head coverings for the girls. Several with school emblems or insignia on pockets. Some dresses; some pants; no real consistency except neatness.

Black shoes and white… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 1, 2013 10:29AM

First Dates In a Bookstore

He's young and good looking.  College age. With long, slightly sloppy hair that says he's not making the rounds of job interviews yet. A typical student. Except that he carries cash in addition to his debit card and he has never once answered or made a phone call while in the… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 14, 2013 9:44AM

The Boy Who Reads Manga On the Wooden Chair

I have a new customer at the store.

The non-paying kind. Usually around the age of nine or ten, sometimes older. Arriving on a bike, or a skateboard, or on foot from one of the many apartments near the store.

Most have a key in their pocket and live… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 8, 2013 1:01PM

Where Have All the Grandmothers Gone

She's standing in a grocery store check out lane, fit, slight of frame, with orange-red hair, obviously dyed. A short cut, just shy of spiky. No product in it today to hold the spikes, but it's early. A Sunday morning, quick trip to the grocery. The product will… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 24, 2012 1:37PM

To Be a Writer

A few years ago, my daughter was doing some part-time online teaching at Gotham Writers' Workshop and found out that she got a free class for every class she taught. She asked if she could give it to her mom and they agreed.

I had quit practicing law at the time… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 16, 2012 3:52PM

Tales Of Tattered Books

This year I took them home to sort. Fifty-plus banker boxes of books, mine for the taking. The leftovers from a book sale that a local church has every October. All of them already passed over by many hands, even at the bargain price of one dollar.

But all of… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 9, 2012 12:40PM

Batteries in the Bathtub

President Obama wants to add 100,000 science and math teachers over the next ten years. I tend to agree it's a good idea. The store clerks who can't seem to make change when there's a power outage make a good case for the math. 

And I find that I make a… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 5, 2012 11:41AM

Pink dresses and Ripped Jeans

Last week I wrote a post wondereing whether I was too old to wear a pair of jeans with a ripped knee. Yesterday, in a bit of serendipity, I ran across a piece I wrote nearly twenty years ago about a similar issue. It seemed to answer the question.
Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 1, 2012 10:11AM

Couples In a Bookstore

They walk in together, every month or so, traveling from out of town, a thirty minute drive, always on a Saturday.

Date night, perhaps. Except that it's not night. And this isn't a couple that's getting to know each other. They don't ask about favorite movies or childhood nicknames, searching for… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 24, 2012 2:53PM

Am I Too Old To Wear This

What to do when your favorite jeans have a hole in them?

That's the question I'm debating these days. Not Obama and Romney's positions on Medicare or whether we should get out of Afghanistan, but, "I've got this pair of jeans that I really love except there's this hole in the… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 19, 2012 10:38AM

Waiting in Line For an iPhone 5



I left my phone at home yesterday. Again. Not on purpose. I just forgot to put it in my purse. Which I do fairly often. It never really bothers me. 


I'll be on a plane or at a play and they'll make an announcement to turn off all… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 3:02PM

From a Diplomat's Mother

It was with sadness and concern that I read about the attacks and deaths of U.S. Diplomats in Libya and Egypt.

My concern is partly personal because my daughter works as a diplomat  in a U.S. Embassy in a foreign country. The attacks raised the issues of safety that are… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 11, 2012 3:19PM

Across Two Continents


I rode my bike to her house for no reason other than a destination on a free afternoon and the vague hope of a dime for the Dairy Bar that was next door. Through four alleys, across the high school parking lot, then north on

Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 15, 2012 10:19AM

Guns in the Neighborhood



"West Cabanne Place is in the 5900 and 6000 block of Cabanne Ave, at the end of a grim, gray street where theRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 7, 2012 10:22AM

Cleaning Out My Memory


I'll be talking to my daughter, and we'll be having a nice conversation, and then she'll ask me what I did yesterday.

Yesterday? I have no clue what I did yesterday.

But when I was six we went to Santa Claus, Indiana and rode the....Damn! What's the word I'm looking… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 3, 2012 11:34AM

Peeing In a Bookstore

It's been a little lonely in the bookstore these days. Not because of the lack of customers, but because my landlord instituted a "no dog" rule and my store dog is now relegated to doing his reading at home.

I used to joke that more customers knew his name than … Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 30, 2012 9:23AM

FWIW, I H8 Acronyms

All the acronyms, or Urban Slang, or Tweetspeak, or whatever you want to call them are driving me crazy. I can't keep them straight and, whenever I come across one, I find myself in a place far away from wherever the person was trying to take me. 

Because, I'm sorry, but… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 25, 2012 10:55AM

Getting Tipped In a Bookstore

He comes in most days after school. And in the summer, one or two days a week. I think his mom sets a limit. He's a quiet boy and would follow her rules.

Sometimes he comes alone, but often he brings friends and shows them where the comics are. And the… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 19, 2012 10:16AM

Clear the Courtroom!


I had just graduated from law school and was in Chicago studying for the Bar Exam that I was scheduled to take at the end of summer. Somewhere in the near South Side I made a rolling stop or ran a red light or forgot to use the turn signal… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 11, 2012 10:32AM

When the Words Are Gone

"Yes, ma'am."

"No, ma'am."

They were his random responses to all questions.

He was not a Southern gentleman, and they were odd couplets of words to be the only ones left that he could retrieve. We couldn't remember him ever saying either one.

Speech aphasia, they told us after… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 25, 2012 10:12AM

In Memory of a Soldier I Never Knew

When my parents died, my sister and I got out the letters that Dad had written to Mom while he was in Burma during World War II. They had never met at the time they started writing, but wrote back and forth for the last two years of the war.  When… Read full post »