Cool things happen in bookstores…

I went to Orell Füssli in downtown Zürich this afternoon to take some pictures of the book in the store, and the coolest thing happened. Well, actually, a couple of things.

First, it took me a minute to find the books, but when I did, I got all excited – and being the dork I am (especially here in Regulation Central, where everything is done so strictly), I picked up a copy and took out my ID and walked over to two of the staff who were casually talking, and said, “Hi. This (pointing to my name on the cover) is me (pointing to my ID). I’d like to take some pictures of the book here in the store; is that okay?”

Now, I had already gotten permission from the buyer (a very cool woman named Julia that set up the in-store-stocking of the book in the first place), and the staff knew this and said that they were expecting me. (Of course. Because this is Switzerland.)

But then, the guy smiled and walked over to where the books were stacked, and asked if I wanted one of the book stands to prop it up and make it look better. So of course I said yes, and he left me alone to play interior designer/fashion photographer. This was the first shot:

So I’m there, happy as can be, taking photos and beaming like a little kid – and this woman (holding the book below) walks over and strikes up a conversation.

And it turns out that her partner is an aspiring writer, and while I’m talking with him, she goes and buys a copy, and then comes back to join the conversation – all without me having to “sell” her on the book at all. I ended up chatting with both of them for a while, and got a chance to vibe in that spontaneously connecting way that makes life so beautiful, and we all left with big smiles on our faces. Thank you Jennifer and Joe, you guys made my day!

And that’s it, right? That’s all I need to do – go to bookstores and talk with people, in person, and make that direct connection. Because in the end it’s not really me, or the book – it’s the space. It’s the vibe in that special space.

Because bookstores are where cool things happen…