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DWP Guest Op-Ed: Tales From the Bookstore or Why Real Life Should Have Arcane Intellect

(While the following piece is funny, it does say something about today’s reading public. And if you’ve ever contemplated working in a bookstore, you may want to reconsider. Publishers spend a lot of time chosing titles, crafting choose me covers, editing cover flap remarks and gathering endorsements. Sometimes, if you work in a bookstore, you just have to wonder why. And if you’re an author, well, moments like the ones below can be a bit scary. The commentary below, Tales From the Bookstore and Why Real Life Should Have Arcane Intellect, is written and copyrighted by Bookseller Amy, aka, Frost Mage Kelda, 2006.)

Hi, my name is Kelda. I’m a level 60 Gnomish Frost Mage on Uldum. I’ve got 5/8 of the Arcanist set and 3/8 of my Netherwind. My guild completely pwns in Molten Core and we’re making good progress in Black Wing Lair.

Oh, alright. My name is Amy and I’m a Warcraft addict. You know—Warcraft–that MMORPG (that’s geek speak for an online fantasy game) that’s hooked over 5 million fellow gamers worldwide. It’s dungeons and dragons, good and evil, swords and sorcery brought to glorious real-time, computer-generated life. As you can see, sometimes the game and real life have begun to blur and I find myself wanting Kelda’s abilities–like Arcane Intellect.

Arcane Intellect grants a temporary +30 to Intellect bonus to ourselves and other players. There really should be a way to do this in real life. Hmm, you’re too stupid to comprehend me. Poof, I cast Arcane Intellect upon you. Now we can at least get through the rest of our conversation without me wanting to stab your eyeballs out.

For example… A customer motions me over to the mystery section. “Ya’ll only have two titles by John Grisham. He’s really famous and I can’t believe you don’t have more of his stuff. You see?” The man points to the bottom shelf, “Now tell me why you’ve only got two of his books.”

“Um sir,” I say looking at the next set of shelves, “We’ve got three whole rows of Grisham right here.”

“Oh…so the books start up again on the top, eh? I was thinking they should keep going along the bottom row. I was wondering why none of the authors were in order.”

Poof, I cast Arcane Intellect upon you. “Nope, each of the shelves run left to right, top to bottom. When you get to the bottom of one shelf you start back up at the top of the next.”

“Well I’ll be… They didn’t used to do that.”

Damn, damn, damn…

A few minutes later I find the same customer standing in front of the music section looking puzzled. “What else can I help you with?”

“Where do you keep the whatcha call ‘ems? Foreign Books.”

You can’t possibly be talking about untranslated literature…you barely speak English. “Sir, do you mean books in another language or books to learn another language?”

“No, no. You know…Foreign Books.”




“Yeah, that it! Where are they?”

“Well, you’re in our music department. Let me show you where the travel books are.”

“But it says ‘International’ on the sign.”

“International. Music. These are all CD’s.”

“You don’t keep all the foreign stuff together?”

Poof, I cast Arcane Intellect upon you
“Travel books are right this way, sir. What country are you looking for?”


Well, not a country, but at least you didn’t say New York… Maybe it worked.

The customer starts to follow me down an aisle but stops halfway along. “Oh, here we go.”

“Sir, that’s the Caribbean.”

“That’s not near Europe?”

Damn, damn, damn…

“Europe books are right over here. Let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with.” I will be on the other side of the store avoiding your aura of stupidity just in case it’s contagious

—Bookseller Amy/Frost Mage Kelda
Feel free to comment here or to ask Bookseller Amy questions, post them here and, magelike, Amy/Kelda’s answers will appear. –vikk

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  • Serena

    Is there something comparable to Arcane Intellect that could be cast on parents who let their children run wild inside of a bookstore? I’d pay good money for that one. :-)

  • Kelda

    Amen… Once I get Arcane Intellect to stick once in a while, I’ll work on it. :) Unfortunately, it would appear that human mobs are highly resistant, if not downright immune to spells.

  • wlotus

    So that’s why I cannot find a knowledgeable bookseller when I need one: they are all tied up with people who are sorely lacking in intellect!

  • Kevbo

    Heh… funny/scary story.
    Are you sure this customer wasn’t our president? (Rather, their president. He’s not mine.)
    Customers like that make you want to ask “How did you get here?,” “Have you ever been in a bookstore or library before?,” or “Can you, in fact, read?”

  • Dada

    this is so hilarious. i’ve been a bookseller and i have some very funny stories, but this one is tops!