Alas, bibliophiles and blog-followers, it is time for me to end my sojourn in the antiquarian book world. For those of you who read my first post (Thanks to those who commented!), you know that I am going to get married soon. My wedding will be on September 18th, and after that I will be moving with my bride to Mount Joy, PA in Lancaster County, after which I will be busy looking for a new job while cooking wonderful meals for me and my working wife. On that note, if any of you needs a polite and responsible Customer Service and Problem Solver person, I know of a guy…
But enough with the shameless self-marketing. I have had a good journey here at Oak Knoll, from my time as a part-time Book Cataloguer during my college years to the present where I have served as the Head of Customer Service, Problem Solver, and Bookkeeper. I have been exposed to many new things and ideas here in this jungle of bibliomania, and I have made my own small contributions to the Oak Knoll culture as well, the most important of which has been my role as Founder and Head Serviceman of CFTMMT, (or Chinese Food Thursday Morale Management Technique), which has significantly boosted employee morale. I just hope that my legacy remains and that someone will be able to carry on the banner and build upon where I left off. In the end, I am satisfied because the circle is now complete, and my last day will be the best day of the week…Chinese Food Thursday.
For your reading pleasure, I leave you now with this limerick tercet which I believe partially represents my time here:
To you patrons with problems and doubts
It’s best not to shout, flout, or pout
There is a good chance
With an ounce of patience
That your problems will sort themselves out.
I’m a Book-keeper in a bookstore
and I’m one of the best you’ll look for
Books don’t get out of line
And I keep them confined
So how come the money’s no more?
My thanks to Oak Knoll and its staff
For all of the memories and laughs
We have had tons of fun
And we’ve barely begun
So let’s pour from another carafe!
–Tim, Bookkeeping and Customer Service
Next week we will introduce Barbara, Oak Knoll’s new bookkeeper, and Chris, our new problem solver!
Out of the Hitchcock section of the film class I took in high school came the pivotal idea I used in my marriage proposal.
Hitchcock and weddings? What kind of person could find anything worth learning about marriages from Hitchcock? Let me explain.
We had gone through several of the old classic films, such as Casablanca (fantastic!) and Citizen Kane (overrated in my opinion), when we finally began our section on Alfred Hitchcock, with Psycho and Rear Window. My teacher told us his common techniques, such as the cameos in his movies, and how he attempted to shoot each scene so artistically that each frame could have been a photograph. What stuck with me the most from that class, however, was the illustration she shared with us that Hitchcock discovered when he unlocked the art of suspense. Also known as Hitchcock’s Bomb Theory, which Hitchcock explained in an interview with Francois Truffaut, Hitchcock started with the scenario of two men having an ordinary conversation. If a bomb goes off while the men are having a conversation, the audience is surprised for a moment because of the bomb. However, if the audience sees the man place the bomb in the room before the conversation starts, then every moment of that otherwise ordinary conversation is charged with excitement.
Yet what does this have to do with proposals? Well, it has a lot to do with it if you intend to marry a woman who claims she can’t be surprised! My Kimberly is quite the nosey little girl, and she is also extremely aware of people’s attitudes and can usually tell if they are hiding something. Of course, when you want to propose to someone, you want the method to be a surprise, but if the surprise is discovered, then most of the effect is lost.
Not wanting to risk it, I followed Hitchcock’s principle. The day I proposed to her, I told her in the morning that I was going to propose to her sometime that day, and then the activities began! I first took her to High Tea at an English tea house, followed by a walk amidst the lovely autumn trees at Winterthur, and ending at my house, where I finally proposed to her and made her an exquisite dinner with filet mignon, a special green bean recipe, and rice.
She loved it! We just had our one-year engagement anniversary on August 8th, and we agreed awhile ago that we would always try to celebrate it by replicating a part of it (I cooked the dinner again). I was so glad that the principle of suspense vs. surprise held true, and she said that it did make a big difference throughout the day.
-Tim, Bookkeeping and Customer Service
Feel free to share your proposal story or any life lessons you’ve learned from books or film!
Even after working all day surrounded by shelves of books about books, the staff here at Oak Knoll still can’t resist the lure of the summer read– the opportunity to just sit back, curl up and enjoy the simple pleasure of getting lost in a book. Of course we share a common love of books, but we still remain different, each with our own special book interests. Check out the list of books the Oak Knollers are reading this summer!
- Laura (Publishing Director): The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, Corporate Capital: Wilmington in the Twentieth Century by Carol Hoffecker, The Gospel in Life: Grace Changes Everything by Tim Keller
- Rob (Library and Antiquarian Sales): Semper Fi in the Sky: Marine Air Battles of World War II by Gerald Astor
- Tim (Bookkeeping and Customer Service): DND Source Books, The Bible, Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert. A. Heinlein
- Danielle (Publishing and Marketing Assistant): How Strong Women Pray by Bonnie St. John, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark
- Chris (Cataloguer): Monsieur Monde Vanishes by Georges Simenon, 2666 by Roberto Bolano, The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald
- Marisa (Summer Intern): I Remember You by Harriet Evans, Take Four by Karen Kingsbury, Emma by Jane Austen
- Bob (President and Owner): The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers by Henry James, Cape Cod Stories edited by John Miller and Tim Smith, Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson, Chasing Darkness by Robert Crais
What are you reading this summer? Let us know in the comments section below!